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.
In my previous articles, I discussed both the importance of knowing your Diabetes ABC’s as well as how to easily make diabetes-friendly diet changes. In this article, I will focus on another essential diabetes skill: how to control your blood sugar levels and keep them in a healthy range. By knowing what to watch for and knowing how to react, you can be empowered to truly take control of this condition.
Continue reading “How to Control Blood Sugar Levels: A Diabetes Guide”
Perhaps you’ve been told you have “high blood pressure.” Or maybe you checked it yourself one day and noticed that it was 146/90. What now? Today I will discuss some ways in which you can improve your own blood pressure without taking medications. But before I do, let’s first answer an important question: What is hypertension and what’s the big deal?
Continue reading “How to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally: 10 Ways that Work”
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.
Continue reading “A Caregiver’s Heart.”
You already knew.
you told us to say the words.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
A. L. S.
Despite sparse questions,
your eyes revealed
an understanding far deeper
than our answers-
that with one moment,
robbed were you
of the years ahead,
of memories awaiting,
of stories belonging to you.
your conviction remains
each passing sunrise.
Each caress, each step.
For you know.
As your legs cease to support,
arms stop to comply,
you still feel
your child’s touch.
Absorbing her love.
you don’t care the roles
have been reversed
as you yearn
to return her embrace.
As its hunger ascends,
the remaining days.
Every word, every smile.
For you know.
consumes your voice,
drains your visage,
until all that is left is
of a vacant mask.
Unable to reflect
your thought’s grin,
your heart’s laugh,
your soul tears
as you blink away the moisture.
As your breaths
increasingly betray you,
you are not defeated,
for the flames
of your bruised spirit
are not quenched,
and you give thanks
for the time you had,
even as your body dims
and you fade away.
Continue reading “The Waning (ALS)”
I had lunch with a homeless man.
But not just any man. An elderly man, a former high school teacher…and a former patient of mine from a charity clinic where I used to work.
It happened as I was driving through downtown, stopped at a light beneath an overpass. Suddenly, I heard a familiar voice.
Since we were both hungry, we did the natural thing: we went for lunch at a nearby cafe. Despite intrigued glances from others, we had a lovely lunch. Looking back, it may have been one of the most enjoyable lunches I’ve ever had.
A few days later, I was contacted by the clinic who informed me that I had received a letter from a patient. And here I will share it with you—in a form put into verse by me but which maintains its original wording:
Dear doc, you have been so kind to me.
Why, you even took me to lunch.
I wish I could give you something in return,
but I know I don’t have much.
So I write these simple words to you
in hope that on those days
that they’ll make you smile and give you strength
and peace in many ways.
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.
So why did I share this? Because I was “challenged” by Liz to give a gift to someone. But now I realize—I don’t think I succeeded in giving anything to anyone.
Rather, the gift was given to me.