They teach me how to take, and then
they send me to you. I take your history,
your blood, your time. A couple of secrets:
this morning we drew out molecular
pathways on whiteboards in a different
building; we laughed at ourselves because
we can never pronounce anything right.
Also, the five times I stood by your bedside
and pulled back your hospital gown and
listened and said I could hear your heart
murmur, I was lying all but one of them.
I have gotten through life unscarred by
using words as a platelet plug, throwing
them at the wounds, at what I’ve done
wrong, hoping that the bleeding stops.
That wouldn’t work here. I speak only in
conditionals: I used to write poems in
lower case and italics so they would look
quieter. For a moment a blue sheet shifts
and I see your neck, bare and bloodless.
Another secret: really, I am here only to
watch. To watch and to take. It was meant
to be real, but somehow I have already
absorbed all the meaning of language I can’t
even speak yet. There are other relevant
questions, other answers. The last thing
you ate before it hurt too much. You wore
a blue dress to your granddaughter’s
wedding. Sometimes we both forget which
surface of life is real. I watch and I take.
And out of all the things I have taken there
was one that I was given: they said
these are the masks we wear.
Skip Nav Destination
Education| September 2017
Medical Student in the Operating Room
Accepted for publication March 31, 2017.
Anesthesiology September 2017, Vol. 127, 583–584.
- Views Icon Views
- PDF LinkPDF
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Rebekka DePew; Medical Student in the Operating Room. Anesthesiology 2017; 127:583–584 doi: https://doi.org/10.1097/ALN.0000000000001664
Download citation file:
Citing articles via
Practice Guidelines for Moderate Procedural Sedation and Analgesia 2018: A Report by the American Society of Anesthesiologists Task Force on Moderate Procedural Sedation and Analgesia, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American College of Radiology, American Dental Association, American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists, and Society of Interventional Radiology