The Excellent Dr. McMillan

What a nice surprise to see Dr. Horace McMillan on the cover of the Independent.

While in the emergency room of St Francis Hospital decades ago, I received care from Dr. McMillan. I never forgot his kind presence, his voice, and his skill as a doctor.

I was delirious from severe dehydration shock, and groaning, to the dismay of a nurse who kept popping in my curtained area to tell me that I was disturbing the other patients and that I needed to stop moaning. After eight consecutive hours of nauseous retching for no apparent reason, my outgoing breath was speaking its own language.

Enter Dr. McMillan who was on call for my family physician. I remember his calm, deep voice as he introduced himself while checking my feet and asking the attending nurse why she didn’t recognize the classic signs of dehydration shock that I was displaying.

It was within minutes of his arrival that my agony subsided with the help of IV fluids and pain killer.

“What’s wrong with me?” I mumbled.

Dr. McMillan’s immediate response: “Pain.” Pain could have initiated my nausea. That seemed incomprehensible to me, but his spontaneous, pre-test diagnosis was correct; it was a tumor.

It was a long time ago, but I remain grateful always to Dr. McMillan.


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