Right after the New Year, I was reflecting on everything that was seemingly missing in my life. I was afflicted with the depressed mood that seemed to be sweeping across our nation. For weeks I had been focusing on everything I didn’t have, rather than counting my life’s blessings.
By mid-January, my personal pity party was in full effect—until a day I was assigned to the busy ENT room. I was contemplating how medicine had become like a factory with production demands: I was supposed to ensure 12 children were safely and efficiently anesthetized for an assortment of tonsillectomies, ear tubes, and removal of paper, beads, etc. deep inside orifices where they shouldn’t have been, all in 10 hours.
Late afternoon, when I was just starting to feel a little weary, I cheerfully introduced myself in bubbly voice to yet another family: “hi, I’m Dr. Johnson, and I am the anesthesiologist that’s going to be taking care of your son.”
The mother promptly responded, with a genuine smile, “my second child died at your hospital.” She then went on to tell me how that child had a rare and aggressive form of cancer that was incurable. But from the loss, she discovered support services that aren’t covered by insurance, and now she dedicates her time to fundraising so that these resources are available to other patients and their families. She went on to tell me how she appreciated our healthcare system and all of its employees.
It’s amazing how one person can provide instant clarity and perspective. This Lenten season, I choose to give up self-pity, doubt, and fear of failure. I will be joyous and share my joy with others. I hope others will join me in this journey!
Appointed readings for today: Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18, Psalm 19:7-14, Matthew 25:31-46