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.



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