March 22nd, 2016

kept tears

The Stir of memory

First off I wanted to say my thoughts and heart go out to the people of Brussels. I wanted a little respite from the darkness so I disengaged from my computer for a while and decompress with an old favorite (even if it's getting a tad long in the tooth). But sadly NCIS was depressing itself tonight and stirred up a lot of memories for me.

As some of you know I was a doctor before an injury ended my career. I have to admit it hurts me when I hear people dismissing doctors as money grubbing butchers (not that there isn't some but every field has bad apples). Most people have no idea how much sacrifice goes into earning your doctorate. Most have no idea what doctors do all day (play golf seems to be the general, Hollywood-fed idea).

Anyhow watching DiNozzo sitting with the that demented woman who thought he was her father stirred up memories for me. Most people have no idea that this comes up more often than you think, especially when you work nursing homes like I did. The doctor (and nurses) often get tagged in to be with someone in those last moments. Doc, Mr Smith is in cheyne-stokes breathing and he has no family? Could you?

Yes, I could. I would sit and hold their hands while they go and in that scenario isn't wasn't as bad. They weren't conscious. But just as often they would be. They would be scared. They knew death was coming. Some welcomed it. Some fought. Some had no family. Some had no family who gave a damn. Others had family on the way but probably wouldn't make it. I would sit with them too. Many of them thought I was their daughter and I let them. It comforted them. No one wants to leave this world alone.

And while I'm doing that, my own patients are waiting. And at the end of this sad duty, I'd go see them and get screamed at for the rest of the day for making them wait.

And it was still worth it to be the daughter those people were crying for, to be that last touch of humanity before the great mystery.

But it was hard.
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