Poured out upon humanity…
Multivitamins. Have you ever wondered if taking one makes a difference? Whether you even need one? And if you take several supplements, how much is too much? In this post I will answer these important questions as well as provide you some tips on finding the perfect supplement for your needs…
Have you been wondering about anything?
Perhaps you have read something health-related on the internet but are not sure of its accuracy and would like the opinion of an impartial doctor…
Perhaps you just have a general question about how to improve your health…
I have noticed that many people have unanswered questions when it comes to health-related issues. Therefore, if you think I can help, I encourage you to ask them (of course this is not to replace your personal doctor’s advice, but just to offer you another source of information)…
I cared for you even before we met.
As letters meandering the page
sketched the contours of a portrait,
I looked forward to meeting you.
As I enter the room,
I sense a fragrance of time past,
of struggles endured years before–
silent whispers of a mind’s unrest
reflected through misted eyes.
As we talk,
of a soul’s facade you steadily disrobe.
Words of suffering and pain, joy and pride-
each syllable a silvered twine
weaving your life’s story.
I examine you.
that fulcrum deeply hinged.
A bittersweet thrum
of a battery strong but worn.
that which sing
their own melodious song,
a lulling carol
invigorated with each exhale.
From there a journey it becomes
to strengthen you, to make you whole.
A disease conquered, a valley bridged.
A hollow filled, a life restored.
We work together.
As ripples in a wake,
your life affects mine,
for the same heart that aches
when you suffer
rejoices with you
in your victories.
Because this is what I treasure–
the chance to care for you,
to walk with you.
It is a privilege.
So thank you for letting me.
Have you ever left a doctor’s office somewhat disappointed with your visit? Maybe you just spoke to a physician, but instead of having all your concerns addressed, you find yourself with even more questions? Do you ever wonder what doctors secretly wished patients would do that would make caring for you a smoother process?
My purpose in writing this post is to do two things: to provide practical tips that you can use today that will 1) help prepare you for encounters you might have with the health care system in the future…whether it’s a routine doctor’s visit or an unexpected trip to the ER, and 2) help you make the most out of your interactions with your physicians…
A hope for the future…
The search for strength…
A bustling hospital. An unexpected arrival. A frigid Christmas eve.
I was saying goodbye to another patient when fate collided us.
“I’m sorry father,” I heard his son say, “you can no longer live with us, but here is a nice doctor who will find you a home. Merry Christmas, dad.”
Pretending not to notice his son’s exasperation as he pleaded for him to stay, I choked down the anguish from my own awareness of what was being witnessed and proceeded to examine him.
Bound to the prison of his seat—scared, bewildered, frail—he looked so lost. He asked why, what he did wrong, where his son had gone, not fully comprehending the chaos surrounding. A deep sigh escaped pursed lips as I searched within for an answer that failed to come. Taking his hands, contorted by disease, I gazed into eyes dulled by years gone by—their hope fading beneath a glimmer of fear of an iniquitous present and that of an unpromised future–and I made him a promise I wondered if I myself could keep.
“It’s going to be okay…you’ll see.”
But hours pass, and it was not okay—he couldn’t sleep, he wouldn’t eat, and the only sound I heard as I passed the door of his half-vacant room was the resonance of muffled tears.
Behind a mask, I also let myself weep.
* * *
Soon the day ended. I entered his room, prepared to make my final rounds. But instead of a bid goodbye, what came out was an exclamation of the first words that came to my mind.
“Sir, I think we should have a party!”
And that was what we did.
A 90-year-old veteran. A 30-year-old internist. A 20-year-old nurse.
Gathered around his bed, over reconstituted hot cocoa, he shared with us his history, his joys, his life’s adventures. Over paper cups of chicken broth, I told him my story. As the muted treble of holiday cheer dripped through the bedside radio, together we heralded in, with bittersweetness, the arrival of Christmas Day.
He then took my hand.
As I started to apologize for the late hour, he stopped me. Eyes still glimmering, I heard him laugh, and I believed I finally caught a glimpse of what was the real him.
“Thank you for a blessed Christmas,” he said.
A blessed one, indeed.
• Monteagudo, Bolivia •
This is where tuberculosis patients, including little Luis’ father, were kept, quarantined away from other patients. It is quite different from the standard isolation facilities seen at most hospitals today, but this is all they had, and they made the most of it.
Outside is where little Luis played while visiting the hospital.
And Puppydoc did end up getting latent TB after caring for the patients, but she took medicine and is now all better.
“…You are a doctor to many,
but an angel you have been to me
who encouraged, cared, and healed my pain,
and a light you made me see.
I am sad that you are no longer my doc
but am glad that you are my friend.
And I hope we can keep in touch
until the very end…”
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.
• Cochabamba, Bolivia •
Because sometimes, there are simply not enough words that can be said that will convey the same amount of endearment as…a staring contest.