A Unique Night at the “Opera”

Wrong time at the wrong place…

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

It was the night of July 20, 1969. I was a third year medical student in my first venture away from the classroom and into the hospital wards. I had essentially spent the last 19 years of my life in the alternate reality of the classroom and quiet places to study. This was life and death stuff on the hospital wards.

I was back to the quiet places to study. The next morning I was to make a presentation on heart failure, its causes and treatments. It was an evening where fear and fascination oscillated in my thinking.

At my lowest and most confused junctures, I called our teaching resident at his home to ask what I believed to be intelligent questions. He was busy watching a minor event, the first human landing on the moon, live, on the Sea of Tranquility. To say that was a difficult, untranquil situation…

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Two Surprises

Four years ago, I overhydrated preparing for a medical exam. Unbeknownst to me, my sodium got dangerously low, and I had full body cramping.

I took my blood pressure. It was alarmingly high, so my dear spouse drove me to the local ER.

The ER physician performed a physical exam and ordered several tests. The lab detected the sodium level, which required me to be hospitalized.

It is dangerous to rapidly infuse sodium. So, the nurses administered it gradually, requiring several days of infusion.

I began to appreciate life could be a little more fragile in my eighth decade. Nonetheless, It was among the most relaxing three days I have ever spent. Life is full of surprises.