A Day and a Life


Hit the floor running, that's what they say

But there's only so far you can run

In this bricked up place with these

tiled floors filled with sickness, sad-

ness, and sterilization. But that's why I'm here:

To play my part, trying to give comfort to those left behind

Or sooth the ones who lash out when I near them. They're scared, abandoned -

I'm sure that's how they feel. Sometimes, no amount of consoling will make them understand

We're not here to do harm, only try to make things better, even when that

solace comes from a thick, pink anesthetic

Sometimes closing their eyes will be the last

But it's my job to see that those who have a

chance will open their eyes again once more

Even if that means I may be harmed in the process

"Keep fighting, you'll go home soon," I whisper in their ears

But these are the ones who usually don't, and death is not peaceful,

though many wish it was. Some do well, but others just fight every treatment; then, we know.

Chest compressions, IV meds, shouting out orders

The ER becomes contained chaos.

Crashing patient.

Flash of rapidly moving body parts.

Family on the phone.

We know there's no bringing them back

but we persist.

A twenty-five percent

recovery rate in a healthy patient,

but these are not healthy

The electrocardiogram dips

and peaks with each compression otherwise,

there is


and the doctor calls it

We give a final good-bye,

with a pat on the head or an ear scratch

and we move on with our work, tending to the patients

who still might have a fighting chance, and that's why I'm here -

to do what I can to save these animal, these pets, these family members.

They aren't mine, but they become mine during their stay in our hospital. When the time comes

to say goodbye, in life or death, I cannot fight - only comfort

Knowing that it will go on, and that all I've done

to care for this patient wasn't wasted

And I will do it again each day

Because every life that walks through the door

Is a life that can be treated, can be improved, can be saved.


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