A Thousand Years - Christina Perri
MONDAY, APRIL 29
They say practice makes perfect. Theory is, the more you think like a surgeon, the more you become one. The better you get at remaining neutral, clinical, cut, suture, close.. And the harder it becomes to turn it off. It suddenly becomes harder to stop thinking like a surgeon, and remember what it means to think like a human being.
It's always a matter of what is going to get you ahead in your career. It's always thinking of what you could do to avoid the skeptical glances you get from patients who realize that you're not the "real" doctor.
Today, however, I was the one handing out the looks of disbelief to my coworkers.
Olivia stood at the foot of the hospital bed I had been assigned, quickly reading out my chart. "Hospitalized for exhaustion and hypothermia after falling into the bay yesterday afternoon," she glanced up at me, "after losing consciousness for three hours yesterday, the advised treatment plan is an IV of vitamins and minerals to support her organs, which are reacting from the shock, and keep her overnight for observation."
I groaned and closed my eyes, leaning my head back into the pillows. Since when was I part of the rounds instead of going on the rounds?
"Wist, you'll be spending the day with Dr. Morgan," Stipe said assertively, pointing Tatum to sit in the chair by my bed, "and keep an eye on The Pit in case of overflow."
The Pit was our fond nickname of the emergency room waiting room. Tatum obidently sat beside me, grimacing because I wasn't a patient for an exciting neuro surgery.
Hanna looked down at the pager sitting on the table by my bed, grimacing, "Did no one let the nurses know that she's not on call today?"
"Who is it?" I asked, sitting up to try to peek.
Hanna shook her head and muttered something about brain surgeons under her breath before ducking out the door.
The other interns followed Stipe to finish rounds, apart from Tatum who was sitting beside me, kicking her legs up on the bed to watch Ellen.
My head throbbed painfully at any change of noise or temperature. I hadn't had a migraine in months and this one was not welcome. It was expected, though, after I had been in the ice-cold bay for almost fifteen minutes, thrashing trying to keep my head above the water.
My muscles were going to be sore, my neck was going to hurt, and I was going to be exhausted for a few more days. It was a natural reaction.
"I'm going to go get pudding," Tatum said suddenly, turning down the volume on the television and walking down to the cafeteria.
I reached forward and grabbed my chart off the foot of my bed and opened it, examining the notes that had been scrawled down about me.
"You really shouldn't be reading your own chart," Cole said softly. I looked up to see him walking into the room, hands in the pocket of his white lab coat. He smiled coolly at me, gently taking the book away from me.
I looked at him sadly, "I'm bored."
"This could cause psychiatric damage," he chuckled, "you'll get thoughts in your head that don't belong there." He put the chart aside, taking a seat in Tatum's chair.
I turned my head towards him, "Thank you."
After the accident yesterday, when I had been slung into the water by my patient, Cole had been the one to find me and pull me out. From what Scout and Tatum had shared with me, he had been breathing for me during the entire twenty minutes it took to get me back to the hospital. Chief and Stipe had made him leave the room after we had gotten back.
His gaze softened and he reached out, taking my hand in his, "How bad is it today? On a scale of 1 to 10?"
"I guess," I thought about this, "6."
He looked up at the banana bag above my head. It was a bag of nutrients being pumped into my bloodstream to help my body recover from the hypothermia. He gave it a quick squeeze, sending a gush into my hand.
"You'll feel better in time." he gently rubbed my shoulder, "You should be going home tomorrow morning."
I shook my head, "I'm missing my shift... I have to come back."
"They're not going to let you do that," he squeezed my hand, "You need to take it easy."
Scout came bumbling in, carrying a tray from the cafeteria, "Hey, Blue, I found that chicken salad you like-"
He paused, eying between Cole and I. "Oh. Wow. Um."
"I'll see you later, Dr. Morgan. I'm glad you're doing well." Cole flashed a small smile at me and then one at Scout, "Dr. Jameson..."
He exited, passing by Scout, before disappearing down the hallway.
Scout paused at the foot of my bed, putting the lunch tray down on the table there. "Is that-" he looked back at the hall, "Are you two?
"We're friends, Scout, we're just friends."
What worried me was how easily that lie slipped off my tongue.
As surgeons, we'll do whatever it takes to get ahead, even if it means lying to our very closest friends.