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Crosses to bear

Although these 3 stories are incredibly sad, they serve to
illustrate the realities of this imperfect world – and how heavy some “crosses”
are for people.  We should count our
blessings when things go right for us, and reach out to those who are suffering
in unimaginable ways…

From Hallway Four:  A
40 year old woman was seen for difficulty breathing and eventually diagnosed
with pneumonia and fluid-overload secondary to need for dialysis.  This
lovely lady had been diagnosed recently with kidney cancer of her right kidney
and had undergone nephrectomy (removal of the diseased kidney).
Ordinarily, this would still have left her with one good kidney, which is all
you need.  But, as luck would have it, this lady had donated her left
kidney to her ailing sister three years prior.

From Charity Doc: A father of a 7 y/o little boy brings him
into the ED last night reporting that his mother’s boyfriend had beaten him
black and blue with a belt, an assertion that the mother did not deny. The couple had
been divorced for a little over a year. On physical exam, the little boy had
indeed not been spared the rod at all. His buttocks and back were ecchymotic,
black and blue with scattered scabbed marks from numerous whippings and
beatings. It was unbelievable.  [Child
protective services ruled that the child should go home with the mother
because] the mother has legal custody of the kid and we can’t send him home
with his father.

From a story relayed at a Rehabilitation Medicine
: A set of conjoined twins were born fused at the hip.  They were sickly, sharing a circulatory
system that was insufficient to serve both of their needs.  The doctors had to make an educated guess as
to how to dissect the two apart from one another – there was only one set of
male genitals, and three legs.  They
carefully studied the anatomy and decided to part the twins, giving the
healthier appearing one two legs and the genitalia, leaving the other with only
one leg and no genitals.  Several weeks
after the surgery the first twin (with the 2 legs) died.  The second twin is still alive, is in his 20’s,
and has been in and out of jail for drug trafficking.

Makes our own problems seem pretty trivial, doesn’t it?

This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

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