I went into medicine partly due to heartbreak

The exhaustive training of medical school and residency was a welcome albeit ineffective distraction from my sorrow and loneliness
24-hour shifts are a convenient justification for not keeping in touch with loved ones
Even though the real excuse is my social anxiety and sense of inadequacy
Living within hospital walls, I suspect that I am not the only physician who became a medical doctor to try to forget unrequited love, to escape the world of human relationships
My older colleagues work far more than they need to to make ends meet, far more than any reasonable person would work in a week
Who needs friends or feelings when you have patients and science?
Our skin grows pale under fluorescent lights
Our vision becomes shortsighted as the screens stare unblinkingly
Our hearts forget how to feel carefree
Our muscles atrophy as our brains hypertrophy
Our minds become boxed in with facts, our mental filing cabinets overflow
I am a recovering workaholic working alongside workaholics who do not appear to be in recovery
Perhaps they suspect the same of me
Heads down in the trenches, none of us can know another’s heart
We can only know our own heart, if we listen
We carefully administer medications, surgeries and therapies
We measure progress in numerical metrics of lab values, calculated scores and vital signs
We arrive early and stay late
We work day and night without a break
We always have too much on our plates
We deprive ourselves of sleep, fresh air and food
We know why we have irritable moods
Practicing medicine is an unhealthy, imbalanced lifestyle and we know it
We can only ever heal ourselves
I’m ready to show it
I am finally healing my broken heart
I found that I had to begin at the start
Childhood wounds tangle and bloom
Trauma begets trauma until we change our thoughts, words and actions
Breaking old patterns even as we hold traction
I am love itself, I am the source of what I sought
My cup overflows, it was not all for naught

Watchu Know

Watchu know about germs?

Watchu know about warfare? (nothing)
Watchu know about heading into battle
Feeling like slaughter-bound cattle
Whatchu know about washing hands
Whatchu know about yes we can
My mind sees a sparkling vibrant land
My heart holds a silent marching band
Whatchu know about foam-in, foam-out?
Whatchu know about keeping tiny terrors out?
Whatchu know about watching your mouth
Whatchu know about pushing through doubt
Whatchu know about alcoholic hand gel?
Whatchu know about alcoholics from hell?
Whatchu know about face shields and masks
Whatchu know about drowning in endless tasks
Whatchu know about blue plastic gowns?
I wear a surgical cap for a crown
Whatchu know about double-gloving?
Coming home from work too stressed to make lovin’
I am a public servant
With grace and strength I shed PPE smooth as a serpent
Slow and steady, I move when I’m ready
I never was one to throw things away
But I’ve learned you’ve got to know what to let go of
So that what you love can stay


She told me that I have HPV

Human papilloma virus: the ghost of ex-partners past came back to haunt me
I want to line up my exes: the awkward horn-bag teens, the sex clients who shortchanged and stole from me, the abusive drunks, dramatic douchebags, one-night-too-long one night stands, and interrogate them whodunnit.
I will never know, of course
I may have gotten HPV from dreadful fingering, though it was probably from unprotected intercourse
Intercourse most likely undesired, as most of the sex I’ve had was unwanted by me
It could have been worse, at least it was only HPV which I contracted after riding bareback on so many dozens of dicks- I don’t know now many men have slept with me, but any one of them could have easily given me HIV, somehow I was spared
God, you were there
Kids, don’t try this at home
I tell my cervix to hang in there, I will make it up to you, treat you right
My ex-boyfriends aimed and fired at my cervix: the bullseye of my reproductive tract
Whether I got HPV long ago or from my most recent mistake, it is in me now and I may lose a piece of me in a LEEP if I don’t overcome this virus
My LEEP will be a leap of faith that I will regrow intact and complete, heal myself and still have the power to create and give my baby a better life than mine
That is the goal in all I do, even the abortions I’ve endured were to make a better future for my children than the hell I’ve lived through
So listen little virus, I am a strong, powerful giant and I will destroy you
I’ve survived too much to be taken down by the likes of you- senseless double-strand of DNA who has consumed too many of my sisters, lost to the sands of time
You won’t take me, the war is on and it got personal
There is no way I’m going to let one of those awful men leave a lasting lesion on my body
I am the supreme iron dragon goddess warrior, and my healing potential is infinite
My abilities to love and forgive and understand are among my many strengths
Watch out, virus, watch out
Instead of spreading you to someone new, I will melt you with my amazing body, take you down with my brilliant immune system
You will no longer struggle to survive, you will unite with the Spirit which flows through all things, and you will flow right out of me in peace


