Today I have been thinking a lot about the sacrifice that doctors make, and in particular the sacrifice that my dear husband has made. I don't think that most people realize the toll that becoming a doctor really takes on a person...and their family, we're a part of this journey too. The sacrifice is all-encompassing, draining on a person mentally, emotionally, physically & financially too...did you know that on average doctors graduate with $100,000.00 (sometimes much more) in medical student loan debt??? Contrary to popular belief not all doctors are rich and rolling in money, and the ones that are have worked darn hard to get there and have sacrificed on so many levels to get where they are.
Mostly today I have been thinking about the mental and emotional sacrifice of doctors. There are so many tragic situations that doctors face, especially in a hospital setting, and I can't really even imagine how daunting it must seem when those doctors are faced with making hard decisions that will ultimately mean life or death for their patients. Being a doctor in real life isn't like the movies, people don't just walk away from the set after "dying"...no, in real life death is final, and sometimes as a doctor you are not able to save every patient. Sometimes there aren't happy endings, and every time a really tough situation comes along it takes a toll on the doctors in charge.
Can you imagine having to tell a patient in his young 30's that he is dying and that there is nothing you can do to save him? You have to explain to him and his family that the cancer in his body is literally crushing his trachea and lungs and that the only procedure you would be able to attempt would send him into cardiac arrest, killing him. You are the only doctor there, and you have to get your patient, freaked out of his mind and literally fighting for oxygen aware enough and calmed down enough to be able to choose which road to take...to die while an impossible procedure is attempted or to die "naturally" as the cancer chokes the life out of him.
Being a doctor isn't easy. It isn't glamorous. And it is full of hard decisions and tough conversations with real life people. And today I am just thankful that my husband is the kind of doctor that is still full of compassion for his patients, full of empathy for the patients and their families and the kind of doctor that comes home at the end of some days needing to be doctored to.
I am so proud of this man and who he is and what he has become. I love you, Dr. Aldape!
6 hours ago