Friday, June 3, 2011

Privilege and Responsibility

I was just thinking today: I've had my hands buried deep inside a living human's body. I've done this so many times now, that it almost seems routine, no big deal. But I've had my hands inside people! These hands have touched intestines, felt arteries, removed uteri. That is truly awesome...in the older, more profound definition of the word than that commonly used. It truly fills me with awe. Amazement that I would be allowed to participate in such a thing. Thrill at the way we can slice the human body open, manipulate the insides, and then close the body again, leaving it better than when we came.

It brings me incredible joy, but at the same time, it feels like such an honor. I see how nervous people are as they come into the operating table. I see how quickly they fall asleep and limp when the medications are given by anesthesia...how utterly helpless they are to defend themselves. How much absolute trust they give us, to act out of their best interest, and not our own, while they lie helpless in our care.

It just felt appropriate to pause and appreciate that, when it starts to become so routine.