Iatrogenic Jane

Jane is still feeling very poorly. This morning I took Jane to the health centre to have her stitches removed by the practice nurse, who took one look at Jane and called in the duty doctor who whisked her off to her surgery.

It was confirmed that Jane has picked up an infection and has been prescribed a course of wide-spectrum antibiotics. “That sort of thing happens, with surgery,” said the doctor. See iatrogenic for details. But if you can’t be bothered to, that’s illness caused by a physician.

Iatros is a Greek word meaning ‘physician’, and -genic means ‘induced by’; combined they become iatrogenic, meaning ‘physician-induced’.

Let’s just review the last few days: Jane went into hospital on Monday morning a healthy specimen of loveliness. On Monday afternoon she underwent explorative (keyhole) surgery. By Monday evening she was feeling particularly unwell, a direct result of the trauma caused to her body by the surgery, the drugs, and now it appears an infection that she picked up along the way. Iatrogenic indeed!

Jane is currently asleep on the sofa, having had a very rough morning indeed. She still hasn’t had anything proper to eat since Sunday.

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 46 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Latterly, web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall. Currently on sabbatical. I am a priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, and I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir.

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