Do you live with chronic pain? Does pain seem to infiltrate every area of your life, to the point that it is affecting your quality of life? If so, you are not alone.
In this article, I will discuss some of the most important aspects of understanding chronic pain—its complex condition and how it works. In a subsequent post, I will present a “Chronic Pain Toolbox” that will equip you with essential self-management skills, so that you can be empowered to regain the quality of life you deserve.
Heed the echos of a heartache, anguished sear of reverie. Feel its scalp bleed down her face, scathing tears of memories. See the eyes that once freely smiled fading with defeat. As silent fields in which she lies drift away with night’s conceit.
You didn’t know this. But I spent days and nights next door to where you decided to end your life. Where the doctors gather, pondering over differentials… treatments…dissecting our every move to ensure that we are doing the right thing for you.
The right thing…
If I had known you, I would have fought for you. I know you weren’t my patient; I know we had never even met. I am just the person who found you. Who pronounced you. You were already cold, but still, I placed the stethoscope against your chest and listened.
I didn’t hear anything.
Did you hear me as
I wept for you?
you were suffering. I’m sorry you felt
as if you had
no way out.
I’m sorry I couldn’t do more.
This is a reflection over an event that happened during residency. An event I still think about at times. A lingering guilt.
I’ve been wanting to write this to you for a while. I go to work, and though I’ve never met you, I think about you. I talk to a patient, and while I’m standing there, there you are again, tugging at my heart. Maybe it’s because I know of your mom, and I know of her heartbreak. Maybe it’s because I know you will never be able to do what you were meant to do.
This is what I know about you. You were a medical student. You went to school in North Carolina. You cared for people. And you wanted to care for them at the greatest capacity possible. You wanted to help people during their times of sickness, strengthen them in their weakness. But your life was robbed from beneath you. So this will never happen. And the world has lost another great physician.
I hear you were a loving person, one who illuminated the day of all whom you came across. Of course you did. You were your mother’s shining star. But what no one knew, and what you didn’t reveal until your departure, was that you were also suffering. Deeply. But you were good at hiding it with your smile. And because it was a genuine smile, we were beguiled. Especially those closest to you.
When I think of you, my heart aches. Maybe it’s because I feel that I understand you better than I have a right to. Maybe it is because I once smiled a similar smile. I weep because of what you did, and because I think I understand why.
When I think of you, my soul is anguished. You were going to be a remarkable physician. You would have touched others with your empathy, changed lives with your care. They would have remembered you, not simply because you were the one who eased their suffering and comforted their souls, but because your spirit would have brightened their lives. No one had the right to take that away from you.
Founded in 2014 by Dr. Phoebe Chi, Health + Inspiration is a health information and literary arts website designed to inspire, empower, and inform through a curated mix of essential health information, uplifting stories, and original poetry.