Here, I was grateful that the difficult A-line went in, finally (thank you, Saint René!). Grateful that precautions I took in anticipation of the surgeon's incision, which revealed over two liters of blood in the abdomen from the patient's ruptured spleen, enabled the patient's vital signs to hold steady. Grateful that when I transported the patient to the ICU still intubated and with blood pressure medication infusing continuously, she was in stable condition, and I felt I could reassure the family - a large, warm family that filled the entire waiting area. Grateful that one family member felt comfortable enough with me to give me a hug afterward.
There's often not just one right way to do something in medicine, but the physician running the ICU that night was clearly a think-about-it kind of person rather than a do-something-about-it-right-now kind of person, and I wanted to do something RIGHT THEN to fix the patient's vital signs - to temporize, at least, and protect the patient's organs while more goal-directed measures were being set up. I hate to say it, but I hovered. I hovered and hovered, ready to muscle my way in to protect my patient if need be, but eventually she stabilized and I felt I could leave once more.
In French, spleen "refers to a state of pensive sadness or melancholy." In case it hasn't been clear from my recent posts, I think I have been a bit "splenetic" of late.
Maybe some Baudelaire will be cathartic (various translations here):