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More Voices

Every month readers share their true first-person stories--in 40 to 400 words--on a different healthcare theme.

“We lock the door and shut the curtains, and, when its all clear, we line up in a special order and listen to what our teachers tell us.” –My kindergarten daughter, Zelia

They say work to live not live to work but how do you come home crushed by a forty-eight-hour shift on sixty minutes of broken sleep and kiss your babies and tell them it’s all going to be okay when their school is on lockdown due to a nearby shooting and the suspected gunman is still on the loose as you tend to a patient with suspicious wounds while the world keeps debating nuclear stories around you, and you think this small town ain’t so bad: the knife and gun club has low enrollment compared to the gang-ridden inner city you grew up in where shots fired were barely flinched at (because they weren’t en masse), and hella felons ran through your property with cops and helicopters giving chase.

But hey, every job has a burnout factor--yours is prolly a bit higher--yet you put on that fierce smile and remember to tell your kids there’s more heroes than villains somewhere out there.

Joe Amaral
Arroyo Grande, California