05-19-11 07:11 AM - Post#74810
In response to Adoc2be
Well long story short but I've been a little under the weather lately because of something that is 100% not my fault and I'm not the one just saying that. Unfortunately, the way med school works, I have been told that if I make a fuss about it the responsible parties will just make my life more miserable! So unless I bow and scrape and just say "thank you may I have another" it's not going to be smooth sailing for me let alone any sailing!
Anyways, back to the original story. I saw an elderly woman who was in otherwise good health and well groomed and seemed to be taking care of herself. However, when I talked to her to take her chief complaint it suddenly was obvious she seemed to be depressed. Not depressed in the clinical sense but depressed as in just tired of life. It seemed like she was now just waiting for eternal repose and would rather have that then get up everyday, shower, get dressed up, eat, and so on. It just hit me hard about the evanescence of life and how things go by so quickly. Life uses us and then discards us like a used piece of paper.
Next I saw a lady who had undergone extensive corrective back surgery a few months earlier for scoliosis. She had come in to talk about a pain that she was concerned about but it was just muscular. As I talked to her I realized she had had a full, productive life working in a hospital before her scoliosis got bad enough for her to have surgery. From her charts and talking to the attending it turned out that the surgery had been particularly harsh and had taken a very heavy toll on her. Now she was getting Parkinson's. She had all the signs of gross tremor and dyskinesia and yet here she was, resilient and still trying to live life to her best ability.
Given my own deprssion, I came home yesterday with an overflowing heart just ready to bawl! Why is life so hard on some people, so unjust and unfair to others? I also ralized that perhaps that is why physicians end up growing thick skin. In talking to the attending, he told me that one does have to learn to distance oneself to a certain extent otherwise the emotional toll can quickly become unburdenable.
Yet human's show an incredible capacity for resilience. I thought more about it and I realized it all boils down to one concept - hope. We all live in the realm of possibilities and hope. Take away hope and you have taken away their desire to live. Take away hope and you truly kill a person. Take away hope and you have a very very dangerous person - one who has nothing to live for. Take away hope and you have people willing to blow themselves up for irrational reasons.
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Stay hungry. Stay foolish.
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Any posts by me that are interpreted as advice or recommendations, are based solely on my academic experience and observations, and not a guarantee of successful results on the reader's part. They should be used with due diligence, and at assumed risk, with no responsibility on my behalf.