Monday, October 6, 2008

Don't Be Afraid (conclusions)

Don't be afraid!

Darren's mind had drifted again into a peaceful sleep. He once again relived the day his father was killed. The gun shot. Huddling into his mother's arms in the corner of the room. The fear. The strange look on his father's killer"s face. And then the jolt. He again saw his father's life flash before his eyes but it was different this time.

He saw his father at his own birth....but then he rushed out of the maternity ward to go check on one of his own patient's in the emergency room. He saw his father sitting at the bedside holding a patient's hand as he suffered....but he also saw how at the same time his mother was struggling at home because his father wasn't there. And finally Darren saw himself. At his own kindergarten graduation.....looking anxiously for his father to enter the auditorium...but he never came.

Suddenly Darren's own memories and his father's melded as if they were one story. His father had given up soo much to be a physician...but also had reaped certain rewards. He never had to worry about money because he always made enough. He wasn't concerned about being with his child becuase it was expected that as a physician he would have other responsibilities. His wife accepted it. Society accepted it. And finally he was deeply respected. He carried a certain stature just by the nature of his profession.

But Darren realized that all those things had now changed. He didn't make enough money like his father. Between medicare, insurance companies, malpractice insurance, and medical school debt he was always struggling. And his wife and child didn't accept the time and commitment it took to do his job. In fact society frowned on being soo involved with work that you missed out on your children's lives. And the respect of his fellow man....well that had gone long ago. Most people's views of physicians had changed.

Don't be afraid to choose happiness!

Finally Darren felt his dad's profound sorrow at dying too young. The moments lost to his profession would never be reclaimed. He could never hold his son again. He could never kiss his wife. And all the sudden the words Darren lived by changed. Had he always misinterpreted his father's dying advice. Or had he just been to young to understand? Did it matter anymore?

Darren's head jerked upward and became aware of his settings. The sounds of the ICU came back to him. A nurse had been standing patiently waiting for him to wake up..."Doctor...Doctor.....your patient will be up from the ER in a few minutes.....any preliminary orders?".

Darren stood up briskly and pulled his jacket off the chair. As he reached the exit of the ICU he remembered the nurse awaiting his response....."when she arrives please let the hospitalist on call know that they will be following her...I have to get home!".

As the words left his lips the whole ICU became quiet....other doctors, nurses, even secretaries looked up quizically at Darren....

In his ten years working at the hospital...

He had never given up the chance

to care for one of his own patients.

The Doctor has left the building

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