In accordance with my faith, I lit a memorial candle for my beloved father this morning; it is four years today since he died in my arms. The candle will burn for more than twenty-four hours. Not only does it remind me of the grief I still feel, but it also represents the light that was my dad–and his fervent wish that I would persevere by embracing the opportunities that life offers.
The little voice tells me that I am fraudulent. All the other doctors know more. They understand renal tubular acidosis. Even the residents (trainees) knew about ADAMTS13 antibody in TTP (Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, a blood disorder). Now, an article later, that fragment is addressed, but an ocean of ignorance beckons. How dare I do consultations in the ICU when I have never intubated anybody?
Upon entering an exam room, a doctor surely hopes to be greeted with a warm “How are you today?” and an exchange of pleasantries before getting into the purpose of the visit. But what if a diagnosis has been made and major surgery has been advised? In such cases, honest patient responses are of course an option, and doctors have, again surely, heard them all. But I’ve never met my surgeon, so I feel uncomfortable being emotionally forthcoming from the outset. My anxiety, my fears for the future, my lack of control over my circumstances might overwhelm the
I sat in the exam room with Bill, who was here for HIV treatment. Staying on medication was important. It would make HIV undetectable in his blood, reverse his immune system damage and prevent the development of resistance to medications.
“In the past month, how many doses have you missed?”
He met my gaze. “None. I take them every day.”
Bill’s labs said otherwise. His virus level remained high. His pharmacy said he hadn’t picked up his medication in two months.
As for my undergraduate premed work, I viewed it as an experiment. If I didn’t make it to medical school, I still had my former career, even if I had decided it was one that would not fulfill me. My wonderful grandfather told me, “If you can’t see
When my niece was three years old, I told her to go hide. She turned around and laughed, certain that if she couldn’t see me then, she too, must be concealed.
A flashback to medical school: 6:00 a.m. surgery rounds. Pimping or, in proper terms, the Socratic method. My kryptonite.