Common Word, Common Lord

Common Word, Common Lord


My Blessed Friday the 13th

In the Name of the Beautiful, Compassionate Beloved Lord our God

The day began just like all other days on that day in August many years ago. I was on the Pulmonary consult service in the hospital, and on the agenda was a bronchoscopy on a patient in the coronary care unit. “Cool,” I thought, because I absolutely love performing bronchoscopies.

Bronchoscopy, for those not in the medical field, is a procedure in which a flexible tube with a light and camera on the end is placed through the nose and into the lung. I can actually see the airways on a video monitor, and we can do various procedures, such as biopsies. I had to perform a biopsy of the patient’s lung tissues that morning.

I paid absolutely no attention that it was Friday 13th.

The “bronch,” as we pulmonologists like to call it, started out as smooth as all others I have done in the past. I talked to the patient beforehand; I gave the patient numbing medication in his nose and throat; I gave him sedating medicine so he could be more comfortable. Getting into the lung was not problematic, either. Everything was fine.

I did the biopsy, and as expected, there was some bleeding. Usually, this stops right away. In this patient, however, it did not. The blood kept coming, and coming, and coming, and coming. I tried to stop the bleeding, but I could not. I was prepared to stand there for as long as I needed to until the bleeding stopped, but the nurse told me the last thing I wanted to hear: “Doc, sats are 74.”

That means that the oxygen level is dangerously low. Another colleague was with me during the procedure, and he suggested I pull the scope out and place him on a high amount of oxygen. I agreed and did just that; the problem was the oxygen level still stayed low. Thus, I had to intubate the patient, which means place a breathing tube down his windpipe to help him breathe and stabilize the airway.

There was blood everywhere. I tried to suction out as much as I could, but the blood kept coming. Thank God, it slowed down to the point where I could see his vocal cords, and I placed the tube into his windpipe.

We confirmed the location of the tube and were breathing for him, but I could not relax. I had since called for help, and almost immediately, a barrage of people showed up. Suddenly, the patient lost his pulse and blood pressure. CPR was immediately instituted, and we administered emergency medicines in his IV. I suctioned out as much blood as I could from his airway. Thank God, his pulse and blood pressure returned. We rushed him back to the coronary care unit. His blood pressure was dangerously low, despite multiple medications that increase blood pressure.

Things did not look good, and I was a complete wreck. I could barely concentrate during my Friday prayer sermon, and I remember looking out the window and wondering if I will have a future in Medicine. For sure, this was an unexpected occurrence, and it occasionally happens. Still, no physician likes to have a complication occur, including me.

I went back to his room repeatedly to check on him. He was stable, but still very sick. The Senior Resident in the CCU – clearly annoyed that she now had to deal with this very sick patient -  asked me:  “Who did the procedure?”

“I did,” was my flat answer. She looked at me and said simply “Oh.”

I was working in the hospital the next morning, and his room was my first stop. I half expected the room to be empty…thinking that the patient had died. Unbeknownst to me, however,  the patient pulled out his breathing tube unexpectedly the night before , and – surprisingly – did just fine.

By the next morning, he was a little confused, but was alert and responsive. He seemed to recognize me, which made me feel great. I asked him how he was feeling, and he said, “Shi**y.” I nearly jumped for joy! He continued to improve, and he returned to his “baseline” state, the state he was in prior to the bronchoscopy.

Thank God!

It would be very tempting…and I must admit that it sort of crossed my mind…that this bad thing happened because it was a Friday the 13th. But, I neither believed that then nor do I believe that now. My patient suffered a complication, and it just happened to be Friday the 13th. In fact, he got better on his own…on Friday the 13th.

I will never forget that fateful Friday the 13th, and despite the terrible events of that morning, it actually turned out to be a blessed day, even if a black cat had crossed my path as I crashed into a mirror and broke it on my way to the procedure.

Happy Friday!



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment azlan

    Good piece… I don’t believe in connecting Friday 13th with bad omens either.

Previous Posts

Nothing "Islamic" About ISIS, Part Two: What the "Jizya" Really Means
In the Name of God: The Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord Last time, we began the conversation about how ISIS and its actions are hardly "Islamic." Now, we will delve, a little, into the issue of this "tax" that the barbarians of ISIS demanded be paid by Iraqi Christians, called

posted 11:00:06pm Aug. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Think Muslims Haven't Condemned ISIS? Think Again
In the Name of God: the Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Lord A very common, oft-repeated mantra among pundits and "experts" is that Muslims haven't roundly condemned the extremism committed in Islam's name. So many times, we hear people saying, "Where are the Muslim voices in condemnation?"

posted 1:33:45pm Aug. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Nothing "Islamic" About ISIS: How Those Barbarians Defame Islam
In the Name of God: The Infinitely Compassionate and Merciful Lord That I condemn ISIS with every cell of my body goes without saying. Their barbarism knows no bounds, and I pray that the Lord brings to an end their reign of terror and inhumanity. The murder of American photojournalist James Fole

posted 3:20:55pm Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

A Prayer For Peace In The Holy Land
In The Name Of God: The Infinitely Merciful And Compassionate Beloved Lord It has been heartbreaking to see conflict emerge - yet again - in the Holy Land over the last several weeks. Children being murdered: shot to death and burned alive. Rockets being fired at civilians, and bombs being droppe

posted 10:46:52pm Jul. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Ramadan And The World Cup: There Ought To Be No Controversy At All
In the Name of God: the Infinitely Merciful and Compassionate Beloved Lord Although the number of Muslim football players participating in this year's FIFA World Cup has dwindled considerably, there are still a number of players who are slated to play this weekend in the Quarterfinal matches. A n

posted 10:52:04am Jul. 03, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.