Man’s Medicine

I am surrounded by man’s medicine

Doctors like me are compensated in proportion to how much we dominate and penetrate patients
This is man’s medicine
But it would be nothing
Without Earth Mama
We are born from her
We are made of her
Yet we often forget and neglect her
Bedazzled by sharp and shiny surgical tools
Our tongues twist around exotically named medications
All the while hungering for the ambrosial milk of our Earth Mama
To thrive we need the roots of her body, her verdant leaves
Yet we are blinded by starched white sleeves
Were it not for her willow bark
We would still be in the dark
She manifests her love
through starry nights and petals of foxglove
Let us remember the rainbow which birthed us
The marvelous miracle from which we sprung
May we hear the beautiful songs yet to be sung
I’m not knocking man’s medicine
I’m just saying
It would be nothing
Without Earth Mama’s healing touch

A Tale of 3 Abortions

For my first abortion, I was on a tropical island under general anesthesia, outside the barbarity of having an abortion in the USA.
A small push of the creamy contents of a syringe swiftly pulled me into a dreamless sleep, the edges of my consciousness tingled briefly before collapsing into painless, silent darkness
Sweet surrender, I welcomed it in
The next thing I remember, I was in the post-operative area, being encouraged to wake up by a soft voice and gentle nudges. Still silly from sedation, I put my arm around the friendly nurse and rested my head on her shoulder. We laughed.

‘Everything went well’ said the doctor afterwards, ‘but you should try to prevent future abortions because every procedure has its risks’

Good advice
That I didn’t take.
I tried. I made several attempts to get an IUD, however I returned home without birth-control every time. One clinic didn’t stock IUDs, another was closed despite my appointment for an IUD insertion. I know I neglected myself, I should have prioritized it more, but self-neglect is a habit that was brutally beaten into my developing brain by my family.

To my family, I give thanks for my successes and my failures. Failure is merely opportunity in disguise.

My second abortion was in a crowded clinic in Philadelphia. The doctor didn’t tell me his name, or say a word to me. He seemed grumpy and rushed, which was to be expected. It was two days before Christmas, and songs about the holy infant baby Jesus wafted through the crowded waiting room of women desperate to have abortions- abortions which were delayed by a sexist legal policy requiring them to view a short video about the risks of having an abortion several days before their abortion could take place.

A volunteer hand-holder allowed me to squeeze her hand throughout the most painful few minutes of my life, telling me I was great at remembering to breathe as my cervix was forced open and the contents of my uterus were sucked out. In the recovery area, in so much pain I felt like I was dying, a volunteer pastor brought me crackers and ginger ale- silver lining of the brutal cloud of having an abortion without analgesia.

For my third abortion, I was blessed with a doula and nitrous oxide to take the edge off of anxiety and pain. A medical student on the care team was my abortion DJ- playing whatever music I requested from her phone (I asked for Bob Marley, to remind me that every little thing is gonna be alright). As I inhaled and exhaled the nitrous oxide through my mouth, I thought to myself, ‘I was made for this’. Years of yoga practice had prepared me for the mindful breathing necessary to receive nitrous oxide, and within a few breaths, I embarked on a spiritual journey.

Throughout my cosmic trip, my abortion doula guided me. She would gently remind me to relax my forehead and drop my shoulders away from my ears, told me how strong I was and what a great job I was doing, fanned me when I started to sweat, bringing me back to a place of peace and ease. Most of the time, the abortion clinic room had faded away and I did not realize that time was passing- perhaps it wasn’t.

