Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Humility, respect, and appreciation. These are basic values that we student doctors are taught throughout the four years of medical school, and hopefully will carry beyond those four years. Humility, respect, and appreciation. Values we apply in all the things we do during our ward work, our emergency room duty hours, and everything else that happens within the hospital. Humility, respect, and appreciation. Values that help us survive the toxic environment with our dignity intact. Humility, respect, and appreciation. These are gentle reminders that we and many others can fall prey to the illusion of knowledge.
Monday, July 5, 2010
I used to think true love existed only in movies and books, but it took seeing it in the hospital for me to realize it does exist, albeit not as glamorous or as dramatic. There are wives who work themselves to the bone during office hours, spend some time taking care of their families at home, then go to the hospital to take care of their husbands; they endure the heat, the smell, the cramped conditions, and the fatigue that goes with watching over the sickly men who almost cannot be recognized because their diseases have made them waste away. No complaint passes their lips when they have to sponge their husbands' feverish bodies every so often, change soiled diapers, wipe away drool, or wait for the patient to finish a piece of bread in three hours. There are husbands who cannot sleep because they want to watch over their wives, brush their wives' hair, whisper sweet nothings in their wives' ears even when they are not sure she can hear because she's GCS3 and slipping away, and remain their families' pillars of strength when she finally bids goodbye. There are sons and daughters who drop everything else just to be with their parents in the hospital, pooling funds from their meager income, just so they can buy antibiotics or pressors to keep their moms or dads alive. Seeing how sickness makes people cherish each other just a little bit more everyday gives me hope and reminds me of the presence of love in this world.