Op-Ed: The pandemic, Hurricane Ian and me — a doctor whose friends say I have PTSD
There was a time when a certain doctor in a certain big city got to visit the hospital and work with patients, under the close eye of a small group of doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers.
It is a story that can be told in many different ways — through my own eyes, through the eyes of those close to me, the stories of those we have met, the stories of those we have never met.
My most vivid memories of Dr. Hossain’s time in the hospital are of the other doctors. His colleagues were always on his side, and he always remembered their names when he awoke from one of his long, exhausting nights of doing rounds with thousands of people, working without sleep, not knowing if they would wake up alive.
But when he was working with the patients, he wasn’t on my side.
Every morning I would climb out of my bed, drag my hospital gown over my boxers and my hospital shoes on, and pull my black bag over my head, ready to go to work. But the first day I had nothing to do but wait for what felt like a year for Dr. Hossain to join me.
Instead, he came in, as he almost always did, and asked, “What are you doing today?”
He paused. “You should leave.”
How did he know? I waited.
“You have time. We don’t have time. The world doesn’t have time.”
I looked at the clock. 9:30 a.m.
“It’s 9:30. You should get up.”
I sat there and watched him pace the room, his steps quick and measured, a black belt in mindfulness. His eyes always had that kind of look of intelligence, of concern, of caring. I wanted to ask him: what is wrong with me? Why do I always have this way with so many people? Why can’t I just be at ease with the people who are in my care?
When I look back on