My doula reminded me to lengthen my exhales by telling me to ‘blow out all those candles on the birthday cake’. In my shamanic trance, from the perspective that existence is a timeless field of elements and particles, of light and vibration, I knew that no one is ever really born and no one ever really dies.

Abortions are difficult. The decision to have an abortion, the experience itself, and the lifelong emotional reaction to it are all really tough. Electing to end a pregnancy has innate emotional complexity. There is a moment just before each of my three abortions when I thought, ‘It is not too late, I can run out of here and keep this pregnancy’, and I felt torn, no matter how sure I felt about the abortion going into it. Even with nitrous oxide, my third abortion was still breathtakingly painful, however feeling united with existence on the quantum level, understanding the immortality of all being, was worth it in and of itself.

I’m glad that I had every one of my abortions, as continuing my pregnancies would have been far worse. Although it breaks my heart to mourn my could’ve-been-babies, I didn’t feel supported by society, my family or my partners in any of my pregnancies. I’m glad that I will not have another abortion, praise be to my IUD.

A woman who has a miscarriage and retains the embryo, fetus or placenta in her uterus is allowed to have it removed in the operating room under full anesthesia, yet women electing to end a pregnancy must endure the same procedure in excruciating pain. To be freed from an unwanted pregnancy, however, is worth it every time.

Dear reader, I hope you never have to experience an abortion, however should the need arise, I hope you are blessed with a hand to hold, encouraging words, and by grace, nitrous oxide.


I spend my evenings dissecting out the lead bullets which you pummel into my chest throughout the day

I gingerly remove the palpable parts of your reckless barrage

Do you intend to hurt me so deeply that I must perform surgery nightly just to keep my sanity?

If I ever had any sanity to lose, that is…

Wisps of breath curl coolly around my open wounds, trying to soothe the painful sting of your attack

I am humbled by how long it takes me to heal from injuries that you were so quick to inflict

Don’t tell me you Kant follow the Golden Rule

That is the universal elixir we are all hoping for

Now I know where the true treasure is

It has been mine all along, my heart of gold

I choose to share it with the world

What will you do with your golden treasure?

Please don’t keep it buried all your life

It is already within you, yours to share whenever you wish

If only I could get this message to you somehow

I’ve sent messages in bottles before

But bottles can lead to ripples

And I’m trying to calm my water


I’m learning to dodge the lead bullets of your matrix

And melt them into gold

Treating others how you want to be treated

Is a rule that never grows old

Dance with the Devil

I’ve met the Devil plenty of times
He’s a man with a drink in his hand, asking for mine
He’ll buy me a drink and drop a few dimes
But in the end, he’s just another waste of my time

I’ve seen the Devil at close range
I feel his eyes on me; he looks at me strange
When I hesitate to perform his every wish
(Whether or not I know what his wish is)

At first I make him happier than he’s ever felt before
Until I leave his heart panting on the floor
I survive with him til I remember how much I’d thrive without him

Like anesthesia, my amnesia wears off eventually

And when it does it’s like I wake up in the middle of surgery

Open heart in a bloody mess, I struggle to pick myself up and get dressed

Headed for the horizon, under duress, yet determined and strong, I sing my single song

Until I meet my sacred Devil again

And he gives me another chance to burn, another opportunity to learn

How many times must I learn how to get out of a toxic relationship?

Please, let this be the last time

The key lies in prevention, so I laid down a one simple rule:

Never be alone with a man behind closed doors, especially when alcohol is involved

The Devil likes to dance naked with me
His dick points at me like a compass needle
And I’m due-North, though I’d like to head South
His dick feels like a poison mushroom in my mouth
I want to spit it out, and shout:

Devil be gone- we’ve been dancing too long!
My feet hurt and they’re caked with dirt
Haven’t we made each other suffer enough?
Surely, your attachment to me feels rough
When I rip myself away

I’ve ripped myself away from the Devil
Plenty and plenty of times
I hope that I can quit him for life
You are my witness by reading this rhyme