Thursday, October 30, 2008

My patients are dying

I’m a writer
It’s my profession; it’s what I do for a living

In my own way I’d like to believe that
I offer healing, soothing, encouragement, inspiration
I influence justice…
In my own way as a published writer I try

I have sat across from a child not so much older than I that has courted death every waking hour. Knowing he would never be called daddy, hubby, grandpa
Living each second with the knowledge that he was dying

I have wiped the tears off another young woman’s cheek
who in her prime woke up to find each of the bricks she'd so carefully laid to build her life
In a heap at her feet

My heart has gone out to them and their likes As I listened Knowing that in my own way
I was easing their pain Letting them vent Calling out to the world to hear and help out
It was the least I could do
These people become my patients.

And I have failed them sometimes
Despite the number of those on whose faces I have put a smile
Whose minds I have eased of their worries even if for a while
reassuring them They were not alone They would be fine,
There were patients that have come through my 'hospital ward' and not made it back to their loved ones Better Healthier Happier
There are those patients I have worked on
And they have died

The 21 year old heart patient who died the eve of the day he was supposed to be discharged from his heart surgery ward Just a few hours after I had laughed with him on phone and promised to call in the next morning before he was discharged
And more recently,
These are the people that remain with me always
It is more about those people I’m given the opportunity to touch
And yet they slip right through my hands without warning and they are lost forever
At these times I feel like a doctor who has lost a patient
And it breaks my heart

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