I broke down. I relented. I removed the price tag from the bottom of my new Danskos. For those of you who don’t know me well, buying a pair of Danksos is a big deal. You see, shoes are my “thing.” I don’t have many “things.” I have not a great intellect for reflecting on esteemed works of literature or designing rockets like my fellow friend and blogger Ryan alluded to in his blog. Nor do I craft, knit, sing, or play sports. But I can do shoes. And I do shoes with a vengeance. There nothing like the scent of quality leather wafting through the air and the sight of a towering 3 inch heel, accessorized with whimsical bows and crystals to make me lose all sense of reason… but I digress. And at the risk of sounding like a shoe snob, I find Danskos…um, how can I put it? Unattractive. Hideous. A total eyesore. I never thought I would see the day when I would voluntarily seek them out. After suffering during wards at the end of my first year, the day came. My aching feet cried out, begging me to end their suffering after endless hours of rounds and surgery. So during the summer, I found a pair that I found tolerable, and I promptly stuffed them at the back of one of my closets with price tag intact, hoping perhaps I would find something more acceptable instead. Yesterday was the first day of continuity clinic, so decided to wear them for the first time. As I was clomping to school in my new Danskos, I immediately realized that I was three inches taller. I am 5 ft and 1/2 and inch, so 3 inches is huge!!! I could wear my “long” pants without having the hem drag on the ground and not killing my feet in 3 inch heels. Score 5 points for Danskos! (For all of you guys out there, many girls have two types of pants. Pants that they wear with flats, and pants they wear with heels. Life is complicated being a girl…)
After class, I went to the VA continuity clinic. I spent the afternoon shadowing an internist, and surprisingly, I enjoyed my time there. Just after being a second year for two months, I feel like I understood so much more of the medicine than when I shadowed in first year. Neuropathies from neuropath, ACE inhibitors and terazosin from pharm, depression and post traumatic stress disorder from psychopath were given life in the patients I observed. It was a catalyzing experience.
Yesterday in the clinic, I saw my first post traumatic stress disorder patient. I felt deeply for him. I can’t imagine the horrors he saw and experienced. And yet, when we asked the doctor what was the best thing she did for him, she answered, “I listened.” It wasn’t the medications or the referrals. She gave him her time. She explained how behind she was in her schedule, but yet, she felt the need to listen to his experience and validate him. It was his first time reaching out for help, and she was the person who had the privilege to gain his trust and serve as his confidant. She was his doctor.
This was a great way to end the week. From the precious vantage point of my Danskos, I gained valuable perspective into the privilege of service while standing three inches taller in this big world.