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We walk among hero’s every day.
And they are recognised,
But not merely enough.
They all fight on the same team,
They don’t always have the same uniforms,
But they fight for you, out of love.
They get paid sure, just about,
But it doesn’t keep them there,
It’s their compassion.

They suffer long hours, and bad pay,
Overworked, overwhelmed,
Something we need to refashion.
Yet they continue, fighting for your health,
Mending wounds, treating disease,
Doing their all, doing what they can.
They do it with a smile, a friendly face,
They do it agile, and with grace,
Yet they’re just human, not Superman.
They’re on the frontline, hands on,
They’re behind the scenes,
Each a cog, in a massive machine.
But this machine is built by living parts,
And they’re breaking more and more,
Physically, emotionally, everything in between,
Yet they carry on.
They continue to fight.
A battle never won.
Recognised and praised,
These are our heroes,
Recognised, revered, yet still unsung.
Joining a NHS Trust in a digital team, I saw the clinical teams first hand, as well as the admin and "back" staff. I wrote this on a break. Not really Proof read it.
Anais Vionet Jul 2023
I’ve got it - woot!  Well, we’ve (Lisa and I) have it. The Covid.
After living carefully serpentine lives - for the last half decade - we both have it.

Lisa started feeling ***** Friday night, after work. Saturday she had some sniffles and we both took Covid tests, coming up positive. By Saturday evening, Lisa was laid-low and looked a flu-like death warmed over. I am asymptomatic, not a cough or a sneeze, although I do feel some fatigue and an occasional little dizziness.

“I hate you,” she said, in a moment of clarity and focus. I think it’s a temporary, fever-driven hatred - but time will tell.

Charles, our escort and consigliere, who goes everywhere we go, didn’t catch it. He’s become our designated shopper. When I asked Lisa if she wanted anything she said, “Orange juice and mango gelato.” Twenty minutes later, Charles handed me (masked and gloved through a door crack) two bags - one contained a large, extra-pulp orange juice, the other had a $70 selection of various ice creams, gelatos and ice cream sandwiches (the receipt was still in the bag.)

Saturday night, I texted my mom, who’s spending yet another summer overseas with “Doctors Without Borders.” She Face Timed me not two minutes later, from somewhere in Poland, or Ukraine - 4,170 miles away - and after checking I was ok - delivered what I think of as “family infectious disease lecture #17, full of “If you’re going to be a doctors” and “You know betters.” I love technology.

My sister Annick, a doctor herself, was knocking at our (her) door twenty minutes later. She gave us both mini-physicals and left a list of things to periodically check (like blood-oxygen levels) as well as two boxes of Paxlovid, “Do NOT take this unless or until I tell you to.”
We all have Apple watches and are now walkie-talkie connected for even more instant communication.

Rebecca, my fellowship surgeon, was, of course, very sympathetic and supportive when I told her but displayed a careful, verbal, clinical distance - addressing me as “Mz Vionet” once - instead of her usual “Anais” or the even more usual “excuse me.”

I’ve been promoted to nurse, cook and bottle washer - but the ice cream, topped with a little Bailey’s Irish liqueur, is spectacular.

Anyway, here we are. We’ve finally joined the Covid parade. I guess Covid isn’t over after all.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Consigliere: a trusted adviser or counselor.
Anais Vionet Mar 2023
Lisa and I went to a reception, yesterday evening, for students who’d landed summer fellowships at a particular hospital in Boston. (Yeah us!) It wasn’t formal, so I wore a crimson cropped sweater, a beige circle skirt (with pockets!) and beige Sarto soft-leather ballet flats.

I’ve disparate feelings in these situations. I was excited - this was a goal I needed to achieve - that next notch - and my mom might even smile.

At the same time, I felt like an imposter. ‘If these people knew the trouble I’m having with physics this year,’ I thought, and ‘I know my sister could do this - and my brother - but can I?’

I try not to let my nervousness show, because the stories you tell yourself can hold you back.

The reception was small, there were only four students, their mentors and a few hospital and Yale people. As we signed in, we got name tags and tote bags with the hospital logo containing fellowship info. There were picture posters of the hospital all around and an intro video looping on a large screen TV. They took some snaps.

Several tables along one wall had coffee, sodas, water bottles and finger snacks - which I guess you’d call canapes - and melon ***** of all colors. The centerpiece though, was a big silver, smoked salmon with a lemon stuck in its mouth and a wreath of parsley about its neck - all on a bed of lettuce, surrounded by various crackers and French bread rolls.

I was working my way along the tables, because there were honeydew melon-***** and they’re a personal weakness. Honeydews aren’t in season now, so I was full-on, honeydew foraging. I’m sure I looked like a starving homeless girl who’d somehow gotten in and was trying to eat for the week.

A slim, attractive, black lady in a very stylish dark-gray beaded jacket & sheath dress, had stopped as if transfixed, staring solemnly at the salmon. As I drew next to her, my plate half full of honeydew *****, she said, “It’s a fitting memorial.” That hit me as so funny - I laughed embarrassingly - spitting half a melon ball under the table. She started laughing too - we were like two sillies at church. Her sad face, the way she’d said it - you had to be there.

After a few minutes, the hospital administrator gave a little general welcome, ending it with, “Now it’s time to meet your mentors.” The fish lady turned out to be my mentor. She was still standing next to me - she turned, offered her hand, and said, “Hi, I’m Rebecca.”

Her voice made those simple words seem warm and inviting. She looks to be in her early fifties (but I’m a bad judge of age), her short black hair was peppered with gray and white like she had just come in from the snow. We became instant old friends, cracking each other up.

Dr. Rebecca’s (again, I’m not doxing anyone) specialty is neurological surgery. She’s a Baltimore girl - born and raised - who attended Johns Hopkins from bachelors through medical school. Of course, I mentioned that both my siblings went to Johns at some point - Brice being a sophomore in med school there now.

