Wednesday, February 29, 2012

at the hospital

I walk down the long, empty hallway, considering the night. I'm trying hard to convince myself otherwise, but it felt a little tame. A little bit of a let-down after the past two weeks. No traumas that actually needed anything. Certainly not like the guy who was shot in the head, or the other guy who was stabbed. Everyone was telling me I should have been there earlier; it was crazy!

But my night consisted of more waiting than I would have liked.

While waiting for my mom to arrive, I sit down and start writing in my notebook. During the traumas I was writing obsessively, but when I was watching blood being drawn, or the woman's heart being stopped, my notebook was sitting on the counter, forgotten.

I get into the car. I start off slowly, explaining how the person who had a knife in their butt hadn't needed surgery after all. Which is good, for the patient. But I was disappointed.

As I talk, I start remembering more about my evening. I realize that while nothing was crazy like a guy who had been shot in the head, I still got to see some pretty cool stuff.

The prize winner was definitely the three partially severed fingers. Seeing bones poking out of his flesh, the nails intact on one side, and then turning over his hand and seeing halfway through the flesh on the other.

And although the heart being stopped was cool, it was also anticlimactic. You wouldn't have been able to tell the woman had anything more than bad heartburn going on. But the print out of her heart rhythm? Seriously cool.

It may not have been filled with running and screaming and dying. (Which is good for the patients. I recognize it's slightly sick and twisted and morbid when I'm wishing for a guy to be shot in the head. Let's clear that up--I'm not wishing for anyone to be hurt. But I know they will be hurt, and so I would like that to happen while I am standing at the charge desk, wondering what to do.)

But that's part of the experience too. Every day is different, and you never know what you're going to get. And above all, it's a huge privilege to be allowed to even see the blood being drawn. To have this experience at all, and as a high school senior, I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all.


Unknown said...

I think it if so amazing that you've not only heard your Calling but that you are already getting to experience that world.

JW Moxie said...

Wow. That sure beat the heck out of MY day.