Education  |   May 2011
Temple of Hope
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Bassam Kadry, M.D.
  • *Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.
Article Information
Education / Airway Management / Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems / Ethics / Medicolegal Issues / Ophthalmologic Anesthesia / Pediatric Anesthesia / Technology / Equipment / Monitoring / Trauma / Burn Care / Advocacy and Legislative Issues / Quality Improvement
Education   |   May 2011
Temple of Hope
Anesthesiology 5 2011, Vol.114, 1234-1235. doi:
Anesthesiology 5 2011, Vol.114, 1234-1235. doi:
OUCH!  ”
Tragedy is the ultimate equalizer
In a blink of an eye life changes
For some it is trauma
For others it is simply knowledge of an unknown reality
For the fortunate, options are available
For the unfortunate. . . . well. . . only time will tell
A realization of mortality is imposed on the formerly immortal
The magnitude may differ but the principle is the same
The strong is now weak
Please . . . No more Ouch!  ”
The journey of wellness begins with sorrow
From INDEPENDENT to dependent
From “Do I look fat?” to sounds of a ventilator
For the victim, unconsciousness is a mercy
For the victim's tribe unconsciousness is torture
Love drives them through the worst of times
With each second the anxiety of the unknown gnaws deeper
Desperation has planted its roots
A weed fueled by the magnitude of the situation
Options are limited and choices need to be made
Some Ouch now will prevent a lot of Ouch later  ?”
For those who are lucky surgery is an option
The desire to be healed trumps the fear of the knife
Risks and benefits are simply a blur for the victims of tragedy
Running away from illness is priority one
“If you understand all these risks please sign here.”
Painless is but a sweet childhood memory
Your Ouch is our Ouch  ”
The agony is felt by all those in the tribe
A reprioritization to accommodate the vulnerable is made
Love is the fuel that drives the tribe's sacrifice
Patience is being consumed with each sacrifice
Those left in support are the angels rich with endless love
A journey to wellness affects all
The maze to the temple is confusing even for the tenured
Dignity, autonomy, and free will are placed in a bag with other belongings
Naked and at the mercy of strangers
Any other encounter would not be tolerated
Laws of social order calibrated for safety
So fragile indeed
A rainbow of emotions held inside: fear, anxiety, hope
A prelude to the ultimate destiny in life
Tick. . . . tock. . . a necessary evil that encroaches on this moment
The clock reigns supreme. . . it is the Lord of the awesome shrine
We answer to the clock
We aim to please the clock
We are punished by the clock
On each wall, arm, or screen is a reminder of its power
Chop. . . chop. . . move along  ”
Mercy and compassion have taken a back seat to the all mighty Dollar
Protocols eclipse purpose
A dose of Vitamin V and we are off
Down the obstacle laden corridors
Zooming along and titrating to effect. . . small talk with a purpose
The extraordinary is now ordinary
How humbling it is to have so much trust from a stranger
Then again how much choice does the stranger have
With a few breaths and a push of the potion a soul is suspended
Depending on others to breathe
Depending on others to move
Depending on others to heal
For the unaware, time is meaningless
For the enforcers of hope time is a benchmark
Can you squeeze my hand  ?”
The heartbeats of Mothers, Fathers, Sisters, and Brothers
Are a constant reminder of our priceless “inventory” 
So please handle with care and compassion
After all, we are their guardians