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“Classification of fantasy and reality is itself a fantasy that humans created. Life begins when you make a distinction between yourself and others. From that moment on, the world becomes a stage for the story in which you are the main character. All humans live in a fantasy in which they are the main character. But the world doesn't recognize you as the main character at all. What nonsense. Everyone lives their entire life tormented by this confusion. There's only one way out of this hell. To place yourself in a position that is neither the main character nor a supporting role. In other words, the Author.”—Kino no Tabi
“Don’t let the thoughts banging around in your skull delude you into thinking this is how the world really is. Words are individual units of meaning that you string together to form your personal narrative about reality…stop trying to explain everything away. You’re a prisoner of a story you created – your autobiography. You are limited because your thinking limits you. ”—The Zen Humanist
“Did you have a genius of a great-great-grandmother who died under some ignorant and depraved white overseer's lash? Or was she required to bake biscuits for a lazy backwater tramp, when she cried out in her soul to paint watercolors of sunsets, or the rain falling on the green and peaceful pasturelands? Or was her body broken and forced to bear children (who were more often than not sold away from her)-eight, ten, fifteen, twenty children-when her one joy was the thought of modeling heroic figures of Rebellion, in stone or clay?”—“In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens” by Alice Walker
Hyu’s sight, before corrupted by the darkness surrounding him, begins to clear. A bright light surrounded him as he felt lighter. What was happening? All the pain devouring his flesh was healed, and he could breath again. He widened his eyes before seeing darkness again. A pleasant breeze he could feel blowing his face, as well a strong light hitting his body. He realized he was only with his eyes closed. He slowly opened them and…
Beginnings - 1.4 “First Birth"
And this is the last one for this chapter. The story of Daphnes’ birth! - Zelda
A very happy moment. :) -Link
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“Tom, come take a look at this,” the attending beckons excitedly. I get up from the charting station and walk over to his computer.
A CT scan fills his screen with a very large, obvious abnormality. “This is one of the biggest I have seen in my career,” he says. The patient had developed not only a large mass but a rare one, causing all sorts of systemic anomalies. Given the extent, it would be inoperable.
As we proceed to the patient’s room, the doctor explains the clinical presentation of mass effect on the body. His eyes are wide and flicker with a fiery excitement. He can barely control the rate of his words as he gushes about the various pieces of the unique clinical puzzle in front of him.
“Are you excited?” he asks after he finishes. I reply that it is “interesting,” much to his displeasure. “How could you not be excited? You might not see this ever again in your life.”
But all I could think about was how this mass, this zebra on a CT scan would soon bring our patient to their untimely death.
Within, I watched the attending as he spoke to the patient and their family about the situation. He explained things with such professionalism, clarity and assurance that I could see no better way it could have gone.
Yet it continued to disturb me, his excitement in it all.
Joseph Addison, a poet said: “Everything that is new or uncommon raises a pleasure in the imagination, because it fills the soul with an agreeable surprise, gratifies its curiosity, and gives it an idea of which it was not before possessed.”
For my attending, who may have seen thousands upon thousands of patients with very similar presentations, this zebra case must have stirred up a renewed sense of adventure, a break from an otherwise regular routine of patients.
Perhaps, it is that hot flush of novelty, that infectious high of our peers that perpetuate our own behaviour.
Too often our fascinations show outwardly as our primary intent. In the process, we forget that the patient has a name, has a right to be treated with dignity, has an illness that still needs to be treated. In the process, we forget that the condition does not define the patient any more than he defines the condition.
It is a strange situation we find ourselves in, to be excited and captivated by our morbid curiosity; on some level, we must in order to learn and improve as clinicians; at the end of the day however, it must come at the expense of someone else’s health. For that, I must always consider the fine line that separates respectful and disrespectful learning.
“Pretty neat findings, eh?” He nudges me. I take a look back at the patient’s room. I watch as the family huddle in an emotional embrace as they come to terms with our news.
“Yeah. It is really interesting,” I mutter bleakly.
“I’ll say it loud and I’ll say it clear. I am not mentally ill, never was, never have been, never will be. I am a survivor of abuse and I believe that I have had a perfectly natural human reaction to terrible experiences. And to frame my responses as illness, I think, is offensive. And I think we spend far too long talking about what’s going on in people’s brains, and not enough time talking about what’s happened in people’s lives.”—Jacqui Dillon, The Personal is Political
Becoming a Mentor
“Hello,” came a quiet voice. I glanced up from my paperwork to find a young lady leaning in across the counter. Her wavy brown hair framed a shy smile. A white coat hardened her otherwise soft and subdued attire while the red tubing and metal instrument around her neck helped identify her.
“Hello. How are you?”
“I am good. How are you?”
“Not too bad. Can I help you with something?
“Yes. I am a second year medical student. I was sent up here for our clinical skills session to assess a patient and I was hoping, if you have time, to help me with a few points on my presentation.”
I stopped for a moment, unsure of myself. Could I help this student? Perhaps I am not the right one to ask. But what is the harm in trying?
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