A medical student. A simple question.
“How am I supposed to go on caring?”
At the time, suggestions abound.
Work-life balance. Self-care. Hobbies.
Remembering our initial calling.
Remembering we still make a difference.
Remembering our love for medicine
and the privilege we have as caregivers.
But then the realization-
I don’t know the answer.
I only know that I have witnessed around me-
at every stage of training and practice-
evidence of emotional exhaustion.
So this is my plea…
Continue reading “A Physician’s Plea”
Tendered is this touch that
saves and soothes, comforts and mends–
strength sustained by the pulse of
a heart constrained by its own calling,
the candle within softened by flame,
its waxen tributary a remembrance to
the joys and sorrows, gains and losses
…moments treasured in the care for mankind.
A few lines from Healer…in recognition of the efforts of all the nurses, techs, and everyday caregivers out there.
Thank you for being you.
Many of you may recall having read these lines from past Thanksgivings; it is a retelling of a visit I had with one of my patients during this time of year—a woman whose life and struggles were unlike mine in many ways, but who nevertheless taught me many things about courage and integrity.
I hope you enjoy these words, and have a blessed Thanksgiving week.
• • •
Allow me to spin upon the spindle
a tale of an encounter true.
A patient once, a homeless mum,
her words now shared with you:
The hour of autumn arrives anew
when mirth and feasts abound.
But let me confess my days to you,
true gifts which have been found…
The steady cadence of my heart,
voice to praise when souls fall dark,
vision to behold each fresh day’s start-
For this, I am thankful.
The assured exhale of every breath,
joys gone by, its memories kept,
cloth to shield from winter’s death-
For this, I am thankful
Days when I can veil my cries,
days I look you in the eyes,
to know on night lies brighter skies-
For this, I am thankful.
So for this…I am thankful.
Continue reading “A Bitter Thanksgiving”
Asphyxiated by the device
meant to grant you life
you pleaded to be released.
through your veins
fighting to give you strength-
they only imprisoned you.
aware of the
commotion about you.
through it all
your eyes were
locked onto mine.
“Help me let go” was your plea.
You grabbed my hand
shook your head
as if you knew this act
had been playing
As if someone had
interrupted your journey
toward the place
you were meant to go.
So we released you.
Withdrew your tube
diminished your drips.
Severed the chains that bound you.
We comforted you.
toward your children.
Through a surge of strength
you assured them
it would be okay-
that through your going on
they would go on.
Then you turned back to me.
of your last moments
you entrusted them to me.
You held my hand
held my gaze.
“Thank you,” was what you said.
And then you took your last breath.
And let us go.
• • •
This patient has been in my heart lately. This post is a re-sharing of an account of our last encounter. A gentle reminder to treasure each moment given.
• • •
The Background Story
Continue reading “To Let Go.”
Dedicated to all whose compassion serves as a light in this world…
like a vessel of alabaster
rent for its salve
she is an ointment
upon bleeding souls
and wounded flesh
a river of compassion
forged with an oath
fueled by a vision
those hands of clay
guided by light
with a wisdom
paid with a price.
is this touch that
saves and soothes
comforts and mends
by the pulse of
a heart constrained
by its own calling
the candle within
softened by flame
its waxen tributary
a remembrance to
the joys and sorrows
gains and losses
in the care for mankind.
Continue reading “Healer.”