Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Best Valentine Day Ever 

Okay, this is sort of sad but I don't celebrate V-day. I've always been single around this holiday anyway so no biggie. But here is the sad and wonderful part, this year's V-day was the best I've ever had and here is why:

I've been on rotations during my clinical year in the PA program. This month, I am on psychiatry at the VA hospital. I love being at the VA and had requested to be here for psych. I love it. The patients are great, the hours are good, and the atmosphere is laid back. I could not have asked for a better way to get back into clinicals after spending two months sitting at home writing a thesis. For valentine's day I got a box of chocolates from one of the patients on the floor which I thought was very sweet, even though he was not a patient of mine. I honestly didn't know what to do, should I have accepted it? Don't know. Don't care. Because I could not refuse such a thoughtful, generous thing for a man who happens to like celebrating valentine's day. These veterans are wonderful men, most are men anyways, who I feel have experienced things that I could never have imagined. I have grown to respect those who have been through so much and able to still go on living. War isn't pretty but since I will never know what it will truly be like, I have a very difficult time trying to help veterans who are forever changed by it. To see the results of combat on their body as well as their minds is at times truly horrific for me and I find it just as hard to not be cynical of war because the after-effects are so ugly.

So to accept a gift from an old veteran who had been a POW in Germany and has experience such ugly things in the past, who could still take joy on such a holiday, who wanted to celebrate it by giving chocolates to someone who he knows is quite naive of the world and its politics, who had accepted without blame my stupidity for such things. . . I accept his gift.

On a lighter note, another patient - not mine and around my age who is quite attractive, had left the inpatient floor today. He left me a flattering letter. Again, don't know him, he's not my patient, and I did not speak to him until he introduced himself to me yesterday. He wrote sweet things but in the end, essentially asked me out and left me his number. I have this personal thing where I will always reply back because if a guy had the nerve to ask me out, he deserves an answer from me. It isn't right to ignore him. Trouble is, he has been a patient at the VA and I know that it isn't wise for me to contact such a patient, therefore I will not even think of going out with a person who was a patient that I know and have seen. Besides, he has his own problems that he needs to work on anyways. So therein lies the dilemma, he deserves a reply so to acknowledge that I read his letter and did not ignore him, but I can't contact him because that is overstepping the bounds. Right? I feel extremely bad that I can't answer him, even if it's a rejection. I hate this - "knowing what is right for him as a guy" contradicting with "knowing what is right for him as a patient".

All in all, it was the best Valentine's day because I received chocolates from one patient and had been flattered by another patient, both of whom had made this a wonderful day for me.

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