“Concentrate”


They told me

I needed to be organized

     So I tried to be organized – except!

Nothing changed. 

            I was helped 

And I think I learned how 

     To adapt 

         So I made myself a motto 

   “It’s ok, I’ll figure it out” 


      So, I went to the med room 

To let just three tears slip 

           As I tried to focus – but 

My patient yelled

               And one paced  

     In the hallway, screaming out

            Profanities 

        And my preceptor asked me 

   “Will you be able to be organized?” 


         Thankfully,

My lungs worked rhythmically 

     Enough to take a breath – and then! 

My heart broke 

             As I realized 

   My sweet patient’s daughter 

         Had died 

            So, I tried to refocus and pray

       “Lord, at least help me to love” 


              It’s hard to love 

 While trying to be organized 

       For one moment I was fine – until! 

  A patient couldn’t cope 

              One couldn’t walk 

    And while I went to get a blood draw 

           One seized 

        And still, in the meantime, another asked 

    “Why can’t you help me?”


            Then, because I 

 Admitted to my preceptor 

           I needed help focusing – suddenly! 

I was being watched 

               And being timed

Carefully, I counted the minutes 

      Ten minutes 

   To place an IV and assess, so I said  

 “This will be possible” 


            Then somehow 

It was end of the shift 

        And in a span of – 12 hours!

God had taught me 

       Humility 

Being reminded of His strength 

      Is beautiful  

   And in my weakness 

“[His] grace is sufficient” 


            I truly love 

The emergency room 

           Because in its halls – full of despair!

     God always shows up 

         And crucified 

Become my abilities 

     As I learn to concentrate 

    On the reality of what He told me 

  “Just trust Me in the tension” 

“Hallways”

And Emergency: Part Two


We walk quickly

Down the hallways 

In the absence of

Silence.

Is it possible, still 

To hear you?


We walk into

curtained rooms

In the presence of…

Trying. 

So hard, it seems,

To see you


We kneel on the

Blood-stained floors 

As you call out – 

Crying.

Your pain, we try

To feel you


We sit at our

Small, wheeled desks 

And still we smell the

Dying – 

Of dreams, so quick 

To flee you


Yet as I walk

These hallways 

In the absence of 

Silence – 

Your heartbeat, still

I hear you


And Christ will walk

Besides me

And we will taste His

Presence 

My patient, friend 

He’s with you 

Photo credit: https://www.statnews.com/2020/01/24/patients-restrained-in-the-er/

Emergency (I Will Awake)

Thoughts before a shift in the emergency room

It’s a funny thing going to sleep to wake up for a shift at 4am. Maybe it’s because my responsibility hasn’t quite sunken in yet. Maybe it’s because I don’t remember that when I will awake, I will walk into an emergency.

Maybe it’s because emergency is a relative term; while one’s is a subdural hematoma, another’s is a stuffy nose. While one confesses to me that tonight they planned to die, another holds on to life so close that the very sliver away from normal drives them to seek out a place that will protect them. I suppose everything has the potential to become normal in a world of 8 billion plus different people. But still, I will awake to an emergency.

I don’t know who I will see when I walk into the emergency room doors at 4am. I could see you – I hope I don’t see you. I might see your mother, or your friend. But whomever I will see, I will keep my secrets. For the world can never know of the secrets confessed behind closed curtains and the shame that may be exposed. Yes, tomorrow I will enter your emergency.

I pray that you will see beyond me, because I am selfish. I think that is my emergency.