Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #209

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #209

…Mentor and friend Doc Ziggy is felled by a simple act of compassion, unnecessary risk for the sake of healing; a trait passed on to a willing and eager student…

Ziggy-001

So A.O. is compelled and propelled into the front line of a serious domestic battle. As one day turns into two, three patients swelling to ten, he is joined by doctors Clifton Moor and J. Kenty Johnson, both of whom already spend their days looking down the lenses of a microscope and are anxious to get a magnified view of this biological invader. A good core group of nurses come to the third floor as well.

But before day two is out, Ziggy’s 85 year old body seems to have plain given up, fluid laden lungs laboring in his sagging chest. And with a hellacious fever to boot, no quantities of Love ice able to stem the upward spiral. Tending to his spirit is all A.O. is able to do. “Laura Bell’s fever is breaking, Ziggy, see–she’s waving at you from the bed across the room. I have all I can do keepin’ her from takin’ my job.”

“In bed vhere she belongs! I don’t vant her paying for my mistakes,” The old German forces out words with precious little breath.

“Mistakes?” A.O. is curious.

healers

         “Ya, I treated some sick Indians, from za reservation up north, Laura’s people. Didn’t think they had a plague.” He is regretful to the end.

          “It’s not the plague, Ziggy, somethin’ no one’s seen before, influenza they’re calling it. Clifton and Kenty have isolated a bacteria or maybe a virus.” He attempts to take the pressure of guilt out of Ziggy’s condition.

          “I should have known better. Too many of zose indians vere sick, bad sick.” He pauses to draw a painful breath, a chance to reflect. “I am glad Frieda vent before me. She did not have to be alone. You make sure you take care of Laura unt Maggie, they will be alone now.”

     “No Ziggy, you can’t leave me. Please hang on until they can come up with a serum, you’re too stubborn…”

Stubborn does not leave A.O.’s mouth before Doctor Siegfried Endlichoffer eyelids drop over his tired blue irises. He is a fairly early victim that will eventually number 800,000. He is felled by a simple act of compassion, unnecessary risk for the sake of healing; a trait passed on to a willing and eager student.

The student must resist embracing his expired friend, the natural reaction given the moment. Instead he gives way to a trained team of amateur undertakers, whose job is to isolate the corpse for later burial. There is not much room for tender moments, unless you risk your own life in the process.

  A.O. Campbell is left to suffer in silence, removed from the rest of the world by his choice, while witness to an ever mounting carnage, even to the loss of his comforter, the reason for his vocation.


Alpha Omega M.D.

COMPASSION2

34 Compassion Paintings by John Schlimm

Episode #209


page 197

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Bonding & Mentors

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Ashly Lorenzana

“People leave imprints on our lives, shaping who we become in much the same way that a symbol is pressed into the page of a book to tell you who it comes from. ”
― Ashly Lorenzana

Helen Keller

“It was my teacher’s genius, her quick sympathy, her loving tact
which made the first years of my education so beautiful. It was
because she seized the right moment to impart knowledge that made
it so pleasant and acceptable to me. She realized that a child’s
mind is like a shallow brook which ripples and dances merrily
over the stony course of its education and reflects here a
flower, there a bush, yonder a fleecy cloud; and she attempted to
guide my mind on its way, knowing that like a brook it should be
fed by mountain streams and hidden springs, until it broadened
out into a deep river, capable of reflecting in its placid
surface, billowy hills, the luminous shadows of trees and the
blue heavens, as well as the sweet face of a little flower.
Any teacher can take a child to the classroom, but not every
teacher can make him learn. He will not work joyously unless he
feels that liberty is his, whether he is busy or at rest; he must
feel the flush of victory and the heart-sinking of disappointment
before he takes with a will the tasks distasteful to him and
resolves to dance his way bravely through a dull routine of
textbooks.
My teacher is so near to me that I scarcely think of myself apart
from her. How much of my delight in all beautiful things is
innate, and how much is due to her influence, I can never tell. I
feel that her being is inseparable from my own, and that the
footsteps of my life are in hers. All the best of me belongs to
her–there is not a talent, or an aspiration or a joy in me that
has not been awakened by her loving touch.”
― Helen Kellerstory of my life: with her letters (1887-1901) and a supplementary account of hereducation, including passages from the reports and letters of her teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan, by John Albert Macy

Bonding and Mentors