Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A small request, friends

Quit posting anti-abortionist pictures of fragmented babies on Facebook. You have a moral objection to abortion and want to share it with the world. Good for you. But trust me when I tell you that I already know what dead and fragmented babies look like. I wish I could tell you that the sum total of this knowledge was gained solely by gazing upon your useless, graphic, and ultimately Photoshopped Internet images but then I’d be a liar. I know what these little souls look like, but do you? Do you really know? I know what they look like because they are often a part of my daily job. I have reached into more formalin buckets and pulled out more fragmented baby parts than I really care to think about. I have prosected 16-week-old fetuses and watched as their organs are turned into a glass slide. My heart breaks for these tiny beings each and every single time, but this is my job. My job is sometimes messy and nightmare inducing, but it is also very intimate. I am a doctor and these are my patients. I am the last hand that will hold them and the last eye that will see them and the last doctor who will mourn them. So quit your Internet crusades, please. I see these images at work and I see them at night when I sleep and I see them when I look in the mirror in the morning. I’d rather not see them in front of me when I log into Facebook. I take enough work home with me as it is. Let these patients rest. Please give them some respect. Quit using them to further your own agenda. And on a related note:
Quit trying to legislate a woman’s right to choose. I believe in the beauty and the mystery and the miracle and the gift that is life, but I also believe strongly in the right of a woman to choose what happens to her own body. I have seen the abortion procedure, I have met women who have chosen to walk that long road, I have held the consequences of the procedure in my gloved hands, I have shuddered in despair and sadness over these tiny beings – and despite all of the horrors of each of these things, I will ALWAYS believe in the right to choose. I will always believe that what a woman does or does not do with her body and those that may dwell in its depths is solely between the woman and her God. It’s not between a woman and her pastor, her friends, the news media, or her political representatives. And it’s definitely not between an unknown, pregnant female and YOU. Knock. It. Off.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Beautiful days

It was an absolutely phenomenal Vermont spring day today. It was kind of day made for fishing or gardening or kayaking on the pond or hiking and birdwatching. But I did none of that, because today was also, unfortunately, the kind of day made for weekend call {insert a grumbly, frowny face here}. Reluctant to venture too far from home lest the black box of evil (also gloomily referred to as the call pager) begin to shriek, I pondered how to best enjoy the beautiful afternoon. In the end, I gathered up all of my sundry electronics and settled down into one of the wooden Adirondack chairs on the back deck. A perfect amount of gentle breeze was wafting around me – enough to cool down the 80 degree sunshine, but not enough to whip my hair into my face and annoy me. The leaves rustled, the scent of freshly mown grass filled the air, and the distant (and somewhat obnoxious) sounds of the neighborhood ice cream truck filled my world. It was a perfect moment in time. I looked up at the bright blue sky and for the first time in about three weeks, I felt completely relaxed. These quiet moments… the moments where my back doesn’t hurt from carrying around internal stresses, where my head doesn’t ache from all the noise that constantly envelops me, where the headache that lingers between my eyes dissipates…these moments don’t come nearly as often as I would like since I joined the world of medicine, so I’ve learned to seize them as they come and simply enjoy them. They are not
grand moments filled with adventure but for me, they are simply enough. I miss these beautiful moments desperately sometimes. But no matter how quiet and sweet a moment is, a pall always lingers because it is in these peaceful moments that I find I miss Chandler most of all. It is during these moments that my heart breaks over and over and over again. I miss my little brother still. I miss him so very much. It’s been ten months and my world still feels upside down and inside out. And after ten months, I am (still) not even remotely able to understand how Chandler could ever have given any moment of this world up. I can't even understand why that thought even crossed his mind...and I certainly can't understand how he decided that these small moments weren't worth his time, how they weren't enough for him. I am slowly learning to accept that I am not meant to understand these feelings, that none of us are, really, and for that I suppose I am grateful. At the very least this world and these moments are enough for me - so I will savor them enough for the both of us.