There Will Be No Inspirational Holiday Season Stories Here

There will be no stories of profound wisdom conveyed by patients on their death-beds, or insights into living by that sweet, quiet, elderly lady who reminds me of my grandmother in Resus 3. No words of suffering children drawing life lessons will ever grace this weblog. Pregnant ladies or newly diagnosed cancer patients gently pointing out flaws in my practice and making me a better nurse — no, sadly, their stories will never appear here either.

Sorry. Just don’t have it in me.

I am a sour old cuss who thoroughly believes such saccharine bupkes properly belongs on greeting cards and in the pages of the lower-end nursing magazines and Reader’s Digest.

And I really don’t think the world works like that anyway. The emergency department is filled with stories — sad, tragic, funny, desperate, ridiculous, maddening, empowering, life-altering — some of which I am privileged recount here, and some of which are cause for reflection and learning. But none of them are neatly tied up with a bow, ready for presentation like a gift basket. Not every story has a moral. Some stories just are unvarnished tales with no point at all. Life is too messy, and the ethical and moral lessons, if in fact there are any to be found in the ED, are usually far too ambiguous and make for periods of lengthy thought and hard-won insight.

Not fodder the short, snappy, sickly-sweet story with the moral tacked on the end. Can’t do it. Won’t do it.


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