Besides four years of medical school, Rebecca completed seven years of neurological surgery residency (yummy). “A doctor never really finishes school,” she said, “things constantly change and there are new specialties to master,” but I knew this from my parents.

“The plan is for you to shadow me this summer,” she confirmed, “and gain some clinical experience.” I nodded enthusiastically, saying, “Yes mam.” We talked for about thirty minutes and, as we parted, she gifted me a copy of ‘Skandalaki’s Surgical Anatomy.’

“If you want to be a surgeon, you’ll need to know anatomy better than God.” She’d said. “So start now. I made some notes for you in the index - we’re going to lean into this,” she finished, tapping the book, and giving me a wink.

I was walking on air as Lisa and I made our way back to the residence.
It’s going to be the BEST summer.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Disparate: something made up of different and incompatible elements
rayma Oct 2022
the way i interact with people gives them bite-sized pieces –
a wince, a sigh, a rant about the last appointment.
i catch myself in surprise when i say i was at the doctor
and they ask if i’m okay, two question marks in their voice,
and i can’t help but laugh before i say yes.
i guess most people go to the doctor for physicals and check-ups,
maybe for strep throat or a sprain,
and not for half an answer,
weeks of waitlists,
maybe they’ll even see me tired,
puffy-eyed and curled up on the couch like i came with it,
feeling like a drag when i shake my head and say i’ll stay while they go.
in little moments, if they’re looking, they’ll see me labor up the stairs,
an amused echo of ‘but you’re so young!’ flashing through my mind
as each step sends a sharp pain through my knees.
“you go first,” i insist, hanging back with a smile
before climbing in their wake.
David Hilburn Jun 2022
The book of works
Spare me the details?
Suffice, in a general task, irked
That said the comments of Israel...

Polite shoes, on the anniversary of reign
To share an eye full, the truth in a hidden
Taste, for ancientness in the silence, of when
A philosophy comes, is a paradise for the asking?

Oft a share's heed, silent until a kiss never's...?
The haste of poise, the turn of this into something greater...
Welcome home, avarice, the total of courage has a lover
That fated justice in a pale memory for you, the fates of tomorrow?

Wishes in cold conveyance, the times to remember the heat?
Torrid as we are, a taste for houses of promises
Are we the reality to beat, come hell or high water to eat?
A grape, the pretense of mercy - in an accord we due, to vices...

A house of which and worlds of worth
That has none, a squalor that completes the circle...
Of space for a yearning soul, semblance in a call heard
By any who would, a cause curious enough to hope, miracles...

Have a shadow of youth, to a gesture of time, to a coarse song
Winking and preaching a salty tune, that is to come...
A livid appearance of kind, if not kings of journey and wealth, long
To the tooth and made from frank controversary, we dumb...

Salt and honey, the truer passage of uniqueness
Honey and rice, the presence of love, with a cordial ordeal
Rice and vinegar, known to take the time at life's crossroads, to bless
Vinegar and myrrh, with a personal observation, the very winds of healing...

Add milk?
So do we, the irony of prayers that substitute a focusing heart
To wisdom and undue hate, the pyres and frustration's of ilk
To see you in a holiness's robe, the voice we keep, sincere Jerusalem's?

Stones of health, or the knife of war...
Poignant to a fall, the season we chose for a character to blow
The untoward, the cares of simplicity to kingdom come, for out
A rallying heat's rage, that has become a future we know...

With another's heart, the total of cherubs and heaven
Look fast and hard, the haste we further, is a nerve
That has chosen you, for a chance of life in the giving
Where no one, more special than a kite, is a tree to serve?
Doctor Brown To The Head Office, But Where Are My Manners, At Hand Of Course.
Rosie May 2022
I wish to not feel the aftershocks of the war occurring inside,
To not make one move that crushes my whole day
under the weight that tears my joints apart.

And yet,

Doctors smile and tell me nothing is wrong
Doctors smile and state that my pain tolerance is just too low
Doctors smile and run the same **** tests
that produce the same **** results
They smile while I rip my hair from my scalp.

The days bleed into one as the clouds covering my brain
chain me to the bed and make raindrops fall from my eyes,
Friends start to believe that I just don't care when I leave their messages covered in dust,
dying in a graveyard called my will to live.

I want to be there for them,
my soul needs to be present with them,
but when you have to box a heavy weight champion inside your own veins just to be able to take a single step,
you got nothing left to give to anyone else.

I'm stumbling through this performance titled life
not even knowing the identity to the puppet master pulling the strings,
fighting an invisible battle against a nameless warrior
and somehow meant to smile and bear it.
Undiagnosed chronic pain is like living in a hell that no one can see.
Man Aug 2021
in a Serbian hospital ward
the dingy overheads blink in and out of existence
i wished i were dead
bedside, my mother weeps
saddened by what remains of her boy
what doctors had been able to save
my eyes weigh heavy
the morphine they have me on is strong
stronger still is the pain
radiating, like heat off the hearth
and the woe from my brothers
interred in the earth
you can live
to still die
you can live, dead
but no horrors can you see greater
than the ones in men's heads
Hussein Dekmak May 2021
Sixty-seven children have been slaughtered.
Sixty-seven dreams have been shattered.
Sixty-seven beautiful faces have now vanished.
Sixty-seven vibrant smiles have faded.
Sixty-seven beds are left empty.

Palestinian children, like all children, love to play.
Palestinian children are longing for peace.
The children of Gaza dream to be teachers, nurses, artists, engineers, and doctors.
Palestinian children want to breathe.
Palestinian children's lives matter!

(Palestinian children killed by Israel in Gaza in May, 2021)

Hussein Dekmak
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