An Emergency Physician’s Lament

An Emergency Physician’s Lament

by AlChristian Cosca Villaruz

We are a group of People that has been trained to save lives

We deal in stress
We deal in raw emotion
We deal in extreme situations
We deal in intense catharsis
We deal in terse language
We deal in multi-tasking
We deal in Irony
We deal in Objective Reality

We deal with Unfiltered Humanity

We deal in inexorable Time constraints
Time?
Time is more dead myocardium
Time is more irreplaceable brain cells
Time means an undesirable outcome
Time?
TIME to
Get off your ass
And do that
ER Doc
Thing
Go Go Go

We don’t deal in sales
We dislike Drama

We feel that pit
Of Uncertainty
In our stomachs
The Risk
The Vague Nausea
When We take
Decisive Action
Based on
Very
Limited
Information

BUT

We MUST
Take Action
DO
SOMETHING
DOCTOR!

We can get something right
999 times
And be forever remembered
And vilified
For the
1 time
We get it wrong
That’s not fair?

Life is not fair

We dislike ambulance chasing attorneys
With extreme prejudice
They collect a fee whether they win or lose
When we lose
Or are wrong
Somebody dies
Or is permanently disabled

Life is not Fair

We inhabit that
No Man’s Land
That divides Life from
Death
There
We try to prevent the two
Mutually Exclusive Realities
From
Intersecting

This has changed us.

We are often
Just getting to work
When you are
Just going to bed
We have felt the isolation
And Responsibility
Of being the only Doctor
Or Nurses
Or EMTs
Awake
For many miles in
Any direction
One of us is
Always awake
Ever vigilant
In the lonely watches of
Night
We are there
WHENEVER
You need us
Nothing will touch you
While we keep up
Our

Solitary

Vigils

When we go home
The Rising Sun greets us
And yet
You still sleep

We have seen worlds unravel
And we want to cry out for Help
Then we remember
WE ARE THE HELP
We give of ourselves
To the point of exhaustion
And Illness
And indelible memories
Until there is nothing
Left to give

This has changed us

And made us Comrades forever

We don’t know quite
How to answer you
When you ask us
“How was your Day?”

Do you really want to know?

Do you want to hear of the Unraveling?
Of the Great Undoing?
Of the Intensely Personal Apocalypse
That comes with
The Loss
Of a Loved one?
Do you wish to hear
Of Devastating Diagnoses
Of breaking Bad News
Of Neglect
Of Abuse
Of Indifference
Of Ignorance
Of what happens
When someone
“Falls through the Cracks?”
(We are
The Safety Net
Of Society)
Do you wish to learn
Of Migrants
Of the Mentally Ill
Of the Forgotten
Of the Forsaken
Of the Undocumented
Of Lives built upon Lies
Lies
Upon
Lies
Of the Sordid Underbelly
Just below the Surface?

Do you really want to know
How my Day was?

Do you REALLY?

It has changed us.

We want to cry out for help
But We are the Help
Who Helps
The Helpers?
For it is True
It is those
That seem the
Strongest
Among Us
That often need
The Most Help

Will you help us?
CAN you help us?
When OUR worlds
UNR AV E L?

But in Honor
And in Learning
There is Hope
And
Hope will
Always remain
While
The Company is
True

And
In Our ER World
Light is often
Recovered from Darkness
At great cost
Through much
Effort
Empathy replaces Apathy
Enlightenment casts out Ignorance
Death is denied
Its due
And
We bear witness to
A Love so Large
That It can swallow up
All Evil
A Love
Stronger
Than Death
A Love that rekindles Hope

And Life Occurs
Sometimes
Against All Probability

Because of Our
Honor
Learning
Love
Sometimes
We accomplish
The Impossible

And That
Makes US
MIGHTY

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