Saturday, June 18, 2005

A doctor works though pain

At Medviews:
Well, I must say, the most humbling of experiences for me as a practicing physician is to see patients while in pain. I hobbled along today with my acute Achilles tendonitis, feeling myself to be in full middle aged bloom. A younger person would have a great story to tell of their daring athletic exploits, proudly describing their injury as a great war story. I, of course, have no such exploit to describe. I think I injured myself walking up the stairs at Dulles airport. Pretty sexy, huh?

Being in pain lets me know that I am not apart from my patients; that I just as vulnerable as they are. I have the same semi-rational fears (will my Achilles tendon rupture, causing me to go straight to the operating room?) and concerns ( will I be able to enjoy my upcoming trip to California) as any one of my patients would have. Suddenly, anecdotes of how other people handled such injuries become very important to me. And, of course, I want to get better immediately...
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