Pagers in the Night

Pagers in the night

Buzzing and beeping

Alarms sound through the night

Instead of sleeping

Our nervous system jolts

Like lighting bolts all night

Every so often nurses call me

Relaying vital signs and pain

Each one a stone thrown

Sending ripples through my brain

Countless as pages through the night

I know I’ll be alright, if I live to see the sunrise

Get through another night

Like I’ve done and I will do again

Sleep was just a glance away, a brief and fleeting chance away

Pulled away by pagers in the night

To My Residency

Your knowing hands

Will move me in new ways

Push, pull and shape me

Color me with glaze

I arrive to you soft and pliable

You will smooth out my flaws

Give me form that is undeniable

I willingly let you

Sculpt me as you desire

Create me as you see fit

Strengthen me with fire

I surrender to you anew every day

Take me in your knowing hands

I am your clay

Workaholic

I went into medicine partly due to heartbreak

The exhaustive training of medical school and residency was a welcome albeit ineffective distraction from my sorrow and loneliness
24-hour shifts are a convenient justification for not keeping in touch with loved ones
Even though the real excuse is my social anxiety and sense of inadequacy
Living within hospital walls, I suspect that I am not the only physician who became a medical doctor to try to forget unrequited love, to escape the world of human relationships
My older colleagues work far more than they need to to make ends meet, far more than any reasonable person would work in a week
Who needs friends or feelings when you have patients and science?
Our skin grows pale under fluorescent lights
Our vision becomes shortsighted as the screens stare unblinkingly
Our hearts forget how to feel carefree
Our muscles atrophy as our brains hypertrophy
Our minds become boxed in with facts, our mental filing cabinets overflow
I am a recovering workaholic working alongside workaholics who do not appear to be in recovery
Perhaps they suspect the same of me
Heads down in the trenches, none of us can know another’s heart
We can only know our own heart, if we listen
We carefully administer medications, surgeries and therapies
We measure progress in numerical metrics of lab values, calculated scores and vital signs
We arrive early and stay late
We work day and night without a break
We always have too much on our plates
We deprive ourselves of sleep, fresh air and food
We know why we have irritable moods
Practicing medicine is an unhealthy, imbalanced lifestyle and we know it
We can only ever heal ourselves
I’m ready to show it
I am finally healing my broken heart
I found that I had to begin at the start
Childhood wounds tangle and bloom
Trauma begets trauma until we change our thoughts, words and actions
Breaking old patterns even as we hold traction
I am love itself, I am the source of what I sought
My cup overflows, it was not all for naught