Monday, October 20, 2014

on restoration

Have you ever had too much space from your work? To the point where you feel rusty and it takes time to get back into a rhythm? 

Samir sent me this article, written by a psychiatrist, about the importance of story telling in medicine. It reminded me that story telling keeps me alert to everything about life: relationships, surroundings, struggles, changes, etc. When I have distance from that, I don't feel as present. Does that make sense? 

Being in New York has helped. So has carrying multiple notebooks, reading books from high school, and studying movies. I hope that with enough practice, the story telling will flow effortlessly again, and I can apply it to life inside and outside of the hospital. 

P.S. I came across this wonderful article about rekindling the spark with writing.

New York life

After four years, I'm reuniting with my old self in Manhattan. We picked up just where we left off. The girl who I was four years ago still lingers around the city, gazing at ads on the subway, recording the scent of roasted peanuts into a notebook, and striking up conversations with people in crowded restaurants. 

My rotation is at an amazing hospital that prides itself on caring for the under served. The commute--a drafty subway ride and 1 mile walk---takes me a couple of hours. Morning rounds are conducted with physicians, nurses, and social workers. The patients require around the clock monitoring.  I've spent a lot of time observing the value in reading a patient's chart again and again, speaking to their family members on a daily basis, and trusting a nurse's intuition. There are narrative medicine conferences every week, where health care professionals discuss patient care through story telling. 

Every once in a while, when I'm on my way home, I look up. The city resembles a giant game of Tetris, all corners and winks of light. Samir and I have a tiny corner of Manhattan, where the view makes us feel charmingly insignificant.

Our windowsill has our record guestbook from the engagement party and many books. 


“And lastly from that period I remember riding in a taxi one afternoon between very tall buildings under a mauve and rosy sky; I began to bawl because I had everything I wanted and knew I would never be so happy again.” 
F. Scott Fitzgerald