2015 is shaping up to be an even busier year than 2014. In order to be successful, I can’t waste time in my usual “process” as my husband Robert calls the self-flagellating, anxiety-ridden sometimes week-long trudge I go through every time I’m working on a creative writing piece or a research paper or putting together a talk.
Funny, when asked why they became doctor, most would probably say something along the lines of “to help people.” But the implied ending is “get better.” I would be surprised to learn that anyone became a doctor “to give bad news” or “to help people die.” Yet I find this is much of what I do in my clinical practice as a nephrologist taking care of patients with chronic kidney disease and end-stage kidney disease.
In my office looking at the computer screen, I saw her name on the schedule for clinic that day and wondered how she was doing since the last time I saw her when I could hear the crackling sounds of fluid beginning to collect in her left lung. It was the second time I had seen her and my words still sounded like a stranger’s advice.
It was the summer of my 9th year when I was almost gone again. Days were spent running barefoot with my younger cousins, Tonya and Tara, in the field between my home and theirs. Kinky hair running wild or in slept on, half-undone plaits scattered over our heads because everyone over age 16 was too busy to comb it.