Story by Claudia Martinez
The other day I attempted to interview a patient. He immediately started laughing and said, “You? Is this a joke? You are my doctor? You have tubes sticking out of your chest and all over you. You should be in the hospital. You aren’t healthy. I don’t want you to be my doctor. You look like you are dying”.
I must admit after my attending took over, I made my way to the bathroom and cried. I cried like I never have before. I cried bc after almost 8 years of fighting for my life to be someone’s future doctor one day, I was automatically dismissed in an instant by how I looked.
For a couple of days after this incident and many others, I found myself disconnecting myself from my tubes. When others look at me they sometimes ask if I am dying. But in reality, I am living bc of them, for without them, yes, I would die.
So today for the first time in a while I found myself genuinely smiling from ear to ear. These past 4 weeks of clinicals have been filled with absolute pure exhaustion in trying to meet the same expectations as my classmates with no accommodations despite my disabilities, but at the end of the day I am here. I am living. Bc of these tubes, sir, I am living.
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