Life is Fragile.
Today, Match on a Fire: Medicine and More is going to do something a little different. We are going to focus on the “more.” We are talking about Fragile: Beauty in Chaos, Grace in Tragedy and the Hope that Lives in Between.
A mom puts her child to bed with a cold and in the morning he won’t wake up. A man goes to work and has no idea his chainsaw blade it going to kick back through his chest. A simple headache slowly worsens and finally, when she finally decides to have it evaluated, the MRI looks like a dime store nickel machine filled with tumor gumballs. Or, so suddenly, a pandemic takes over the world and our “normal” life is not so normal.
I started medical school ready to be in the thick of it. I was cocky, motivated and unstoppable. I had watched ER on TV, shadowed family friends in the hospital and read all the latest and greatest books on being a doctor. I thought I was going in with my eyes wide open.
I had no clue. I thought the hard part of medicine was going to be learning all the material, programming all the facts, procedures and protocols into my neuroanatomy. I wish. No doubt that was difficult, like drinking from a fire hydrant, but it paled in comparison to the challenge of working so closely with life and death.
I was forced to hold the hand of those facing relentless disease and the limitations of my abilities as a doctor. This wasn’t just a job. It really was life and death. Talk about wandering into the hurt cave with no flashlight, I was at a loss.
Little did I know this was the very place I had to go to really find my true soul. Something started to happen to me in the depths of my own emotional torture chamber. I stopped focusing so much on “why.” Why was there so much suffering? Why was I so hurt and lonely? Why am I so worried about me, especially in the face of what I see? Slowly I began to see life differently. I began to take in, I mean really take in, the things around me that meant the most: my kids, my family, my friends. I stopped worrying about the “why.” I took the time to breath and it felt good.
We only have one life to live, but if we do it right, one life might just be enough.