Anyone who has been a hospital patient knows one undeniable truth: it is impossible to get a good night’s sleep. Daily labs are drawn at 1 a.m. SCDs squeeze your legs every 10 minutes. Machines beep in your room. Chatter and alarms flood the hallways. Even the most exhausted of us would have trouble drifting off amidst this clamor.
“To most physicians my illness is a routine incident in their rounds, while for me it’s the crisis of my life. I would feel better if I had a doctor who at least perceived this incongruity.” –Anatole Broyard. When I first encountered Broyard’s quote, it resonated with me on a personal level, as I was reminded of an incident that occurred on my surgical rotation.
I had just finished my second test in medical school. I flopped down next to a fellow student I met barely a month ago, exasperated and on the verge of tears. I was exhausted and quickly becoming emotional, realizing I was too uncertain about a (large) handful of those musculoskeletal questions.