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Jan 20, 2022 8:14 AM
dath ilan marian alt in atlas shrugged
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She does have a chart. It has her address and the name of her usual doctor.

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Does it have anything else. Like, for example, her son's phone number. Or her doctor's phone number. Or maybe even a list of her daily medications??? 

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Nope! It has what the firemen managed to get out of her when they picked her up. One of them did note that they turned the oven off at her request.

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Well, that's nice of them at least. 

"Excuse me," Merrin says to the clerk. "If I have a name for her doctor, is there any good way to get in contact with him? I have some questions about her history." 

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Oh, sure, no problem, here's a phone book. Doctors are in this section and it's by last name within that.

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Merrin is pretty sure that flipping through this phone book, which isn't even searchable because it's on paper, is NOT A GOOD USE OF HER TIME, and surely it would make more sense to delegate it to someone with less specialist expertise, but she's feeling pretty done with getting into confusing time-wasting arguments with the other staff here over how things are done, and she's the foreigner here, it's on her to adapt and avoid disrupting other people's work while she figures out their protocols. 

It takes her a deeply frustrating several minutes of hunting, but she manages to find the phone number, and write it down. Then a quick dash to bed twelve again, just to make sure that Sherry is conscious and responsive and doesn't look visibly worse, and then she needs to bother the clerk again to ask how to use the telephone and input what is hopefully the doctor's phone number. 

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Ring ring ring "Hello, Bill Lawrence's office," says the woman on the other end.

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"Hi! This is Merrin, I'm calling from Manhattan General about a Sherry Williams - I believe she's one of Dr Lawrence's patients? I was hoping to speak to him or one of his staff to get some background information; she's one of my patients, and the chart we have on her here is very minimal." 

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"Oh dear, she's in the hospital again? I'll put you through to Dr. Lawrence." . . . "Hello? You have some questions about Mrs. Williams?"

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Merrin thinks that if Sherry is in the hospital 'again', implying that she's been here before at least once and probably multiple times, then, one, she would have liked to KNOW THIS FACT, and two, she's a lot more confused about why the hospital doesn't have a more detailed chart on her. 

"Thank you for taking my call, Dr Lawrence. Yes, I do. She came in this morning after a fall at home, and her condition is a bit worrying. Her chart is very uninformative - I was hoping you could fill me in on her medical history and home medications? Also whether she's been hospitalized before, and if so for what. - Oh, and if you have contact information for her son or another family member, that would be amazing, I don't think they've been notified." 

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She has chronic high blood pressure and had a minor heart attack a few years ago; she's not much the worse for wear but he prescribed this that and the other for the blood pressure and told her to eat less red meat. She's had some UTIs, too, but they always clear up with a quick course of antibiotics. Her son is one of his patients too and he has his phone number. Good luck, she's a nice lady and we'll be praying for her.

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Huh, okay, on the one hand what but on the other hand now is not the time to get into a whole discussion to clarify what 'praying for her' MEEAAAAAAAANS. Her language knowledge is helpfully providing a tiny bit of context but honestly that mostly results in her having additional questions

(She's going to make a note of it, though, to add to her growing list, because this seems like the sort of confusion that might be important.) 

She asks a couple of followup questions - what exact medications and doses, they'll need to know that if Ms Williams is sick enough to be admitted overnight which seems very likely, also allergies if any and what antibiotics he's prescribed in the past for her UTIs. 

She thanks the doctor warmly for his help - he's been more helpful than almost anyone else she's interacted with today, and also friendlier about it, not that she says that out loud. 

Sherry is still conscious and the bag of IV fluids is still in progress, and she doesn't really have enough to update the doctor, so she takes thirty seconds to brave herself for some NEW flavor of weird unpleasant social interaction, and then dials the number for the patient's son. 

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Ring ring ring "Terrence Williams speaking."

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"Hi, Mr Williams. My name is Merrin, I'm a nurse at Manhattan General. I understand your mother is Sherry Williams?" 

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"Yes?" he says, in the exact tone one would expect from someone who just got a call from a hospital asking about his elderly mother.

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Poor guy! 

"I'm afraid she had a bad fall this morning, and likely broke her hip - um, she just got here recently and we haven't had a chance to get through all the diagnostic tests yet. We think she also has a urinary tract infection, again, which I understand happens semi-regularly for her, but I think may have contributed to the fall. She's getting IV fluids and we'll be giving her antibiotics and running some more tests for that. Mostly I wanted to make sure you were notified - she was asking after you - but I was wondering if you might have any other background that would be useful to know for treating her." 

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"Thank you. Um, the UTIs always make her confused, she might not be able to talk to you much." He names the antibiotics she got last time and says if she has to stay overnight she'll want to be somewhere she can see out the window and wants to know if there's any more specific questions he can help with and whether he can come in and see her.

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Merrin notes all of this down, hoping that there's a place in the chart to add information like her room-window preferences. 

"Of course you can come in and see her! I think she would be very happy to see you, and given that she's confused, I think it would be very good for her to have someone there with her who can answer any questions as they come up." And also speak on her behalf and make sure she's not neglected by busy nurses, which is APPARENTLY a problem that Merrin needs to worry about, here.  

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"Okay. Thank you again, I'll be there in an hour."

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"I should be thanking you! See you then. Um, she's in bed twelve - I can't promise I'll be available when you arrive, it's pretty busy here, but I'll do my best to swing by and give you an update as soon as I can. I'll go let her know that you're coming." And that the 'nice firemen' switched off the oven for her. They must have told her that at the time, so it's not the most reassuring sign, that she apparently forgot. 

Aaaaaaaand back to her growing task list! She goes to hunt for where the doctor actually 'put in' the orders for tests, so she can double check the exact details and then check with one of the other nurses what supplies she needs to grab. 

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Sherry's chart now has an order for a set of tests to check for a range of plausible infections. Here are the vials to collect the blood in, for those tests she needs the ones with these colors of cap, here's where to bring them afterwards.

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Okay. So far so good. Merrin gathers up her supplies and decides to prepare the antibiotic at the same time, so she can administer it right away after she draws the blood, though obviously to get accurate results she needs to do the test before starting the treatment.

(A glance at the clock tells her it's already been nearly an hour since she first stopped by bed twelve, which Merrin feels TERRIBLE about, that is NOT a good response time and would by itself merit an incident report and debrief at a dath ilani hospital.) 

She explains to Sherry what she needs to do and why while she looks for a vein. Fortunately, she doesn't need nearly as good of one just to draw blood, and the needle looks reasonably easy to use. 

"I looked at the notes in your chart, and it says the firemen turned off your oven," she reassures Sherry. "So there's no need to worry about that. Also, I got in touch with your doctor, and your son Terrence! He's going to come see you, he'll be here in about an hour." 

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Sherry is looking a bit brighter-eyed after the second bag of IV fluids. "Oh, good! You're a sweetheart." She grimaces. "I - have a bit of an embarrassing confession to make." 

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"Oh? I'm sure it's not embarrassing. Sorry, this is going to be a poke." Stab. 

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"- You're very good at that, I barely felt it!" Sherry still looks very sheepish. "I...think I might have wet myself just a little." 

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