Print Email
 

Medical Humanities

The First One

Derick Nelson Jenkins

April 29, 2016

It was years ago,
but I remember the lines on your face, your red hair, your curly beard, your voice.
You were the most stable person in the unit, 
“a floor patient.”

I remember you talking on the phone that night,
I think it was your daughter.
You looked good, 
close to going home to her. 

Then the nurse paged.
“He doesn’t look right.”
Then came the blood,
everywhere,
brisk as could be.

“Initiate the massive transfusion protocol!” 
I didn’t even know what that was, being new.
I called the seniors who were asleep at home. 
“Get here now!”
As they raced in, the moon drifted behind the clouds.
They stopped the bleeding, 
stabilized you.

But then,
it happened again.
We lost you.

I still think of the woman on the other end of the phone.
How is her life, 
without you?
Did she recover?
Could she?
Do memories of you haunt her as well?
She may be thinking of you now, remembering you, as I am.

They tell you “The first one stings.”
Hundreds of patients later,
it still does.


View Editor's Comments

 



 

Submit content to JGIM

JGIM encourages submission of articles aimed at improving patient care, education, and research in primary care and general internal medicine in all settings. Submissions must be original and not currently under consideration for publication in another peer- reviewed medium (paper or electronic).

Learn How to Submit Here

 

FEATURED ARTICLE

 

Darlyn Victor, MD, Paul Moots, MD and Jacqueline Fischer, MD

October 13, 2016

A 39-year-old African-A....

Read Article
 

Most Viewed Articles

73 Views

The Role of Community-Based Participatory Research to Inform Local Health Policy: A Case Study.

O’Brien, Matthew J.; Whitaker, Robert C.

Read Article| Download PDF
25 Views

The Role of Community-Based Participatory Research to Inform Local Health Policy: A Case Study.

O’Brien, Matthew J.; Whitaker, Robert C.

Read Article| Download PDF
31 Views

The Role of Community-Based Participatory Research to Inform Local Health Policy: A Case Study.

O’Brien, Matthew J.; Whitaker, Robert C.

Read Article| Download PDF

Most Recent Web Only Content

January

17

On the Penetrating Capacity of Ultrasound

Sarah Bugg

Read Article

December

20

Painful Eruption in a Mountain Biker

Jasna Ikanovic, MD and Animita Saha, MD

Read Article

November

19

Adverse Events In US Hospitals:1 in 3 Admissions Has At Least One Adverse Event

SGIM Evidence-Based Medicine Task Force

Read Article

August

25

Diagnostic Schema

Denise M. Connor, Rabih Geha, Mark Henderson, Jeff Kohlwes

Read Article