Saturday, August 14, 2010

In the house of God

I just finished reading 'The House of God.' If you're in medicine, you're supposed to read it at some point, as some kind of right of passage.

To an outsider, the book must seem to present a sick uncaring world. Some things have changed in medicine, since the time the book was written (nobody uses words like 'gomer' anymore, except in reference to the book), but the experience for an intern has remained essentially the same. Coming face-to-face with mortality, and its frightening predecessor of dementia, in the context of withering fatigue and isolation, continues to rip the psyches of interns apart. The book splits the internal responses to it into different characters. The dark humour, the bizarre obsessions, the self-destruction, the intellectual separation from the moment, the suspension of reality; some mixture of these happens to everyone.

Funny enough, I had my appendix out at Beth Israel, the House of God.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Christmas in July

I'm working in a CCU across the street from a big church these days. The window was open the other day, and you could hear the carillon playing. It took me a couple of minutes to realize that they were playing Christmas music!

Perhaps under the subliminal influence of the church bells, I've found myself listening to Joni Mitchell, on repeat.

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on

The other explanation is that maybe I want to skate away from this place.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Code Blue

"See, there's a big difference between mostly dead, and all dead. Now, mostly dead: he's slightly alive." -- Miracle Max, The Princess Bride

Apparently, Max had studied ACLS.