29 June 2011


2 weeks in. i'm figuring out where the bathrooms are, which nurses to ask for help, how to do things on the computer. i'm learning that the lab will always lose the blood that i personally drew. i'm learning to rely on my fellow interns not only for advice, but emotional support. i'm getting there, but there are still so many unexpected difficulties.

it was about 4:30am and i was sitting with my fellow night interns in our lair - returning pages, pecking out our admission notes - when an arrest announcement came overhead. it all happened so fast... we ran down the hall, up the two flights of stairs, desperately trying to find the room where a patient's heart had stopped. we got there and stopped moving as quickly as we had begun. we felt for pulses, wondering whether we were feeling only our own. we tried to find out information. we did everything we were taught in our respective ACLS classes (advanced cardiac life support).

my resident started a central line as i held the patient's leg still - a job that got my w
hite coat sleeves covered in blood. anesthesiology arrived and intubated the patient. my fellow interns and i switched off doing chest compressions. the residents watched the cardiac rhythm, pushed drugs, and instructed us. i was mostly emotionally numb to the situation as i tried to pump life into this woman's dying body. the sweat dripping down my brow was in stark contrast to her cold, goose-bumped skin. we sent labs, pushed fluids, delivered shocks - we did everything by the book. she was gone. my resident finally called it at 5:30. we put everything down and walked out - defeated.

as i was walking out of the room, covered in sweat and blood, i noticed the sun had begun to rise. i walked to the end of the hall and caught my breath - it was an absolutely breathtaking view southward from the hospital over lower manhattan and the hudson river, bathed in morning sun.

i've discovered in these two short weeks that this job is hard - the hours are long, the free time non-existent, the criticism merciless. but i've also discovered the intimate, unspeakable difficulties of my job: spending the last hour of someone's life with them beating on their chest. i pray that i continue to feel the sorrow i felt that morning throughout my residency and career - not because i desire misery, but rather empathy - always striving to do the best for my patients.

24 June 2011

los necesidades

i have been an intern for a little over a week now, and i've already discovered a few things i'm going to need at the hospital to get me through this year:

1. copious amounts of gatorade
2. Spanish
3. forget about/lose my insecurities
4. Jesus

someone wise once told me that in life, it's imperative to do things so big and important that without the help of Christ i will fail. this person must have had incredible foresight - they were basically describing residency as i've come to understand it.

to be perfectly honesty, it's been brutal so far. not only am i working 13hr days/6 days a week, they are actually overnight. 9pm to 10am. i come in and get handed a list of 40 patients who may or may not be trying to die, and my job is to keep them alive with only a cursory knowledge of what's going on. additionally i admit a patient from the ER who i workup/draw labs/decide on a plan for their care. it is mostly grueling and tedious, although there have been a few moments of joy when i feel like i'm truly helping someone or the team in the morning approves of my decisions. mostly, it's been very isolating and validating to all my insecurities. i'm learning a new hospital system - one where things don't get done when ordered, patient rooms are blocks away, and everyone is busy. it's intern year, right? it's supposed to be like this. i'm excited/apprehensive to see how my feelings will change throughout the year. i'm not going to make it alone. i'm lucky to have henry at my side through it all. i'm ultimately and eternally lucky to have Christ.

i was reminded this morning that one of my coping mechanisms has always been escape through music. an album i'm always going back to: 100 portraits and waterdeep's "enter the worship circle." the songs are based on scripture, mostly hymns. they are incredible feats of percussion - with words of gold. on the subway on the way home this morning, i closed my eyes and felt my spirit lifted with the reminder that the psalmist has been there too - and been rescued.

save me, oh God, for the waters have come up to my neck
i am sinking to the bottom where i cannot stand
i am calling to You, can you hear my cry?

oh my God, You've turned your eyes
And now my heart has come alive

only You have come to find me
only You have come to pull me out
only You have come to save me
only You have come to wrap your arms around me

01 June 2011

dr. sharon

proper post will be forthcoming!

since last i jotted my stream of consciousness on this blog, i have done the following things:
1. spent a week and a half in europe (london and paris)
2. graduated from medical school (finally got that MD, baby!)
3. moved to new york (!!!)

just a couple small things. no big deal.

but for now... dr sharona, OUT!