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Jul 28, 2009


I haven’t written too much about how this month has gone, you may have noticed. You may have wondered if I’d fallen off the earth, or if I was so busy that I merely collapsed into REM sleep upon walking in the door (not far off, really). You may also have wondered if I would give up writing this website due to time constraints and priorities. All valid questions that deserve answers.

No. Yes. No. Respectively.

I admit to having difficulty writing about “work” both because there is so much to say as well as, strangely, so little. If I could, I would share every tiny detail about my patients, about my peers, about the crazy bizarre interns, about the hospital, about the cafeteria salad bar. But then again, while these details are so meaningful to me because of their bright and shiny newness, they are, in reality, mostly mundane and proof that I am a nerdy, overly enthusiastic kid in a candy store. And that isn’t exactly the most flattering picture of myself. Seriously, you should see the way I fetch coffee. You would tear up at the excitement. I’m helping the team! You can see it in my eyes.

But the patients’ stories, those are so very worth telling. They are poignant and beautiful and heartbreaking and heroic. Some are complicated by a social picture so convoluted that we don’t know who to talk to, while others are surrounded by entire communities of support. The patients are absolutely incredible in their patience and their strength. I want to tell you everything.

But, of course, I can’t.

Patrick and I have a good friend in the Air Force (I probably can’t release his name) who is pretty high up, high enough anyway to have access to secrets and classified information and the like. He occasionally calls out of the blue to say cryptic things like, “Are you taking any trips any time soon? Probably best to avoid the East Tunnel.” He goes on assignments all over the world, but can’t tell us where he’s going or when he’ll be back. We tease him that he loves this access, this secrecy, this honor of trust. He has always said that it’s actually pretty isolating and he would be happy to be rid of the burden.

For the first time, I can understand that perspective.

I am still working on how to tell some of these stories without compromising these brave, wonderful people, but one thing that I can tell you is how my I love being back in this game. I didn’t realize how much I had missed it, not to mention how much I’d been looking forward to actually working on the wards and being involved in patient care, until the last two weeks. Though they have been busy and sad and stressful, I may never have been happier. (Would you listen to me? Who says that kind of stuff? Apparently I do.)

Every day I think how lucky I am to be here, to be where I am, to have these opportunities, to have the trust of the patients that I see and help care for. Words cannot describe how much I love this work, regardless of all the junk that comes with working hard and with other driven, tired, overworked people. I love it. And, possibly for the first time in my entire life, I feel that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

5 Readers rock!:

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Katie said...

I'm so happy for you! I also think it's awesome that you say everything that I want to say, only you say it cooler and awesomer than I do. :)

XE said...

Yay Katie! I'm so happy for you, that you're feeling so good about where you are.

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