"We Can't Kill Your Mother!": And Other Stories of Intensive Care

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AuthorHouse, Sep 30, 2011 - Health & Fitness - 308 pages
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In the early 1980s I wrote a story about an extremely ill patient cared for in our medical intensive care unit (MICU) at Mt. Sinai Hospital, Cleveland. Called A Case For Intensive Care, the story was for a general audience and appeared in a local college literary magazine. Until then all my published writing had been for doctors only, and I wanted to explain a complicated medical case in a way that anyone could understand. In the ensuing years I wrote many other patient-centered stories, each intended for a general audience. They are now collected in We Cant Kill Your Mother! and Other Stories of Intensive Care. This book is for the general reader - In fact the only requirement is an interest in humanity. Illness and medicine are universal and everyone has some familiarity with hospitals, if only from the position of consumer. Most people have, at some point, either been hospitalized or visited a family member in the hospital. These stories take you inside the medical intensive care unit, a major part of every acute care hospital. Thats the setting, but the subject is people and their serious (and sometimes strange) afflictions. The first chapter gives an overview of intensive care rounds and how the MICU operates. Succeeding chapters are devoted to one or two patients and the challenges they present. Like Harold Switek, too ill to leave MICU, too psychotic to stay. And Willie the Yellow Man, whose love affair with alcohol exceeded anything youve ever seen. Youll meet a young socialite hospitalized with rapid onset of total paralysis and wonder as we did will she ever hug her kids again? And another woman about to have her baby during a terrifying asthma attack. I am not the first, and will certainly not be the last, medical professional to write about his or her patients. In a literary sense doctors and nurses are privileged; what we see in our daily jobs is more than enough to fill many interesting books. Lawrence Martin, M.D. Cleveland, Ohio
 

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Contents

1 ROUNDS
1
2 OVERDOSE
14
3 Call NASA
27
4 A Strange Pneumonia
37
5 Asthma in the Last Trimester
43
6 We cant kill your mother
54
7 The Yellow Man
62
8 Adult Respiratory Distress
68
14 Cocaine Wins
137
15 Crisis and Lysis
145
16 Extraordinary Care
157
17 Thyroid Storm
169
18 As High as a Giraffes
180
19 The Red Baron
190
20 Mommy why dont you hug me?
212
21 The Wild Man
237

9 Too Much Sugar Too Little History
84
10 Crusade
95
11 Just give me a cigarette
103
12 Pickwickian
112
13 Coma
129
22 Lou Gehrig Strikes Again
255
23 Shock Him
270
GLOSSARY
287
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
295
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Dr. Martin is board certified pulmonary physician practicing in Cleveland, Ohio, and on the faculty of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. For twenty-five years he was chief of the Pulmonary Division at Mt. Sinai Hospital of Cleveland, a once prominent teaching hospital that closed its doors in 2000. Dr. Martin’s other profession is writing – for both doctors and the lay public. His first published book was for a general audience, Breathe Easy: A Guide to Lung and Respiratory Diseases for Patients and Their Families (Prentice Hall, 1984). His next two books were for doctors, in the area of respiratory physiology. While writing these and other books he also published a series of human-interest articles, each about an intensive care patient cared for in Mt. Sinai. These stories, most of them previously published in magazines, are now collected in We Can’t Kill Your Mother! and Other Stories of Intensive Care. Dr. Martin lives in a Cleveland suburb with his wife, Dr. Ruth S. Martin, a practicing psychiatrist. They have three girls, one a physician in training, one studying to be a lawyer, and one in college. His hobbies include scuba diving Scuba Diving Explained, Best Publishing Co., 1997), and golf. Having started golf in middle-age and suffered its usual humilities, he offers the following advice to anyone wishing to excel in the game: start as a kid and play often.

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