On DiverseMedicine.org, we spend a great deal of time discussing what it takes to become a doctor and how to make it happen. It’s not too often that we get personal and let you know our hearts. Well, here’s my go at it. This week was emotionally rough on me. VERY rough. To say the least, it was a roller-coaster! I had ups and down. I gave up hope and I prayed. I laughed and I cried.
Two patients stood out above all this week, and I am not sure if I will ever be able to forget them. The first was a gentleman who I admitted with a really bad gastrointestinal bleed. For some reason, I had a connection with him. From the moment I met him we hit it off! Telling stories, laughing, and a lot of smiles! All things considered, for being in a hospital, we had a good time that night. The following day he went for a procedure to try and localize the bleed but things turned for the worse and his heart stopped! I remember how it felt the moment I heard the voice on the intercom say “CODE BLUE”. I instantly felt that it was my patient and ran to the location like Usain Bolt to see healthcare staff compressing on his chest and him laying there breathless. I felt ANGRY! It was nobody’s fault in particular, but I wanted to blame somebody. My patient wasn’t supposed to die on that table. By the grace of the Lord, he somehow pulled through and regained a pulse. Over the course of the following days he clinically improved and got back to being himself. Oh, I’ll never forget him asking me to pray for him day after day. Touched my heart!
A few days later, we had a young lady admitted to our hospital for a horrendous pulmonary issue requiring an urgent procedure. Things got so crazy that I never even had the chance to meet her. Before I knew it, she was down on the procedure table but I had to go to my clinic. Following clinic, I went by her room to see how things were going the nurse informed me someone was coding in one of the procedure rooms. By the time I arrived to the site, there must have been 20-30 people there trying to bring her back to life. After near an hour we relented our efforts. I stood there and watched mankind give their all to this patient. Some of the best doctors in the country standing around this patient and there was nothing we could do. Amazing! I realized that there is only so much we can do, eventually all of our tickets will come up, I just didn’t know hers would be that day. This young lady had two small children. Two small children who won’t see their mother again, at least not in this lifetime. She had a father. A father who cried his heart out when we told him his daughter died. She had a husband, a husband who was speechless at the sound of the news. I cried.
So this is me telling you what it’s really like sometimes. Not all the time, but just some times. Things will make you happy and things will make you sad. At times, I question why I allow myself to get attached to patients. Wouldn’t it be easier to treat them as customers and business transactions? Accomplish the project then move on! No! That would be horrible and I would be an even more horrible physician if I practiced medicine that way. The emotional connection is necessary to be a good physician. The Tears of A Doctor do not represent weakness, they represent strength, compassion, and love. Remember, even “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).