In 2 or 3 Days

This man stumbled into the ER with a cane,
He complained of nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain.
He denies diarrhea, no fevers or chills,
No p.o. intake, not even his pills.

On exam he was alert and oriented in mild distress,
All I found was right upper quadrant pain I must confess.
We ordered a CT scan and an ultrasound,
A thickened gallbladder was what we found.

Sir we must go to the OR to take it out.
Oh no, not surgery he let out a shout.
It’s a common procedure, short is your stay,
In 2 or 3 days you’ll be on your way.

The surgery was performed without a complication,
Unfortunately he could not be weaned from the intubation.
The patient went into respiratory failure,
He became unresponsive and grew much paler.

Day after day, his face full of sadness,
He remained on the ventilator without any progress.
He did not respond to our poking and prodding,
No alking or moving or even nodding.

How could this be I asked myself,
A few days ago he was in almost good health.
He’s no longer the man we used to know,
I was hoping that he would wake up and go.

We must make him better, but what can we do,
Even with all the gadgets we can’t make him new.
I felt so much sadness for this man,
To whom we promised we’d do all that we can.

Tiffany Hor, Chicago, Class of 2003