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Doctor Blogger--Why My Absence

Posted Nov 22 2008 9:24am


There are some months that seem to bring challenge after challenge to a doctor's office.
Last month was one of those.  We began with one of the doctors getting sick on a Monday
with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.  We were certain that it was related to some food. 
It was awful, of course.  Everyone nursed him along to get through the week.  Everyone
was glad to get to the end of the week.

On Monday, the second doctor came to work and felt somewhat tired but OK to work.  On
the first appointment of the day, she began feeling hot, flushed, and faint.  In the middle of
the first patient visit, she had to sit down quickly to keep from actually fainting.  This scared
both the patient and the nurse.  After finishing the visit, the doctor went to the restroom to
find that overwhelming nausea and vomiting had pretty much neutralized her effectiveness.

One of the nurses had gone home early on Friday for an event with her daughter and noted
that she had spent most of the weekend sick with nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.  She was
convinced it was from food she had eaten on Thursday until now--didn't sound like anything
caused by food at this point.

Mid morning, an front office staff member announced she was feeling nauseous and faint.
She left at lunch for home.

A Second staff member announced she was not nauseated but was feeling bloated and
over full.  She made it through the day only to find herself nauseated, vomiting and having
diarrhea over night.

By the end of Tuesday, everyone in the office, doctors, office staff, nurses, had been affected by
"the bug".  Needless to say, it was a rough week for the office and our patients in addition.

We did our best, washed hands more diligently than even daily hand washing, and kept
ourselves hydrated as well as we could.

The week was nearly a total loss other than needed medical care.  Chart work piled up,
paperwork went un-done.  Patients got cared for and nearly everything else got put off.

From my heart to yours:  if this hits you, assume it is a "bug" before you assume it is
from food.  One is contagious, one is not.  Do everything you can to prevent transmission
including hand washing, alcohol surfaces, bleach appropriate areas, and eat healthy.

If anyone out there thinks that doctors don't get sick or that doctor's offices are somehow
immune to contagion, think again.  It took the office a couple of weeks to dig out of the
work that piled up during that pitiful week.

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