My friend, who is only 38 and just had her second baby, ended up on the operating table for life-saving open heart surgery. I was visiting her when the surgeon walked in. As I was shaking his hand, I couldn’t help but to be completely star struck. Here are the hands that were in my friend’s chest for 8 hours performing a surgery so difficult that he himself could not believe that she was pulling through and on her way to a full recovery.
As I was sitting there listening to him, I couldn’t help but to wonder what it would feel like to be on the other side of that trust, to be someone who has a type of job where, day in, day out, people literally put their life in your hands. How can someone take the pressure of knowing that patients and ALL of their entourage, are counting on you to bring their loved one back to them?
Regardless of the type of job that we do, we all want to do well and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do great work. When we fail, we feel bad, we get a bad review and maybe even get fired. When medicine fails (traditional or not), people lose a friend, a wife or a husband, a parent, a sibling or even sometime a child.
So, I like to keep things in perspective, continue to do my best work and take pride in what I do, but also be gentle with myself, recognize my limits and when I get too stressed or worried about work or life in general, I like to remind myself that lucky for me, I am not the one developing a cure for cancer.
I take a few lines out of this blog to give thanks to all of the great people, health care professionals and others, who have the courage and the ability to take on that pressure. I owe them my life and now, my friend does too.