Embracing the Now
by Louis Frazier
Year in Medical School: 3rd
Place of Birth:
Where You Grew Up:
Wake Forest University
Major in College:
Goals (Medical School and Beyond):
Become and ED doctor, write a book about my life, and act in several more plays.
Pesonal Philosophy on Life and/or Medicine:
Take one day at a time.
Remember who you were to become who you want to be.
When we are kids our imaginations allow us to become anything we want to be. We can take a cardboard box and blast off to Mars in our spaceship or go to the bottom of the ocean floor in our submarine. While on Mars we can speak to the Martians and teach them about our food customs. When mom looks away, take your vegetables and feed them to the dog. While we are on the ocean floor we can see the lost ruins of Atlantis and wonder in their splendor. We even believe we can do whatever or be whatever we want to be. For example, I want to be an actor, a farmer, and a doctor all at the same time.
As teenagers, we lose some of this ability to imagine. We see the cardboard box for what it is a box that once held stuff and now it can be used to store books in the closet. We realize that the Martians are not really there and if they were they must have died millennia ago. We stop caring about the mysterious city of Atlantis and just hope we can go to Atlanta, GA, some day. Hoping it will be our great escape from being told what to do by our “superiors.” You eliminate two of the three professions and decide to stick with one.
I have had many patient encounters that I will remember for a lifetime. The patient encounter that will remain in my memory forever occurred during hospice. I completed my H&P on Freddy and presented his case to Dr. K; during my exam Freddy was nonverbal with moaning, eyes were deviated upward, + lash reflex, and some mottling. We went in together to examine Freddy, within 15 minutes his lash reflex disappeared and the mottling significantly increased. Within 15 minutes we pronounced him as deceased at 11:32AM. I literally saw his “soul” leave his body and his wife of 39 years grabbed her stomach and wept.
Watching Freddy reminded me that we all have the same fate. We are born and we die. I do not think death is something that should be feared, but something to simply be remembered. We need to remember so that we do not forget to live our lives to the fullest each day. Let our imaginations thrive; let them bring us joy and satisfaction like they did when we were kids. I do not recommend getting in the cardboard box and thinking you are going to Mars, but if that is what makes you happy go for it. If you want to be an actor, teacher and a doctor go for it; strive to be those things and do those things that bring your heart joy so when you are breathing your last breath you know that you truly lived.
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