His overdose was a bad one.  For the sake of privacy I will not specify.  His overdose may well prove fatal.  But he was talking.  He was frightened. He was, I think, remorseful.  His aged father stood by, eyes wide, face, drawn, controlling his inner anguish.  His mother, looking down, patting her husband.

The anger and brokenness that led to the event most likely seemed small from the perspective of the day; when things went suddenly from ‘I just wanted to go to sleep’ to ‘sir, I have to be honest and tell you that you may die from this.’

I said a prayer for him, and I will again. I have not heard his condition, have not heard his course; he is far away in a place with many resources.  If any place will give him a chance, it’s the place he is now.

But I still see their faces.  I still see the numbers on the lab reports, still know how bad it was.  And I wonder, what is more surreal?  To treat them and pronounce them dead?  Or to talk with them and predict them dead?

It’s a strange thing to behold.  An honor, a privilege and a sorrow.

But far less for me than for that patient and all those who love him and now live in expectation of the worst.


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