Hubpages' First Interactive Short Story
Everybody's invited. Take part in Hubpages’ first interactive short story. You may be able to save a man, or at least, a poor story.
8 August 2007, Monday, Cloudy
It was a lousy day. Mr. Bradley’s CT scan showed multiple masses in his liver. These were reported as “likely metastases from a primary cancer.” I explained to him that we needed to run further tests but the outlook was gloomy. He kept asking me whether this could be a mistake. I tried a few different ways to tell him that a mistake was extremely unlikely. He kept asking me why not. I wished I had more time but really had to go. I tried to end the discussion and said, “CT scans of malignant masses are rather easy to read. Mistaking this is almost impossible. I’m sorry that I really have to leave now.” I found myself rising from the seat, escaping the look in his eyes and going for the door. I really hated myself and the unpleasantness of this bad news breaking. Mr. Bradley is a 38 years old accountant, married and has a young son. He doesn’t drink or smoke and runs three times a week. He takes time to look after his health. It doesn’t look like he has to do that for long.
10 August 2007, Wednesday, Cloudy
Mr Bradley’s colonoscopy, gastroscopy and Chest X rays were negative. So were his blood tests. This is weird. Most often, by now we would have found out where the primary cancer is and formulated a management plan. I had to offer him further tests. He was calm but somewhat depressed. He told me he had sold his stocks and his home. As the markets had been very volatile, he thought cash would be a better asset for his family. His son had just turned thirteen and he showed me a picture taken at his son’s birthday party. The young boy had his eyes and chin.
15 August 2007, Monday, Sunny
I didn’t know what to feel. It was easier than I thought to tell Mr. Bradley that we had made a mistake with the diagnosis of his liver masses. Even though the shadows were very suggestive of secondary cancers, biopsy showed fatty liver changes. Multi-focal fatty liver changes are very uncommon but not unheard of. Somewhat embarrassed, I reminded him that we had qualified our previous diagnosis with descriptions including “likely” and “mistaking is almost impossible.” Mr. Bradley was very glad that it was a mistake after all. He kept thanking me, shaking my hand and reassuring me that it was OK.
22 August 2007, Monday, Typhoon signal number 8 was hoisted
Candice, the patient relations officer, called and told me that there was an official complaint against the radiologist and me from Mr. Bradley. I found it sickening to have someone thanking me so zealously and filing a complaint against me days later. This afternoon, I had the chance to read the financial news and realize that the stock market has gone up by 15% over the past two weeks and is tipped to go up by another 15% before the end of the year. The same upward trend is also forecasted in the property market. I wonder whether this could have something to do with Mr. Bradley’s complaint. I promised to submit an incident report within 5 days.
29 October 2007, Saturday, Rainy
Candice called again. Mr. Bradley had written to the hospital again, this time to withdraw his complaint. This was a pleasant surprise, but not quite good enough to cheer me up. I knew exactly why he dropped his complaint. While I wasn’t looking, the local stock market had gone down by 25%, and the property market by 18% over the past 2 months and they’re still falling, so had my savings in the form of these assets. Mr. Bradley was misled to a selling decision which had in saved him a fortune. I wish someone could have misled me to sell my stocks in August.
15 January 2008, Sunday, Cloudy
I met Mrs. Bradley at the hospital today. She told me her husband was admitted two days ago for severe acute hepatitis. He had been in coma for two days. His doctors suggested that he would only have days to live unless a right liver donor came along in time. Mr. Bradley no longer appeared fortunate to me.
22 January 2008, Sunday, Sunny
I met Mrs. Bradley again at the hospital today. The fairy of luck had again smiled at Mr. Bradley, at someone else’s expense. A forty year old policeman was shot in the head during an arrest by his suspect yesterday. His liver, kidneys, heart, lungs and cornea were donated to a number of recipients. Mr. Bradley had his timely liver transplant yesterday. The operation went well. Nevertheless, he was still in coma. His doctor suggested he would wake up any time but he might not at all, as his liver function had been really bad just before he got his liver transplant. I comforted her and told her it was not uncommon for patients to take more time to wake up than usual after liver transplants. I didn’t tell her that it was not common either. Mrs. Bradley thanked me but wouldn’t stop crying.
I am all confused. Why should so much happen to one person within a span of couple of months. Will he make it?
23 January 2008, Monday, Cloudy
(Everybody’s invited. Please take part in Hubpages’ first interactive short story. You may be able to save a man, or at least, a poor story. Please leave me a comment and tell me what I should write from here on. I shall show you the ending of the story in 10 days or after 21 comments, whichever comes first.)
time's up and suggestions are now closed. The ending of the story can be found here: Hubpages' First Interactive Short Story Part 2