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Permalink 06:56:52 pm by cassie, Categories: Announcements [A]

Sometimes, on those exhausted evenings after we've both come home from work, Mark's creative brain still steaming and my body fatigued from lifting bodies all day, we sit on the couch and don't say anything. I can talk a lot, but Mark quiets me. Sometimes I get mad, in my head, thinking, "Why isn't he saying anything?" And then I try to think about what I expect him to say and I can't come up with anything. I just want to hear his voice. But those quiet evenings, with their silences, are ripe with comforts for my tired soul. I find that my day's failings aren't worth rehashing, the decisions I made in the care of my patients have already been made, and that all the things I've said can't be rescinded.

In those quiet moments, thinking about the little things of my day, almost seven years after meeting him, I lean my head on Mark's chest and listen to his valves snapping open and shut over and over again. I'm fascinated by the thought of a heart beating away in there. I detach from my patients by separating the science of their bodies and from them as a person. This is how I am able to insist that I do things to them that may cause them temporary pain but will help them to get better, how I can hurt in my quest to heal and not feel any guilt. I tell them that I'm sorry, that I feel badly that I'm hurting them, and I do - but I never feel guilty if I'm doing the right thing. My coworkers and I refer to these people by their diagnosis and surgery performed, we talk about their intimate medical details - how well each valve opens, the pressures of their vessels, the level of performance of their internal organs - and while I feel great compassion for them as people, it's easy to look at sometimes happy, pleasant people and think of how broken they are inside. Ticking time bombs, waiting to fail. Held together with IV fluids, medication, pacers, sutures, prostheses, and Gore-Tex.

But this, the heart in Mark's ribcage, somehow seems different than those belonging to all the thousands of patients I've met. I feel desperate, sometimes, at the need to keep it beating, in those times when I think of how much I love him. I think of how small a chance it is to be loved by someone you love back who is actually a good match for you. Ear to his chest, listening to those relentless valves and unending nerve electricity, I think about all that I know about a heart, how it functions, how each fraction of a second holds a carefully orchestrated order of events that causes it to continue where it left off. I look up at him and tell him again how overwhelmed I am at the thought that anyone, let alone him, would chose me to belong to. I tell him how I can't believe that I have my very own person, another human being all of my own. What funny little mortals we are.


Comment from: Crystal [Visitor] Email
Crystal(Yikes, attack of the spam monster.)

Love this.
12/15/10 @ 23:45
Comment from: cassie [Member]
cassie(I know.. can't seem to stem the tide. Oh well. I like to pretend that the spambots secretly enjoy my writing but just can't say so per their job description...)

Thanks. :)
12/21/10 @ 12:33
Comment from: Heidi [Visitor] Email
12/22/10 @ 22:46
Comment from: Al [Visitor] Email
AlWow, that third comment from "two-way-radio-battery.net" has just what I was looking for!! And great prices to boot!

Thanks Scooter!!

01/21/11 @ 17:48
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I like to multi-task: wife, writer, nurse, Christian, ne'er do well. I do all with equal gusto.


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