His Enthusiasm Wasn’t Exactly Infectious

, , , , | Healthy | June 24, 2019

My best friend had surgery in 2017 to remove an ovarian cyst that had gone undiagnosed until it was large enough to cause a protrusion in her abdomen. The surgery to remove it was initially successful and after a couple of days, she returned home, only to be back in hospital three days later with a truly life-threatening infection.

Over a week later, the infection has been largely treated and my friend is moved out of intensive care and onto a ward, still on a cocktail of medicines that leave her somewhat delirious. I’m visiting her along with her mother and two sisters when a doctor enters and begins telling my friend how her infection was the most severe he’d ever seen where the patient recovered. He asks if he can have her permission to write a paper about it. My friend at this point isn’t even with it enough to tell us her surname, and all four of us rather sternly tell the doctor to ask again when she is properly recovered. Embarrassed, he leaves.

I get that doctors deal with this stuff a lot and it’s normal to them, but seriously? She almost died and spent ten days in the ICU, and you think the day she gets back out onto a ward she’s going to be bouncing around the room eager to grant permission for your paper?  

My friend made a full recovery and did eventually grant the doctor permission. She told me he said that in blood cultures a score of 10 is an infection, and hers came back with a score of 1,174.

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