Thursday, October 9, 2014


 These eyes have seen
babies born 
some through the vagina
others through the uterus in the OR
some with lots of blood and gore, others barely making a mess
Singletons, multiples
all new life added to the world

 These eyes have seen
fetuses turned products of conception
9 weeks - perfectly formed fingers and toes
10 weeks- fingers, toes, hands, legs, vertebrae, eyes
12 weeks- hands, legs, ribs- look, a penis
15 weeks - even bigger - let's put it all together
My heart skips a bit
I try not to forget to breath. Straight face.
"yes, I'm okay"

These eyes have seen
a body still warm to the touch with undigested food in the stomach
a body with fresh blood dripping from a half blown off head, 
brain and skull missing from where they should be
Lots of flesh hanging from the side of the head, looking out of place.
A decomposing body, dry, shriveled and green, smell out of this world
alone in an apartment, dead for weeks.
No one missed him for that long

These eyes have seen
generous and kind souls who donated their bodies to science
Cadavers - a welcome to med school gift
Block 1 -Cover the heads with towels, Ease them in gently
Depersonalize - Head and Neck is Block 3
Skin off, piece by piece, organ by organ, 
You form an attachment - Our body.
You name her Rosa
 Body transected, skull taken off, looking less human with each passing block 
"What are you having for lunch?"
"This looks like steak"
"I am so hungry!!"
Block 4 - Pelvis and Lower extremities
"We need another penis"

These eyes have seen
fathers, mothers, sons and daughters
communicating one day, intubated the next, dead in a week
obs for colonoscopy prep - just one overnight stay
 goes home 2 weeks later on hospice

come in for an elective procedure, take a turn for the worse
get better, sigh of relief, things are looking up
Flips a switch, DNR/DNI, comfort cares - all in less than 48 hours
family all around, tears, group hug - last breaths
  I say my silent goodbye wishing i could unsee the grief of this family
 I turn around and quietly leave the room, 
careful not to intrude on this scared moment
 as family help their loved one make the transition
from life to death

It hasn't gotten easier but at the same time it has.
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