Life may not have fairy tale endings of happily-ever-after.
Plus, there is happiness if you know where to look.
I have just two days of medical school left and I recently found out that my first medicine patient is home and no longer on dialysis. This is good news, the best news possible! I expected for him to be on a kidney transplant list or worse by now. But instead he is living his life and his kidneys are functioning well enough to allow him to skip dialysis. He is so young and has so much life ahead of him. I can only hope that he gets to live it.
I also found out that one of my neurosurgery patients is making amazing progress at rehab. Prior to being a neurosurgery patient he was an amazing, smart, able-bodied father and grandfather. And then he fell off a ladder while doing some home repairs. He left the hospital with very limited control of one extremity and was largely non-communicative with a trach and G-tube in place. I really didn't know know what kind of life he would live again. However he is now in a wheelchair, wheeling himself around, as well as eating and talking. I saw a video of him yesterday and could not believe it was the same patient that graced the service the entire month I was on.
I am so glad I have some happy patient stories to end medical school with. (I have plenty of not so happy endings to share too, but not today.)
Today is about reflecting on the good.
The amazing, brave and resilient patients I have met.
The thoughtful and helpful nurses and staff.
The dedicated professors and attendings.
The mentors that have taken the time to inspire and help me become who I am today.
My wonderful support system: my husband, my parents, my dear friends.
I did not get here by myself. The end of medical school is around the corner but it is not my celebration alone. I appreciate everyone who helped me along the way. There were dragons and they were slain.
Life may not be about fairy tale endings but my end of medical school is happily-ever-after or close enough to it for me.