Health Care is a tough subject to discuss.
As you read this, a young man in a wheelchair, with his back to you, is in the hospital for a spinal tap.
You can hear him screaming.
You have to do your job and you can’t do your work in front of a child, you can hear his cries, you’ve got to get him to the operating table.
The doctors in this room aren’t trained to perform spinal taps, so they have to take care of this patient, they’ve got their hands tied, their knees bent, their arms wrapped around him.
He’s had multiple surgeries to remove a malignant tumor, but the tumor isn’t gone.
It’s growing and growing.
In the ER, we have to make decisions.
“I don’t know what I’d do if I were you,” the young man tells you.
You ask why he didn’t die at home, what he’d be like if he were alive, and you think to yourself, Well, this is why he’s here.
This is what he wants.
The ER staff has a hard time believing the man.
I am not the doctor he’s asking me to do the job.
But then you tell the young boy the truth, you tell him the truth about his parents, about the life that they led.
The boy turns around and says, “Mommy told me you were a doctor.”
That’s when you realize that you’ve just heard his voice.
You’ve been hearing his voice for years, and it’s the truth.
The doctor tells you that the tumor is “not big enough to be alive.”
That it’s not “bad enough to make a patient die.”
That the patient is “just a little sick.”
The patient’s parents have told you.
They’ve told you everything.
And now you are telling them the truth to their son.
I don’t want to see you die, they tell you.
I want to take you home, they say.
I have a feeling you don’t have the time.
So, I go back to the ER.
I tell them everything I’ve learned about what the doctor told you about your parents.
I talk about how your parents were doctors, how they cared for you.
And I tell you that I am your dad.
I will always be your dad, they reply.
You’re a good doctor.
I told you that they are your parents, they respond.
You tell them about the tumor and the surgery, about how you’ve always loved your parents and how they never did anything to hurt you.
That was the first time you have truly felt the pain of your parents dying, you say to the doctor.
I told you, I can see what you’ve done, I told them, I don,t know how to do this, I tell him.
You tell me, I said, I am sorry, you told me.
You told me that they have always cared for me.
Then, you ask the doctor what he thinks about the young father’s response.
“It’s just like a parent,” the doctor says.
“I think he needs to get the best medical care he can.
I’m not sure that this is the best treatment for him.
I think he’s suffering, he needs help.”
The young man is in pain, and he begs the doctors to stop.
I can’t let this happen, you beg.
I must tell you, he tells you, please stop.
It’s your parents who are dying.
They need you to stop and that’s what I will do.
But, in the ER room, you are the one being forced to listen to the man who has been lied to.
You are the man being told that you are a good person who cares for your family, and that you will do whatever is necessary to save them.
The truth is, you do not know how much you have to tell him, but it is important.
You tell the boy everything.
As you listen, you see that his parents are not only doctors, they are also good parents.
They care for their children.
They give them the best they have.
They have the most wonderful time you will ever have.
But they’re also just like you, they cry, they struggle, they worry, and they give you everything you need to survive.
They will be there for you, you promise them.
They will be watching over you, and I promise you that, even when you are in pain and when you know that you have a broken bone, they will be waiting for you every step of the way.
They are a part of you.
What you are reading is not a story about medicine.
It is about love.
It contains stories of hope and pain, love and grief,