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Friday, March 5, 2010

Lost In translation

On Wednesday we had to tell him that he couldn't keep his leg.
He's been through a lot. But the injury was too great, the infection is too strong. His leg will take him if we don't take his leg. The doctor wiped his own eyes as he explained it to the man.

The interpreter stood at the bedside and relayed everything.

The man looked at the doctor and nodded. Then he smiled. 

The other RN started to tear up. "God bless his heart,"she said. "He's so brave."

The next morning the man came back, with two legs, from the OR sobbing.

He said he had no idea he was going to lose his leg. And he said the doctor had betrayed him. He doesn't trust us anymore.

Did the interpreter tell him what the doctor said and he just misunderstood? I really doubt it.
I have a feeling the interpreter himself didn't understand. Or else was just uncomfortable bearing the news. 

I have never felt the way I did yesterday. I don't know if I've ever been so angry.

Finally the doctor calmed the man down and convinced him to go through with the procedure. 

Did you all know there is a rumor in Haiti that there wasn't an earthquake at all but that America bombed the country and is now trying to kill everyone with amputations? 

The man came back from surgery late last night, at the end of my shift, heavily sedated. He smiled at me weakly as I changed out his IV bag. He trusts me still. 

1 comment:

Raero said...

i'm blown away but every one of these blog posts. I never want to stop reading. what an unbelievable experience...