bad vibes

July 21, 2010

Yesterday was Tisha B’av – the anniversary of the falling of the Jewish temple (twice), the exile of Jews from Spain in 1492, and Hitler’s launch of his Final Solution campaign. It’s the unluckiest day of the year for my tribe.

No crises to report, but it was a sad day. I examined my first comatose patient – a 29 year old woman with a two year history of brain cancer. She had been in a coma several weeks, and was supported by a ventilator. On examination, there were no brain stem reflexes. My attending was shocked her heart hadn’t stopped yet.

Believe it or not, the stroke unit was uplifting. Last week my patients were in their 80’s. Most had a long social history of places they’d lived, jobs they’d worked, kids raised, religious communities built, and hobbies that accumulate over a lifetime. A few days after admission, cards from grandkids appeared.

My patient yesterday was alone in a room, swollen with edema, unable to blink. But her skin was still smooth, and she hadn’t finished grad school when they found a tumor on her CT.

I left the hospital early, went home, and slipped into the normal existential reaction to a young person dying — I started to wonder, “what’s it all about?” Luckily, meditation class was last night, which helped. It didn’t answer the question. I’ll let you know as soon as I solve that mystery.

Looking forward to Tu B’Av on Monday – Jewish Valentines day, and the most energetically positive day of the year according to the Kabbalists in Los Angelos.

Today I’m at school for 6 hours of lecture. The cloud:  I’m bored out of my mind. The lining: there’s wireless.

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One Response to “bad vibes”


  1. good tisha b’av post Roz!

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