I got a text right in the middle of church yesterday from one of my partners.
It seems that a fairly unhealthy patient that I had admitted last week and cared for for a few days had been discharged home and then a day or two later had actually committed suicide and died. I tried to remember him; I care for so many patients each week it's hard to remember everyone. But I do remember him - a nice enough guy with a bad heart who came to our ER straight from being discharged from another hospital about an hour away. I suspect that I asked him about being depressed lately. It's a question that is nearly always part of the quick review of systems that I do when I'm admitting patients. What did he say, I wonder? Did I start any medicines for depression? I don't remember that. Maybe next week when i'm working again I can look up what I wrote in my admission note. Suicide is such a tragedy. I remember this man's daughter who was with him in the hospital. She seemed great - very happy to help care for him and appropriately concerned. I am sad for her today, for the shock she must be experiencing. Did I do enough to prevent this? Could I have done more?
The sermon today was excellent - a message from Romans 3. A hopeful message to hear in light of this sad news. I do not know this man's heart. But I do know that God has made it possible for us all to have his righteousness through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Thank you, Lord.