Sunday, September 26, 2021

Doctors are tired and frustrated

| September 15, 2021 1:00 AM

This letter is for my coworkers and the vulnerable people in our community. The words come from my experience with real Covid infected patients. Through 40 years of serving in the medical field, I have never felt so sad.

Today I watched a video posted by an angry man whose wife with advanced cancer was prematurely discharged from a hospital that was overwhelmed because of Covid patients. It was sent to me by a friend who is terrified that her vulnerable spouse will get the disease.

The man’s message was simple. “If you don’t believe what the medical community is saying about Covid; why are you coming to the hospital?”

He echoes the sentiment of a recent writer to the Daily Inter Lake who advised the unvaccinated to stick by their convictions, stay home and risk death.

Of course, those of us who care for unvaccinated Covid patients wonder why people who don’t believe in a well-proven and now FDA-sanctioned vaccine would come to us for treatment. The drugs we use (Remdesivir, Tocilizumab and Baricitinib) are experimental. The evidence to support their treatment benefit is significantly less impressive than the worldwide data on the vaccines’ power in preventing serious illness and death.

The answer is simple. Human beings can not tolerate being unable to breath. Life is a more primal force than freedom. When someone is suffocating they panic and will do anything to survive. So when Covid patients show up in the ER they stop arguing and let us do our jobs. Even though the irrationality of the situation frustrates us; we try to save their lives.

It would help for our community to hear from those who have survived a long lonely and terrifying hospitalization from Covid. If the experience improved your faith in us; please speak out.

We are not hysterical. We are responsible citizens who are tired and frustrated.

Dr. Lisa Fleischer is a physician at Logan Health. She lives in Kalispell.