I was running.
The screen showed some numbers. 155. 160. 167.
My heart rate.

I breathed faster, trying to get more oxygen.
I ran further.

I’m on call tomorrow, in cardiac ward.

If I see those numbers on the cardiac monitor of a patient, my heart would race a bit.
Tell me it’s just sinus tachycardia.
No way it’s just sinus tachycardia. It’s more than 150. Of course it’s not.

Then what?
Are the complexes broad? Or narrow?
Is it regular?
AF? No?

What’s the blood pressure?

I was brought back to a patient I saw one month ago.
Breathless.
Like I was just now.

But for her, she’s breathless while just sitting up. Lying in her bed.
Unlike me, she did not know when it will be over.
Because her heart will keep on pumping too fast.
She will keep on feeling short of breath.
Until we manage to help her. Until we helped her with a machine.

Empathy.
Compassion.

The key in medicine.

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