I am constantly in fear that I am wasting my life.
I’ve seen doctors re-route blood flow in the heart by using a vein in the leg; I’ve seen them remove a lung with cancerous tumors; I’ve seen them fix and replace dysfunctional heart valves; I’ve seen the most talented doctors I have ever had the pleasure to work with give the sickest patients I have ever seen another chance at a normal, healthy life.
But the most amazing thing I’ve yet to see occurred not in the OR, but in the Intensive Care Unit. I made rounds this morning and came across an elderly woman, her body debilitated by surgery and years of sickness. She barely had the power to stay awake, let alone communicate to the doctors who so desperately wanted to help her.
And then in came an equally elderly man, and, with a worried look, rushed to her bedside at 8.30 in the morning. He kissed his wife’s forehead, stroked her hair, and patiently fed her the breakfast that had been prepared for.
Her hair was thinning, her body old and weak. Her illness had robbed her of whatever strength she had left. He didn’t care. He loved her, and after all their years together, he still looked at her as if they had first met. His love for her was palpable, and all I could do was stare, knowing that I was in the presence of something so beautiful and so rare.
He was still there after my day was over, looking at her while she was sound asleep. He doesn’t know who I am. Hell, I don’t even know his name. But he has given me one of the most precious memories I will take away from my experience here.
And maybe this is why I want to do what I want to do.