a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

Archive for Medicine

eyes and breakfast

< by Eliza >

I wasn’t a fan of breakfast. Not when I could sleep an extra 10 minutes.

It was 6:30 AM and I stumbled out to my car, clutching my coffee. I sped my way to the hospital downtown, due at 7 AM to observe an ophthalmologist in his morning’s surgeries, and I couldn’t be late.

I pulled into the ramp and ran inside the hospital elevator which took me to the OR floor. The scrub nurse took me back and outfitted me in a suit of mint green, non-breathable fabric, complete with sneaker covers.

I stepped out of the locker room, just in time to see the doctor heading down the hall. I knew his face well, having spent years looking at his nose, staring into his eyes while he covered first my right, then my left, then my right…all the while telling jokes and engaging me during his exam. “There you are. You ready? Let’s go,” he said, and continued his purposeful walk.

We entered the room, the patient already on the table. The doctor sat on a stool set near the patient’s head. I stood just behind him, peering over his shoulder. First, he spread open the left eye, covering it with a sticky saran wrap to keep it open; then, ever so deftly, made a precise cut, just outside the iris. He cut through the white, exposing the sinuous, pinkish muscle he was seeking to adjust.

I don’t know whether it was how easily he laid the inner workings of this man’s eye bare, or coffee on an empty stomach, but my knees began to buckle and I just caught myself.

“Why don’t you go stand over there?” he laughed.

That’s when I knew I wanted to be an ophthalmologist, and that I’d need to start eating breakfast.