I frequently get asked by the public and by colleagues in the medical field about my motives or inspirations behind writing, especially when I am blessed to lead a busy academic and operative practice.
I once read a Japanese author answer to his motives behind writing, he said something like this: when I was a kid, I used to go fishing with my father and watching how the fish writhe in pain and flutter once it’s out of the water without making much sound, I wanted to describe the pain that silent fish was having, I wanted to give voice to the silent fish.
I do not recall the name of this great writer, and I am becoming bad with names which I think is a disease common among surgeons. We tend to know the important and big arteries and veins that matter to life and tie off all the unnecessary ones without sometimes even knowing what they are precisely.
What are names really?! They are a way of communication and by no means do they reflect the important which is the identity or the being.
Surgeons do their rounds with faces made of steel, they deal with terminally ill patients without expressing much emotions. This is not a criticism but an observation, and it’s important to keep it this way. Patients need empathy and not sympathy, we are their shining stars, we can not melt down when they are putting all their faith on us.
However, at the end of the day we as surgeons and doctors are nothing but humans. True we pass by a palliative cholangiocarcinoma patient asking him about nausea, pain and vomiting charting down the color and amount of his PTC drain output and vital signs leaving the room to sip some coffee before heading to the operating room for some major cases. True we sip that coffee while the life of the patient we just left can be counted by no more than the time it takes us to drink cups of coffee less than the number of fingers we have, but it is not true that this is not affecting us in one way or another.
It does not have to impact us emotionally but it will find its way silently through the cracks of our souls and get expressed in thousands different ways. Perhaps in a peculiar and silent way resembling the silent fluttering of a fish when it’s in pain out of the water.
That is why I write, to discover how the energy of emotions around us translates into our souls and how can we keep doing what we are doing daily without breaking down.
I write on behalf of the people who resemble the writhing silent fish!