Thursday, November 24, 2016

Reap What We Sow

Happy to have an essay, part of my MFA thesis, published at intima: a journal of narrative medicine.

Amid flowers and the smell of fresh dirt in Lowes’ garden department, my pager vibrates: a stat call from the labor room. Pat and I had been picking annuals for our yard; with its partial sun and dense shade Impatiens grow best. I’m partial to multicolored, but this year it’s her turn to pick and she’s opted for solid red. As she loads the crimson flats onto our cart, I step a few feet away to call Wafia, my family medicine resident. She trips over her words trying to tell me everything at once. A fifteen-year-old pregnant patient, let’s call her Casey, has broken her water and come to the hospital in active labor and… I don’t need Wafia to say much more, because I hear the nurse yell in the background, “Heart tones down in the 60’s. Get in here!”

I signal Pat we have to go with a sideways jerk of my head. She quickly slides the young plants back onto the shelf. Wafia tells me Dr. Dillon is the obstetrician on back-up call, and the nurse is paging him now. He lives close to the hospital and I’m half-hour away. “Great,” I say. “I’ll get there as soon as I can.” 

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