Blues for Christmas

frosty-the-showmanMy feelings are split at this time of year, and I fear there is a touch of the cliche to it.

As I try to celebrate family, friends, love, and blessings for the future, I see around me so many reasons not to celebrate. And worse, so many people who I know can’t celebrate and no platitude from me or anyone else will change that for them.

Today, we had to have two patients admitted. They’ll spend their holiday on the third floor of the hospital. Another patient has to have a rush CT-guided thoracentesis. Because of the holiday, she won’t get it until Friday. She’ll spend her holiday scared, uncomfortable, and even struggling for breath.

And then the most impactful today – the one that really reminded me that there is more than what is immediately around me – was the gentleman who came in without an appointment just because he was so sad and lonely after recently losing his only emotional support, his mother.

Snow flakes highly magnified by a low-temperature scanning electron microscope (SEM). The colours are called "pseudo colours", they are computer generated and are a standard technique used with SEM images.. Public domain. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Snow_crystals.png

Snow flakes highly magnified by a low-temperature scanning electron microscope (SEM). The colours are called “pseudo colours”, they are computer generated and are a standard technique used with SEM images.. Public domain. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Snow_crystals.png

He used to come in all smiles and full of stories, ready to talk to everyone about anything. Today, I could barely get him to look up at me. As we were all trying to end our day to have a small office celebration, he was in an exam room trying to stop crying so he could leave with a little dignity.

We can’t heal everyone and we can’t even try. Not without sacrificing everything of ourselves. That’s neither fair nor healthy and I wouldn’t want anyone to do that – even if I were the person sick – but that doesn’t remove the melancholy hanging over me on this Christmas Eve.

And it shouldn’t.

I can be happy with my life, proud of what I’ve done and do, and there is still room to also respect and empathize too.

For something a bit lighter, check out the Slicing Up Eyeballs Christmas Mix 2013.

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