Friday, July 8, 2011

I love her

I love her

The vase on the counter is half full. The shadow of a women sits perched over her wheel chair in front of the nursing station. Her repetitive movements and verbal ticks another sign of a brain overcome by plaques and tangles. She sings her pathetic love song to a soul long lost to dementia. Her relentless arms intertwined in a meaningless embrace.

Her words bounce off my skull and penetrate my neck muscles. Stiff and painful. I yawn. Its 5:30 in the morning and I am making rounds at the nursing home. The last time I looked at a clock it was 2am and I was lying down for a moment.

My insomniac brain is restless.

But it wasn't my patients that kept me up last night. I mean mostly....I still had two late admissions.

This time it was my family. I packed her unwillingly into my car and took her to the emergency room. I have now become the chief medical officer of the family. The youngest of five...previously the follower. I am now the leader.

I love her

I love her

It's surprising to realize that even doctors struggle with our medical system. How I, the physician, can no longer find appropriate care for my family. Care givers who demonstrate a modicum of depth and have actual skin in the game.

I don't want to organize my family's health. I don't want to be the one to make sure that every test has been has been ordered, accurately assembled, and integrated into a finite whole.

But if not I...who else? There is no longer a wise, gray haired, bearded physician with a friendly smile and an easy demeanor. No sage to give guidance. They have all disappeared. How naive to once kneel at the alter of Ayn Rand and her silly drivel....But yet Atlas has shrugged.

And I continue to carry the weight of the world. I will finish my work at the nursing home and then round at the hospital. With heavy heart I will attend to my patients in the office and answer phone calls. Then I will return to the nursing home for afternoon rounds.

Somewhere in between I will call my Mother's doctors. Schedule tests and appointments.

And hopefully at the end of the day....

I will spend some time with my children

I love her

I love her

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