Sharing personal experiences of giving and receiving health care
One winter weekend, I was walking in a local park that has an ice-skating rink. I stopped to watch the skaters for a few minutes. I’m not a skater myself, but I appreciated the skaters’ wide range of ages and abilities.
Off to one side of the rink, I saw a young boy struggling to skate. He was hanging onto one of the walker frames that were provided, his face a mixture of determination, frustration and a hint of fear as he struggled to stay upright and move forward.
As I reflect on my year of clinical rotations as a medical student, my mind instantly conjures up some of the biggest moments I’ve experienced.
There have been euphoric highs, like delivering a beautiful baby girl to first-time parents on Mother’s Day. And heartbreaking lows, like having a panic attack in the bathroom after a patient with psychosis shared his delusions about race with me.
The first time I watched a baby being delivered, the world narrowed to the woman in front of me. And the head coming out of her. Followed by a little shoulder, then the other. Then there was a baby in the room. A brand-new human being, seconds old.
The doctor placed the baby on the mom’s chest, and the baby cried—a soft newborn cry, the kind before their lungs develop and it becomes shrill.
I stood in the corner, afraid that if I said or did anything, the magic in the room would disappear. I felt my eyes water, but I couldn’t talk.
Every month readers tell their stories — in 40 to 400 words — on a different healthcare theme.
Stories by those whose faces and perspectives are underrepresented in media and in the health professions.
Suzanne Smith was an elderly white woman who experienced a violent assault some odd years ago. Since then, she’d never been quite the same. Plagued by fears and sleepless nights, the concepts of medicine and psychotherapy were alien to her, and from my understanding in speaking to her children prior to her coming in, she wasn’t keen on speaking to medical professionals.
Editor’s Note: As New Voices’ first editor, I am thrilled to launch Pulse’s newest feature with this story by Livja Koka, depicting, among other things, the difficult choices that parents make in hopes of giving their children a better future. This story, we hope, is only the first of many accounts by writers whose voices and experiences have often gone unseen and unheard. If you have such a story to tell, we hope you’ll consider submitting it to New Voices. — Olapeju Simoyan
Every family has things they do not discuss. The emotions are too real,
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