Life is beautiful, but it’s not always so in the end.

Today, I heard my patient’s incoherent yells before I even entered her room.  “Hai muoi hai tuoi!” (“Twenty-two years old!”).  Ages, numbers that made no sense.  Approaching my patient’s bedside at the hospice, I saw that her curtains had been drawn around her. As soon as she saw me, she begged me to bring her water. I was used to this – her brain tumor medication made her endlessly thirsty, and most of my visits would consist of me trying to fend off her demands for water and distract her with watching Vietnamese singing shows, painting her nails, or looking through photo albums of her wedding. I quickly opened a cup of sealed water and handed it to her, but she yelled for two more, even pointing to the lotion bottles at her bedside. Upon talking to the nurse, he told me that it seemed that her tumor had progressed. She had just been switched to a new medication and had been agitated the entire night. Her roommates had complained of noise, headaches, and an inability to sleep, and everyone was at a loss of what to do. It seemed as if the presence of people around her seemed to excite her more, causing her to beg anyone she could for water. As a result, the nurses had chosen to pull the curtains closed and let her lay alone.  After trying to attend to her for half an hour and only seeing her become further agitated, I, too, left.

Yet, throughout this all, I was plagued with an overwhelming feeling of discomfort. If we are unable to help someone, are we to simply leave them alone and ignore their cries? Do we ignore problems hoping they will disappear or that someone else will deal with them? We seek to provide comfort, but when is it okay to give up? What was the right thing to do?  I wish I knew. 

Such an amazing, refreshing weekend. 

Sleeping through most of Saturday…then waking up to go to the One Republic concert. He is absolutely SO SO talented. Good music, enjoyed among even better company :) Subsequent In-N-Out trip was most satisfying ever.

Sunday morning yoga with Rachel, then Erica’s housewarming party with all the co-workers. Learning to make mojitos, sitting around in her shaded patio in a big circle, chatting and enjoying the amazing weather. 

At times like these, I don’t regret at all taking off so many years before medical school. I feel like all of my life, it’s been me rushing off to get one thing done or another. Always off to meet the next obstacle, to climb the next mountain. It has always been a straight path for me, and suddenly now there’s more twists and turns. And maybe these periods of having to slow down for once aren’t so bad at all. Maybe they’re about simply enjoying the moment, of taking in these summer days of doing nothing but sipping mojitos and chatting with friends. 

It’s been a long road since last year graduation, and although sometimes I feel like I’m not on the path I want to be, I’m proud of where I’ve come in the past year. Established my worth at a new company, built a wonderful network of friends through work/high school re-connections/ random meetups, gotten into the best shape of my life with yoga/rock climbing/hiking, and explored the diverse scenery of the Bay Area, from nights out in SF to hiking and camping in Santa Cruz. 

So…even though these next two years may be a slight detour in my ultimate goals, I have a feeling that the scenery on this path will be so worth it.

Anger, sadness, acceptance, loneliness, frustration, bitterness, gratefulness, fear. I can’t seem to gain control over my emotions lately, and it scares me. I do not understand myself anymore. And neither can I understand the people around me. Human relationships are so complicated. Lately I’ve been feeling as if I’m in a warzone. I trespass boundaries unknowingly and suddenly I’m under fire. My emotions have won. My chest aches, and I am hurting. I can’t keep running. I just want to find a safety zone. Somewhere I can curl into a ball, not face the world, recuperate, and heal. I just don’t want to feel anymore right now.