February 24, 2010

parts of the whole

Residing within your brain, thousands of nerves make thousands of connections creating thousands of possibilities. Parts of the whole. And out of that milieu, a multitude of personas, quirks, egos, animus and anima, self identities vie for control. At times, some are at odds with each other. Others dominate while some hide like wallflowers. And so next week, I journey up to Dallas to be with my brother when he meets with his oncologist to go over the results of the biopsy and full body CT scan. Which part will show up? I am his brother, to be sure. But I'm also a doctor-in-training. When hearing and interpreting these types of data both the emotional and rational responses will vie for control. Reason and emotion. Water and oil. And I guess that's part of becoming a doctor. Putting aside your emotions for a moment in order to think clearly and focus on solving the medical problem at hand. But to do that without losing your humanity, to be strong for the other person, to be the proverbial shoulder to cry upon while still helping to determine the best common sense course of treatment, to keep sight of the whole without losing the parts, to listen to all the parts, both the dominant willpower and the subtle intuition....aye, there's the rub.

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