Local Physician Says Lancing Boils Reminds Him Of Family. And No, You Can’t Look in His Crawl Cellar Without a Warrant

erik steele

“Lancing boils for pus — there’s got to be a column in that!” It is my curse and blessing as a physician writer to walk around with such strange thoughts in my head. They come unbidden, sometimes unwelcome, like family that I love to see, then love to see gone. But I can’t shut such thoughts out, nor would I shut them out if I could, for that would feel like a life of eating without tasting. When I make rounds at the hospital, I see my surroundings a little differently than most, and look for the meaning and significance of most everything. Consider three things that might seem unrelated: the light steps of the retired surgeon who has found a new calling in care of the terminally ill, the inspiration a young woman finds to finally kick her addiction in the adoration of her new son and the recovering surgical patient slowly shuffling down the hall surrounded by the life-force field of his happily babbling grandchildren. Others may have seen them and made no connection. After a little time in my head, those loose threads have been woven together into a potential column about finding what inspires each of us to our own self-renewal. I see art in the bright blood layered on creamy pus from a freshly lanced boil, and beauty in the beasts of ORs, ERs and ICUs. (read more, if you haven’t eaten, at the Bangor Daily News)