Category: TMSC

0

Leave It There

[I originally wrote this as a medical student working in the ICU. It’s one of my most haunting memories and comes to mind every time I work in the intensive care unit.] “I thought I could beat the ICU, you know?” My resident looked into the distance abstractly as he…

1

Hands and Feet

[This was originally written years ago for a Christian campus publication, Revisions. It is one of my favorite reflections and will appear on the ESN blog tomorrow.] The patient came in for a refill of pain medications even though it was his first visit to the family medicine practice. The front…

1

Roasting Pan

In the middle of Target is not the sort of place I would expect to receive bad news. The extra twenty dollars I saved by finding my coveted piece of cookware there instead of at Macy’s thirty minutes ago seemed somewhat trite by comparison, and I did what I could…

1

Rituals of Annotation

I am not exactly sure of what prompted me to do it, but I began keeping a tally of all the pronouncements I have done. I never really knew this before, but pronouncements are done in a remarkably simple and impersonal way. Most patients who die in the hospital do not go…

0

In Memoriam

There are many reasons why I love medicine. One of them is the ability to dig into the real “stuff” of human existence: life, death, suffering, love, pain, loss, redemption. Another is the speed by which I can get down and dirty. In less than fifteen minutes, I can go from being a complete…

0

Healing By Intention

To heal by tertiary intention is to leave the wound open on purpose; you see it most often in the gritty sort of traumas that leave large chunks of dirt and debris behind, embedded in the still‐injured tissue. People often wonder why this is done, as it is natural within our…

1

Leave It There

“I thought I could beat the ICU, you know?” My resident looked into the distance abstractly as he spoke, talking more to himself than to me. “Sometimes you think you won’t let it get you down, but you can’t. It always wins.” I wondered what he meant by winning. Did he mean getting to…

3

Preparing to Die

She was like so many other patients I had seen: thin, pale, elderly, and short of breath. The oxygen mask and its large ballooning bag seemed unnatural and almost comically oversized on her face, obscuring everything but her eyes and the dusky, blood‐matted hair plastered to her forehead. She squeezed the bag,…