• Linda Von Zeuner

Tending, promising, living.

This was written by me in my internship, 2014. The same still rings very true today. What an honour to be able to help people.

Most of the time,I try not to ponder too much on what I do for a living.

When I do,I can feel my thoughts dragging me through a closet of a hidden country I’d much rather avoid.

Becoming a doctor was no difficult choice. It was simply a desire ingraved in my being. There was no decision,really.

It simply was.

Looking back on one and a half year of internship,with community service to follow (forms just submitted today) I am very sceptical that I would have chosen it again.

Exhausting calls where one can’t imagine going on another 12 hours, missing out in life due to working weekends and coming face to face with the worst type of suffering imaginable,I tend to envy and secretly hate everyone with a 9-5 job,no overtime and no weekends.

Especially the ‘it’s the weekend,baby’ announcements.

And yet.

And yet.

The thing which kills one is sometimes the exact thing which revives one.

I walked past a lady’s bed this morning who was so brutally attacked by her boyfriend that she sustained permanent brain damage.He ripped out both her eyes as well.

She had been laying in ICU,but was moved to a smaller high care for palliation.

In other words,making her comfortable.

Seeing her like that kills me.

All the same,touching her and briefly whispering a prayer revived me.

Even for a second.

I walk in the passage on my way to fetch blood from the bloodbank for one of my patients. Life.

I walk past a porter moving a fresh corpse out of the hospital.

Life and death passes each other in a brief second and I feel so terrible for the recently passed on’s family…yet I feel so much more alive to help the next one.

The terrible frustration one can encounter with endless paper and wardwork,telephone calls,ticking off ticksheets…to dealing with injustice,difficult families and fear about one’s own incompetence can almost 100% overshadow the parts doctorhood is to the world,which is-

(Kneeling next to patients' beds having a laugh,beautiful surgeries and procedures and reading brand new articles in a spotless consulting room)

Looking past the ticksheets,the lists,the scurrying around getting wardwork done while clinic is phoning,I do remember.

My 100 year old patient who is doing her best to mobilise in her walking frame. The one who greets me every morning with a big mouth full of gums.

The one I wished I could hold tight.

My other patient who has a compliment for me every single day.

The gentleman who is not my patient asking me how I really am everyday,and saying that I must have a nice day.

And this one.

And that one.

I must just remember. And make a point of keeping them close.

Community service is coming and I am so scared.

Scared of the unknown. Scared of being out of my depth. Overwhelmed. Overworked. Incompetent.

This job kills one. Totally.

But the calling,oh the calling.

Focusing on that,and the One who called,

Might prove a bit of life

A bit of light

An illumination of spiritual eyes

To say

I take up my cross and I will follow you.

I will lose my life for the sake of tending to Your sheep.

And that,is life. Abundant life. Knowing I follow him.

Maybe I will choose something easy. Maybe I will not become a paediatrician working in Africa or establishing clinics over the country,but a GP working halfday.

Who knows.

Right now,I know what my job is.

Tending to His sheep.

And doing that,doing His work,promises me.

I have life.



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