You Are Worth It

Dear Future Patient, 

The library is cold and silent late on a Friday night and my body and mind are tired but, I  think of you and I know you are worth it. 

I shuffle into the hospital parking garage, sit in my car, and look around at the piles of  lunch receipts and empty energy drinks. I don’t know when I’ll have the stamina to clean  it but, I think of you and I know you are worth it. 

When I’m finally home and fast asleep, persistent dreams of muscle fibers and  innervations fill my mind. When I wake up, I’m reminded of learning this all for you and I  remember that you are worth it. 

Honestly, this week I’ve really struggled to find the pulse of the femoral artery on my  classmates who do not enjoy being palpated in the groin but, when I think of you, I know  you are worth all any humiliation. 

In the Anatomy lab my gurgling stomach reminds me that I forgot to eat dinner last  night. The library cafeteria was closed and my lunchbox was empty but, I remember you  and I know you are worth it. 

My classes are hard today and I wonder if my school made a mistake in accepting me. I  do not think I cannot handle the rigor of this cardiac physiology so I begin to silently sob  in my cubicle. But, an image of your broken heart in need of healing enters my head  and I remember that you are worth it. 

This morning my financial aid advisor explained to me that every dollar I spend with my  student loans will accumulate to over $3 by the time I can ever afford to pay it off. But I  buy the ‘eighty five’ dollar pizza anyways and continue my efforts; because you’re still  worth it. 

The leaves have begun to fall so my friends are drinking pumpkin spice and going to  football games, I see their colorful photos on my Instagram as I take a short study break  in the library; but I’m still here for you because to me, you are worth it. 

I’m cold and lonely today, thinking of my family far away enjoying a sweet potato and  gravy feast. I look back to my veggie burrito and embryology lecture because home is  too far away and when I think of you; yes, you are always worth it. 

The whiteboard markers just stopped working and I spilled my drink down my new  jacket. In frustration I sink down to the floor where I’m met with the scratchy library  carpet. I think of you again, for you this terrible day is worth it. 

Today I must say goodbye to the donor who invited me to learn about the anatomical  intricacies which weave together your fibers bit my bit. I’m heartbroken to leave her 

because I have learned so much and am not ready to bid adieu. But it means I’m one  step closer to healing you, so I it’s worth it. 

Highlighter striking against the pages of my textbook, do I really need to know this all?  My brain is full, my arms are weak. But what if you need to know this information from  me one day? I think. So I pick up the book and learn some more because for you, this is  all worth it. 

I met the two unluckiest of friends this morning in the pediatric autopsy ward; their small  bodies not even given a day to live on this earth. Feeling the pain of their loss continues  to remind me how important it is that I keep going because you will certainly be worth it. 

My heart was filled today as delightful little patients shared their story of courage, loss,  and combat against their mutant genomes. They remind me of you; I hope I learned  from them today enough for the day where I am there with you fighting the battles. Yes,  this day I knew once again that you are worth it. 

Snow fell today, softly at first but violently accelerated. As I observed the emergency  room fill with victims of the icy roads, I can’t help but think of you. I will learn all I can  because one day you will look to me for help and you will be worth it all. 

The colorful pens hit my planner for the fourth time today, searching for a blank space to  pencil in more study time. I wouldn’t have it any other way, this is for you, and it is worth  it.  

I knew this road would be long, hard, lonely, and discouraging at times. But it brings me  resolute joy knowing that one day I will meet you and be there for you in a way that  nobody else can. To me, you are worth everything. I care about you, I see you, I hope to  help you through the most vulnerable moments. Although I do not yet have the proper  skills or knowledge, I have dedicated my life to learning from the brilliant minds who  came before me. But, when it comes my time to hold your hand and lead you on a path  of healing, believe me when I say, you will be worth it all. 

I sincerely can’t wait to meet you. 

Affectionately, 

A first-year medical student

Abi Felsted, UUSOM '23, is a writer, artist, and creator. She graduated from BYU with a degree in public health and gerontology and loves the range of humans from tiny tots to the sweet aging. She enjoys spending time outdoors, with dogs, and fell in love with medicine at age 9 with a passion that has never waivered.

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2020 Prose, "You Are Worth It", web edition