Bioidentical Hormones 101 
The Book, by Jeffrey Dach MD

Chapter 51. Finding God in Mr. Foley's I.V.

Chapter 51.  Finding God in Mr. Foley's I.V.

Finding God in Mr Foly's IV by Jeffrey Dach MD

As I walked through the snow covered parking lot into the hospital building, the place was strangely vacant.  The hospital was a lonely place during the break between Christmas and New Year's.  The house staff had vanished for the holiday, and as the medical student on call, I was left behind to care for the sick and dying on the sixth floor medical ward at the University of Illinois Hospital.

My patient for the week, Mr. Foley, was dying.  His failing liver would last for a few more days at the most.    What had caused his failing liver? I don’t recall and it doesn’t matter.   Perhaps it was alcohol toxicity, perhaps something else.  I entered the room with a fresh bag of saline for his IV line and found him sitting up in bed.  His jaundiced eyes gazed out the window past the parking lot to the ice covered tree branches.

His yellow, green skin was thin and fragile from chronic wasting. At the bedside, his tray of hospital food was untouched.  The room had been cleaned by the hospital staff, yet still emanated a distinctive aroma of ammonia, bile, and fecal residue.  The whole ward smelled like that. Foley knew he was dying.  And I knew that he knew, yet he seemed in good spirits.  As I examined his two arms for a suitable vein to restart his failed I.V. line, Foley struck up a conversation. 

Doc, he said, do you believe in God?

I confessed to Mr. Foley that I had my doubts about it.  After four years of studying science in college and a year of medical school, I had drifted into agnosticism.  Science could not demonstrate the existence of God, and since I could not see, touch or feel God in this material world of science, how could I be sure of God’s existence?

No, Doc, you are wrong”, said Mr. Foley.  “There is a God, I know it.”

I looked into his sad, yellow eyes and asked back, “How do you know”? 

Mr. Foley’s emaciated face revealed a sincerity and wisdom that I had rarely seen.  He said. “It is obvious. I just know that’s all. 

The IV needle found its vein easily, and the light glistened from the droplets of saline as they dripped into the chamber under the bag, and then into Mr. Foley.  My task completed, I returned to the nursing station for my next assignment.

That small conversation about God with Mr. Foley marked the beginning of a drastic change in how I looked at the world.  I learned a very important thing from Mr. Foley.  He did not merely believe that God existed, he knew it.  That was 35 years ago, and I still remember as if it was yesterday.  Mr. Foley died ten days later of liver failure.

Above Left Image : Intravenous (IV) bag courtesy of Wikimedia commons

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Saying Thank You for a Trillion Cells

Finding God in Mr Foley's IV

Author: Jeffrey Dach MD

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