This blog will be a place to post poetry written by people living with Alzheimer's disease. We will focus on poetry that is created as part of the Alzheimer's Poetry Project. We will post information and news about dementia. We hope this blog is of use to the family members who have a loved one with dementia.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

What Does It Mean To Be A Doctor?

What Does It Mean To Be A Doctor?
-Dr. Peter Reimann

What it means to be a doctor
is a number of things.
People come to you
and want advice about their health
and they complain about what they consider
is missing from their health
Or they don’t.
They say, “What the hell do you think is wrong with me?
Lass mich allein, I’m fine
und du bist fur mich ein Borstenschwein!”*

What advice would I give a young doctor?
First I’d ask, “Why do you want to be a doctor?
Is it that you want to make money?
What for?
Or is it that you want to help other people?
What for?”

You ask me what was my reason to be a doctor.
I think my question was something of natural history.
Why are there people who need help?
Very complex, of course.
Do they need help because
of the hostile environment
or their internal hostility
or blah, blah, blah

What was the best thing about being a doctor?
…okay, one more question: $10-
Another complex  question.
It’s a job in which you keep your hands clean
You don’t get literally dirty
or it’s a job in which you make people feel a little better
or you make them feel really bad
Is that good?
Could be good-
Could be really bad…
and so on
and so on

*translation:  “Leave me alone, I’m fine
and you are for me a pig with many stiff hairs in his snout!”

(This poem was composed with Dr. Peter Reimann and his daughter Hannah in Springfield, New Jersey on Jan. 4th, 2013. Dr. Reimann is very playful with making up rhymes and jokes that his name means "rhyming man." He know many German poems by heart and recited and translated a few for us on the spot. We created the poem by asking questions around being a doctor. Hannah wrote down the answers to create the lines of the poem and translated the German lines. She is working on a film about her father and we will post links to it soon.)

No comments:

Post a Comment