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Medical Humanities


By Nishtha Sodhi MD

Vreeb Vreeb is the 14th vibrating pulse 
on my pager before 9am.

Tring Tring is the 3rd blare of my unit telephone 
signaling the request for another hospital transfer. 

Hrrmm Hrrmm is the frenzy of the intra-aortic balloon pump 
my junior fellow is inserting to resuscitate bed 2.

Blip Blip is the siren of our STEMI line
alerting me to activate our cath lab.

Tap tap are my feet 
as I make my way towards Mrs. Noren’s room.

Whoosh whoosh are the sliding glass doors behind me 
fading out all the murmurs of my unit. 

Inside is Silence. 

A knowing silence 
as I look at Mr. Noren 
who looks knowingly back at me. 

He squeezes the hands of his wife of 52 years. 

For 30 days, I listened to the weakening beat inside her chest, 
But in that moment, 
it was Mr. Noren’s unasuscultated heart that was asking 
for a palpable thrill of courage.

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