I bumped into an old friend at the hospital today. He reminded me I hadn’t posted anything here lately. I told Dalvie—a classmate now affiliated with the Doctors to the Barrios program of the Department of Health—that there are moments when I’m too physically exhausted to even open my computer.
My friend Racquel is seated right across the table. We’re in a corner of a quiet café overlooking the sea, devoid of noisy teenagers. A few students are reviewing for their exams. Coffee shops are, indeed, the new libraries. Now into my second cup of brewed coffee, I’m still sleepy—notwithstanding the fact that I’m reading about lupus, a topic that normally excites and interests me, what with my aunt dying from it when I was in high school.
Medicine is too personal—or so it is for me. I cannot avoid the memories of patients, both living and dead, when I read about diseases on my textbooks. I remember the 20-year old patient suffering from lupus cerebritis who cursed me just before she had breathed her last. I remember, too, the demanding, incorrigible lady with difficult-to-treat tuberculosis. Her chief concern then wasn’t that she had lupus flares, but that her skin was populated with dark, ugly scars, and that her boyfriend would probably leave her for someone prettier. Ah, romance.
I remember their voices and their complaints as I write on my Harrison’s, now bearing the dirty patinas of coffee stains from days of old.