We’ve all been there.

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“I’m on my way!” I say as I remain naked in bed

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Mmmmnope. [x]

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I watched four people die this weekend, four people. Sounds horrifying right? Well, it is.

Surely these people must have been sweet little 90 year olds, who lived long happy lives, drifting quietly off into the night surrounded by family they love. Well, that is not my story, in fact, that’s never my story. My story is filled with people who woke up, got dressed, and started their day, just like you and I, having no idea that it would be their last.

The room above looks so benign, shiny and new, full of promise and cutting edge medical equipment, ready for whatever may roll through the doors. Exactly what you would want if you were the one lying in the bed. But, there is much more here than meets the eye. So many things, things that can’t be seen by those who haven’t stood in this place time and time again.

You may wonder what could hide here, what could be lurking behind the glass doors and freshly painted walls. Just what do I see when I look at this place? I see so many things. I see countless hours of hard work, sweat, and tears. I see a floor covered in blood, trash, gloves, and whatever else may land there in the middle of the mess. I hear gut wrenching screams, the indescribable sound of a weeping mother, and the words “time of death” many more times than I care to admit. I hear the pumping of the level one, the hum of a ventilator, slamming drawers, alarming monitors, and the loud sigh of relief when we “get them back.” I see gowns, trauma surgeons, confused patients, ET tubes, code carts, flushed faces, shaking hands, and countless lives, both saved and lost. You see, I have been on both sides of this bed, and I can tell you they are equally terrifying.

You may think that there is no way anyone could find peace here, or that there is any way to see beauty in this mess. To tell you the truth, some days I’m not sure either. Some days I leave defeated, I let the dark win, and I am certain there is no way I can work one more shift. Then, just when I know I can’t step back in that room, something amazing happens. We save a life, one, that’s all it takes, and you know you can pick up the pieces and carry on. I recently cared for a patient with dissecting AAA, scary shit, I don’t care how many times you’ve done it. This man drove himself to the hospital and arrested walking through the triage doors. Incredible timing right? Not only did he regain consciousness in the ED before going to the OR, he walked out of the hospital a week later, that’s right, walked out. AMAZING! How does that even happen? That shiny room worked its ass off that day and won, we won! I can’t describe the feeling. Nothing can compare to saving a life.

In the middle of the chaos it’s hard to see the significance of the work we do. We just power through whatever the task is at hand. Lines, labs, intubation, compressions, chest tubes, splints, the list goes on and on. It isn’t until after the event that we can step back and look at what we have done. What went well, what could have gone better, and come to grips with the fact that the person we just cared for was in fact a person, not a job, not a task, but a human being. Someone with a life, and a story of their own. For me, it’s in that very moment I find strength and peace in what we do. There is always something beautiful, even in the worst of situations. The pure will to fight, to live, and to carry on, even when it hurts to breathe, is what keeps me coming back for more.

So yes, that room can be a horrific place. It can be scary and lonely, but it can also be amazing and inspirational, a place of love and triumph. Each day, each patient, brings a new chance to fight, to win, and to find beauty in unthinkable circumstances. Behind those glass doors are many hidden things. Many things that most people will never see or feel. Things that have made me laugh, made me cry, built me up, and knocked me down. Most of these things can’t be shared, and that’s ok, they don’t really need to be. If you live it you understand why, and you also understand how it’s possible, to find peace here.

this gave me goosebumps.

(via nursingisinmyblood)


Watch … just watch.




These classical musicians play their instruments in a way you’ve never seen before.

A rather compelling visual experience, on top of being a flawless musical demonstration, performed by Salut Salon, a charming German quartet from Hamburg. 

this is crazy wow so impressed

(Source: youtube.com, via mistress-of-science)



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Red vs. Green - The Similarities Between Hemoglobin and Chlorophyll

(Top left: Red blood cells under an electron miroscope, top right: chloroplasts under an electron microscope, bottom: the oxygen binding heme group of hemoglobin with Iron (Fe), and the central molecular structure of chlorophyll a with Magnesium (Mg). Side chains are not shown)

Hemoglobin and Chlorophyll are both fundamental molecules of life on Earth. Both contribute to the color of their respective cells and both are necessary for the production and transport of essential molecules and nutrients. Despite the complex differences between plants and animals, both of these molecules are more similar than you’d think. 

Hemoglobin is one of the most thoroughly studied and understood proteins. It was one of the first for which three-dimensional structures were determined. Hemoglobin demonstrates one of the most central aspects of biochemical processes: reversible binding of a ligand to a protein. Oxygen’s nature makes it poorly soluble in the aqueous environment of the body, and cannot be carried to tissues in sufficient quantities by the blood. Higher multicellular organisms needed to evolve in building specific proteins to transport and store oxygen through acceptance from a surface in contact with air (lungs) or water (gills). This role is fulfilled by certain transition metals, in hemoglobin’s case, iron (Fe). Transition metals have a higher tendency to bind oxygen, allowing carrier proteins to reversibly bind and circulate needed oxygen to tissues. However, free transition metals promote the formation of harmful oxygen radicals that can damage DNA and other biological macromolecules. As a result, iron is sequestered and stabilized by protein bound prosthetic groups called hemes, as shown above. (Video: Oxygen Transport by Hemoglobin)

At the other side of the spectrum (literally), we have chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the most important light absorbing pigment in plant membranes and is critical in photosynthesis, allowing plants to absorb photons of energy from light. As hemoglobin is packed to red blood cells, chlorophyll is packed in chloroplasts. From the electromagnetic spectrum, chlorophyll absorbs blue light best, followed by red light. However, it poorly absorbs green light, explaining the green color of plant tissue (Green is the only color not absorbed and is transmitted to your eyes). The structure of chlorophyll resembles the porphyrin ring of hemoglobin, except a magnesium occupies the heart of its ring. This magnesium is constantly bombarded by photons; for each photon it absorbs, one of its electrons is excited to a higher state. With energy from the absorbed photons, chlorophyll molecules pass electrons to a chain of proteins that use the energy for making chemical bonds. Some of the energy is used to generate reduced NADPH and ATP, its main energy sources. And other energy is used to strip electrons from compounds such as water, producing oxygen gas. 

These two molecules do not play analogous roles in plants and animals, but they certainly complement each other in several ways. The survival of both plants and animals seems uniquely dependent on the other. Humans inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide; plants take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Even further, hemoglobin binds and transports oxygen to tissues around the body; chlorophyll channels energy from light to transform carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates and water, producing oxygen as a byproduct. 

Interestingly enough, when ingested, chlorophyll promotes circulation, cleanses the body, increases the number of red blood cells and therefore increasing oxygen content in the body. This makes it easier for the body to heal and repair tissues and get rid of toxins. The near identical structure of hemoglobin and chlorophyll also makes it very easy for the body to develop new red blood cells from green vegetables.


Chlorophyll and Hemoglobin Regeneration after Hemorrhage

Lehninger, Principles of Biochemistry, Fifth Edition

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the hell is this

a good fucking time

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