Editor’s Invitation: Fatigue

Dear Pulse readers,
Our More Voices theme this month is Fatigue.
Many are feeling fatigued these days. Fatigued by grief, by isolation and by worry brought on by COVID-19, a murderous guest that arrived in January and is still among us.
Fatigued every time an unarmed Black man is killed by police. “I’m weary,” a friend wrote to me shortly after George Floyd’s murder, “Simply weary. In every sense, spiritually, physically, emotionally‚Ķ”

Fatigued by half-truths and lies. Fatigued by the broadcast of angry voices intent on generating fear and hatred.
Fatigued by the thought of our planet’s future slipping away while our attention is diverted elsewhere.
When I think of fatigue I’m reminded of my intern year, staying up all night on call in the hospital, making rounds in the morning, then driving to our family health center for an afternoon patient session, still not having slept. I remember dozing off at a traffic light on the way home. When the light turned green, I was brought to life by the toot of a car horn behind me.
Fatigue makes me think of the women and men, mostly immigrants, who mop and dust our family health center each night. For them, this is a second or third job; they won’t go home to their families until ten o’clock.
I think of my my patient Winston, who gets up each morning at 3:00 so he can line up at 4:30 outside an office that opens at 6:00 and gives him a one-day job that begins at 8:00.
And I think of the residents I’ve taught–worn by the hours they put in, parched by time away from their loved ones and frayed by the struggle not to fall short.
What’s your experience of fatigue–as a patient? As a healthcare provider? As a parent?
Send a story of your lived experience to More Voices. Have a look at the August theme, Uncertainty, to see what others have shared.
For more details, visit More Voices FAQs–or go directly to the More Voices Submission Form. Remember, your story should be 40-400 words. And no poetry, please.
Sincerely,
Paul Gross
Editor

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