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By: Clarissa Cisneros, Emergency department coordinator, Providence St. Joseph Medical Center
Oct. 10, 2013
Ivan was sitting at the edge of his bed in the men’s ward; his breakfast had just been placed beside him. His head is bandaged from one ear to the other. The parotid tumor in his neck was removed the day before. Now he sits, and speaks with grace, humility, and awareness of his situation. He had heard about Faith in Practice from local commercials that advertised the jornadas. Up until this day, none had been local to him, none had an ENT on their team. When the chance of an ENT consult was verified, he figured it was time to come in, time to take advantage of the opportunity to see an especialista, a specialist.
I ask him about the mass, he lifts his left hand and draws his index finger and thumb close together, hovering over one another. This is the size that it began as 20 years ago, he says in a calm collected voice. “Empezo pequeño. Pero cuando uno crece, tambien eso crece” It started small. But when one grows, it too grows. Did it hurt, I ask. “El dolor es normal” Pain is normal. He spoke of the tumor with such normalcy. The pain or discomfort it gave him for the past 20 years was normal because experiencing pain is normal. He speaks of it as a growing pain, a fact of life. Como se siente ahora? I ask, how do you feel now? Holding his breakfast tray he smiles and says: “Que Dios se los pague” May God pay it forward.
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