Through the Fire

I had a routine surgical case to perform yesterday before heading off to my cathedral to serve at the memorial service for a great woman of our parish. I had offered to complete the case for my partners because it would make their day easier and allow all of us to enjoy the start of the weekend. I am always glad to help my colleagues in any manner possible; part of my professionalism. My plan was to do the case; change into my black and head to the cathedral which was a couple of miles from the hospital.

In short, the case didn’t go routine but went far overtime because of unexpected findings. I took each one as I found them and completed the case but the patient had to go to the intensive care unit postoperatively; something we had not anticipated but always possible. About 30 minutes into the procedure, I switched out residents for a more senior resident because I needed the help. I want my senior residents to experience as much as possible; this case being a great example.

As I was behind schedule, I changed quickly, consulted with the chief by speakerphone as I drove the three miles to the cathedral, arriving just as the service began. Well, it was light the candles and get into that mode of my practice. There was simply no time to center myself and reflect but move into action there- thankful for those characteristics that allow me to practice surgery.

This morning, as I reflect on the happenings of yesterday, my patient doing well, my service at the cathedral complete, I realize that I tend to thrive in these types of situations. I am happiest when I am taking each challenge as it comes. I say this because I had made a resolution (not for the New Year), to pull back and protect my heart. This resolution won’t work for the amazon woman! I have to go a hundred thousand miles per hour with my hair on fire to live. I have to fly fast and high. In short, I have to strike out on the adventures/connections that take me through the fire even if the temperature rises on re-entry.

I need to love and love with a ferocity that will change the axis of this planet. This is where I live and how I work. My love in some aspects comes from my work and my challenges. This is an innate to my brain as it is innate to my heart. I was put here on this earth to influence, to comfort and to touch as many as possible. I perish the thought of retreat as retreat is not in my nature. I face the challenges head on and with a boldness that came first from my father and now from me. There is no compromise. If anyone has a chance to connect with me when I am in the zone, then we both flourish. You are my gift and I am grateful for that gift of connection with you.

Will I get hurt? Yes, but I have a very strong capacity for healing and re-grouping. I am never surprised as my survival of some of the worst hurts known to anyone but I have to keep reaching out, moving fast and never looking back. Yes, I am back and I am faster than ever. I take up these challenges because I have always been a woman who could do what other woman cannot conceive of doing. My standards are high but I exceed them for myself. This is a gift for me for which I am grateful. My green eyes facing clearly toward the sky and the sun. Watch out world, she’s “on the jazz” today and she survives!


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