Tuesday, October 6, 2009

to go on living:::

yes. its true. i am one of those shameless medical professionals that can't get enough of grey's anatomy. i stuck with the seattle grace clan through meredith and derek's one millionth breakup. through izzy seeing dead people. i maintained my viewer status even after they shipped addison off to her own show. i've been faithful to the little-medical-show-that-could, turned pop culture phenomenon.

but maybe not quite as faithful as i could be.

i let episodes slide--always telling myself i could watch it on DVD when it was released. i would occasionally loose track of the storyline-- only keeping my head above the proverbial water by reading the truly faithful viewers facebook status' on friday morning. and i would often miss the show when i was scheduled to work on thursday nights.

so it was a real treat when i had the opportunity yesterday morning to sit down with a mug of coffee and my DVR remote, and watch the first episode of this season. i sat in horror as the drama unfolded. and was literally speechless when, via the ever dramatic voice-over, meredith delivered this line:

i think, perhaps, my jaw dropped. i'm not sure a truer statement has ever been made on this show. in medical school, and nursing school alike, you learn how to assess for signs of bodily failure. you are mercilessly quizzed on the proper drugs and dosages to administer in the event a human life is slipping away in front of your very eyes. you spend hours on your knees practicing life saving maneuvers. but no one ever teaches you how to save yourself once you've experienced it, and then its over.

for all the immediately gratifying and awe-inspiring aspects of my job, there are equal parts tragedy. for example: how does one embrace a mother who has a lost child, and then go home to dinner with the family? how does one administer chest compressions to a baby who is hours old, and then return home to sleep? how are we expected to come so close to death-- and keep on thriving ourselves?

i think about this sometimes. i struggle with how very real these feelings are. and i have come to the conclusion that this world will not change. my profession will not change. it is my attitude that must change. it is my outlook. i have the awesome privilege of being able to help people through difficult times. i have the honor of caring for them, and their children, in crucial circumstances. i believe it is God who has placed me here, and it is He who will see me through. He who will give me the strength to be strong for someone who has, seemingly, lost it all. to be strong for those who are weak. and He will give me my own strength, when i feel like i have given everything inside of me.

do i love my job? yes. do i want to do what i am doing, forever? no.

there are so many things i want to dip my hands into. so many dreams and aspirations i have. and when my work is done where i am at-- i know i will walk away a stronger person. a more compassionate person. and a person who, through aiding the loss of others, has learned the greatest thing of all.

how, even in the midst of tragedy, to go on living.

and living fully.


  1. I think it's so wonderful + brave of you to be able to have a job in the medical field. I always thought it was something I wanted, until I joined the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman + got a taste of the unglamorous side of the job. My stomach couldn't handle it. My heart couldn't handle it. It was just too much for me. It takes a really special person to have a job like you do. So, thank you. :)

  2. learning how to live fully in the midst of tradegy is a pretty amazing thing to learn. because tradegy is just as much a part of life as joy.

    i loved that quote too. i, of course, also have been watching grey's anatomy since it was the "little-medical-show-that-could," and have stuck with it through the million break-ups that made me want to pull my hair out.

  3. i just got home from work. i ate some chocolate chex cereal(delicious) and read this.....twice.

    it is well written and there are some really amazing things described here that i do not think are easy to communicate.

    ""how does one embrace a mother who has a lost child, and then go home to dinner with the family? how does one administer chest compressions to a baby who is hours old, and then return home to sleep? ""

    i felt really psyched to read that . this has been a bit of an issue , in some certain ways , which i have experienced.

    there are a million things i would love to say about what i just read here....
    mostly though...
    i just think it best to say...

    thanks for writing this.

    it was really cool to read.


  4. powerful post, thanks for writing this. i'm not in the medical profession, but i definitely identify with the seemingly paradoxical challenge: to truly LIVE, despite life.