This morning during a short break between our Pathophysiology exam on heart disease and diabetes and a lecture on neurological assessment by a professor who has been living with MS for more than 30 years, I opened the following poem from my Poem-A-Day email subscription. I was transported to a different world, away from illness:
While jogging on the treadmill at the gym,
that exercise in getting nowhere fast,
I realized we need a health pandemic.
Obesity writ large no more, Alzheimer’s
forgotten, we could live carefree again.
We’d chant the painted shaman’s sweaty oaths,
We’d kiss the awful relics of the saints,
we’d sip the bitter tea from twisted roots,
we’d listen to our grandmothers’ advice.
We’d understand the moonlight’s whispering.
We’d exercise by making love outside,
and afterwards, while thinking only of
how much we’d lived in just one moment’s time,
forgive ourselves for wanting something more:
to praise the memory of long-lost need,
or not to live forever in a world
made painless by our incurable joy.
By Rafael Campo, a physician.
I don’t think nurses would be totally out of work if they suddenly found themselves in such a world (as I did, momentarily). I can think of a few things we could do…what do you think?