Lesson 1: Alphabet Soup
Lesson 2: The Humility Pill
Lesson 3: A Poker Face
I think I could use some tips from Lady Gaga. Here's the story.
Last week I saw a patient with both liver and kidney failure; he had been in the hospital for over a month before transferring to my floor. I knew something was terribly wrong when I stepped into his room and noticed an eerie yellow glow. I soon realized it was the sheen of his severely jaundiced skin reflecting off the white bedsheets and absorbing into the white painted walls. Blinding. (Jaundice, a symptom of excess bilirubin, gives body tissues a yellow tint and usually indicates liver disease.) Suddenly the man looked up at me, and his voiceless mouth started to speak (he couldn't talk because of a tracheotomy). I'll never forget his eyes. I saw no white, only two black pupils on balls of blood red, unblinking saucers of pain boring into my own paralyzed profile. I attempted my best poker face, however I couldn't maintain eye contact, and I pretended to fiddle with his IV before stumbling out of the room, deeply shaken. Those red eyes have been on my mind ever since.
What is your strategy for death? What do you say when it looks you in the face? My dad reassures me that I'll soon get used to such hospital sights, a thought equally disturbing.
On that sober note, The End (for now)! Thanks for reading my three-post series about my thoughts on clinical rotations thus far. There are many more lessons to share! Yesterday I was overwhelmed to receive all the encouraging comments, and I am grateful for your kind words and advice to me.
With thanks from the bottom of my heart,
Disclaimer. I am not a Registered Dietitian yet. I provide nutrition information intended for the general public, not for the treatment of a specific medical condition. I try to use scientific research and reliable sources when forming my opinions and messages.