Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Seven days to go
I feel like I'm getting ready for a shuttle launch, or something of that magnitude. Something big is coming. I know it is going to be more of the same, completely different patients (something an ER guru once told me).
In seven days I take off, but that won't be the real change. That will simply be me, leaving what is comfortable behind. Leaving my friends, family, and numerous supporters (Nova Scotia? I also got a contribution from a Belgian, but I think he was only 100 miles away when he did it. My family has done a great effort on the West Coast, and I think they have the true distance award so far).
After that great takeoff, down the runway (I love taking off in planes. I wish they'd let me listen to my music), I'll coast for a bit. Actually, a couple of days. Getting further and further away from my home. Sure, I'll have an electronic link (thank god for the internet), but that's not the same.
Then the big change. Weightlessness. I wish. I'd love to go into space.
No, my big change will be Haiti. Cap Haitien, then Milot. Then a series of days at the hospital, hopefully in the ER, where I'll at least be comfortable in my work, if not my surroundings.
And I'll have a team. This is where the real draw is. I love working with a good team. There's nothing else like it. I pick my friends based on how well I can "work" with them. They're the greatest people in the world...
Hopefully I'll find new ones in Haiti.
We had our fund raiser dinner last night. The local restaurant bailed kinda at the last minute, so we hosted a shin-dig at the house. Good friends, old friends, even surprise guests showed up. It was a great time, with plenty of depth that I found surprising. I only had to do my Haiti "Song and Dance" twice (don't think I completed it at all, to be honest).
We talked all night. About everything. A couple of times the controversy regarding the Haiti relief efforts came up. I heard numerous opinions about who was screwing things up, and why. Why things were screwed up. How it could be done better. How the Haitians needed to do better. It kind struck me on numerous levels.
The Haitians just didn't have much before the quake. Then a huge chunk of their world fell apart. The world is coming in to help them, but how are they going to react? Are they going to ask us to build them new tin shacks? Are they going to ask us to build brand new houses? State of the art infrastructure? Build some new hospitals?
These poor people had next to nothing, and they really worked hard to make it better for themselves (I'm not going to believe that a whole, independent nation is nothing but lay-abouts). Now, as a nation, they're in a rough place (no matter how you slice it). Do they embrace the help, and profit from their disaster? Do they stoically, and pridefully turn away the help, and try to rebuild their status quo? I really hope not, but some of the things I've heard have made me think that this option is something that people want.
The other thing that has struck me is the number of people who know exactly what is wrong with any given problem/solution/situation. Wow, it's simply incredible. What's horrifying is the level to which we elevate some of these people. Celebrities, news personalities, pop icons. What the hell are we doing listening to them? (I won't get started about the Vaccine debate. It looks like Jenny McCarthy may try to shut up. Possibly too little too late. Amanda Peet, there's someone I could listen to).
Sure we arm-chair quarterback. All of us do. However, I'm beginning to see that there is a segment of the population that simply delights in that. No matter what is going on in front of them, they're going to accentuate the negative. No matter that your efforts are bearing fruit, they'll decry your mistakes, your inability to save everyone. They'll do this while you sweat, bleed, and succeed. They'll sit in their chairs and drag you down, while you do the best that you can.
And when you're done, they'll let out a sigh. Then roll over, and take a nap. Cynicism is exhausting. Or idle cynicism is exhausting. I'll be the first to admit, I'm pretty cynical. However, I'm cynical as I'm sweatin' bullets trying to fix the problem.
And finally, I was struck by the problems I'm leaving here at home. I apologize for this downer of an ending to the entry, but it's on my mind (and it's my blog!).
I'm not looking to save the world. I know I can't. I know I can try, and I know that sometimes, despite everything I throw at it, bad things will happen. However, there are times, where I just wish I could save something beautiful. Something that I see is going wrong, and that I just don't have the power to fix.
I'm leaving the virtual paradise of the US for Haiti. I'm leaving problems here that need fixing. Problems that I probably can't fix, but that are near and dear to my heart.
I'm hoping people get better about taking care of each other.