Anne Sagalyn, MD
Corresponding Author: Anne Sagalyn, MD; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sagalyn A.; A Little Hyponatremic. Ann Intern Med. 2011;155:473-474. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-155-7-201110040-00011
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2011;155(7):473-474.
My mother died when I was 12. I didn't see much of her that last summer; I was away at camp for the first time and came home to the news that she was scheduled for gallbladder surgery. Hospital policy in 1963 was that children under 12 were not allowed to visit. My mother left for the hospital, my father carrying her bag as she kissed my brother, sister, and me, and promised to be home soon. I never saw her again.
The surgery went well, but the following day she was nauseated, with a headache. She was given promethazine, and by the end of the day, she was dead. Information was sparse. She was ok, then a sudden deterioration, surrounded by specialists powerless in the face of the nameless havoc that took her life. I was eventually told that she had an allergic reaction to promethazine, her brain was gravely injured, and she died. That was it. There was no one to ask questions. My father—an erudite man who carried a poetry book across the Pacific, the captain of a tanker during World War II—sat alone in the dark, silent, night after night, for months.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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