I recently had a beautiful moment that I wanted to share.
I’ve been seeing a patient with Wegener’s granulomatosis for 18 mos. Her initial diagnosis was made in the ICU prior to establishing care with me, where she had languished for weeks. She had presented for a massive pulmonary hemorrhage that nearly killed her. At one point, when she was allegedly comatose, she distinctly heard her pulmonologist tell her daughter to say goodbye, because he was certain she’d die that evening. Miraculously, she survived that night and many more since. However, she has battled multiple comorbidities, complications, and side effects to her treatment regimen. She is uninsured, though thankfully she has the grit and financial resources to drive hours away to see specialists and to contact drug companies to obtain her most expensive meds for free.
Fast forward to today’s hospital followup. I had recently admitted her for anasarca caused by decompensated CHF and chronic prednisone use. She is now on a better diuretic regimen and has been tapered off steroids. And guess what? Thanks to the Rituxan infusions I fought for her to get; thanks to the hope her rheumatologist and I imbued her with; and thanks to her own determination—SHE IS IN REMISSION.
I have never seen her look so happy and healthy. We both cried tears of joy.
If you’re having a rough day, remember that what you do can make a huge difference in others’ lives. Keep fighting the good fight.
Jacqui O‘Kane, DO
South Georgia Medical Center