Having sympathy for a patient is a huge thing when you are a doctor. A lot of times people don’t take into consideration that you not only have to have sympathy for your patient but you have to have sympathy for your patients loved ones. When you are a doctor the hospital is basically your home because you are there so much. The long shifts and time spent with patients they become your family. It is very normal for doctors to get attached to patients and show some kind of emotion if they pass away. For my poem I focused on how a husband would react to his wife passing away and how a doctor would react. “Desperation and Loss” is a timeline poem. It starts from when the doctor hears “code blue” to having to deal with the loss of their patient. Empathy is very important in medicine because creating that bond between the doctor and the patient makes them trust you. Patients tend to be more comfortable with treatment and everything when they have a relationship with the doctor. Having that relationship is a huge positive thing in medicine but it come with the negative of getting attached and possibly having to deal with loss.
My hope for my poem is that men can see that it is okay to cry when a loved one passes away. Men try to hold themselves together with the fear of not seeming “manly”. My dad is someone who is an example of this. I have never ever seen him cry at anything. Not even when one of his loved ones passed away. I also hope my poem can show patients that doctors are also effected by death. In my poems case then man would feel comforted in the fact that he is not alone while he is mourning. To show the patients family that their loved one affected your life in a way that makes you emotional when they pass is comfort on some level.
The title “Desperation and Loss” sums up my poem for me because the man crying after his wife passed away is an act of desperation from loss. I couldn’t think of a title at first and when I was reading through my poem the line “fat wet tears of desperation and loss” stuck out to me over and over again.
I feel like majority of people who read “The House of God” focuses on the relationships between the doctors and how they feel about patients. When I read the book I couldn’t get out of my head how awful that is for loved ones to deal with a passing of a spouse. In the case of this book many of the patients are older and have been married for 50 plus years so I really wanted to touch on the immediate reaction of the loved one right after the patient passed. This poem is very powerful and gives the reader and incite on the emotions following a death not only for the loved one but for the doctor as well.
-Found poem by Chloe Sklar, excerpted from The House of God, by Samuel Shem, pg. 59, 70, 148, 149, 196, 202, 213, 268, 270
Desperation and Loss
The alarm went off
Screams came from the room
She lay motionless
Promised a life and then saddled with death
I tried to sit with him
We sat there together
I realized that there was nothing I could do to help him
From there things went downhill
Quiet tears filled his eyes,
Fat wet tears of desperation and loss
Tears steaming down my cheeks
Feeling that I’d been cheated,
They had hurt me, bad
I felt numb