It was 2010, and Haiti had just experienced a devastating earthquake that had affected hundreds of thousands of people. I was on a mission to Milot, in northern Haiti. It was my first medical mission. I was a bright-eyed, eager second-year
After my second year as a premed student, I felt the need for something more hands-on than my studies. I longed for confirmation
I have a knee injury that necessitates frequent visits to my orthopedic surgeon, and the physical therapy department, which is called “Rehabili,” of the same hospital.
A few weeks ago, as I sat in the waiting area in front of my doctor’s door, waiting for my name to be called, a tall man in a ukata (a cotton kimono-style garment)
The unscreened windows were wide open, letting in both the breeze and buzzing flies. A chicken roamed about freely, unaware that it was in a surgical area. Off to the side sat a drying rack half-filled with “sterile” gloves, standing at attention like soldiers ready for inspection. In the center of the room lay a woman on the operating table, her feet in stirrups and her dress hiked up to her waist. She had delivered a
The OR report said she’d received two units of blood and was still intubated. Given my forty years of ICU nursing, it sounded routine.
I think of my abuela (my grandmother) and of my parents–immigrants to a foreign land. They left behind the familiar to come to America. Childhood memories swirl in my mind, of my brothers and me eating empanadas in the evening, of my mother speaking her native tongue. Whenever I crossed the threshold to my school, or back to my house,