I wanted to do something different.
I’ve written medical essays just for random fun (The Most Unfeeling Doctor in the World). I’ve written about medicine and women and sex (Fifty Shades of Gray’s Anatomy). I’ve written about surgery (The Unfeeling Wannabe Surgeon) and medical school (The Unfeeling Doctor, Unplugged). I’ve written about medicine and Buddhism (Buddhish: The Unfeeling Doctor’s Freefall into Buddhism, Grief and Grace), my own struggle with infertility during my father’s cancer diagnosis and treatment (The Unfeeling Doctor Betwixt Birthing Babies: Poems About Love, Loss, and More Love), and travelling to Africa (The Knowledgeable Lion: Poems and Prose by the Unfeeling Doctor in Africa). Now what?
It came to me while I was editing out the swearing. Patients swear a lot in the emergency room. I swear under severe pressure, like when they’re dying on me. And it occurred to me that I didn’t want to bleep out the curses for this book.
I wanted to write about the underside of the ER. No more cute, no more hee hee, no more family-friendly rating. Well, I still have my family, and I always try to laugh. (“I like that doctor. She smiles!” announced one patient.) But more gritty and realistic this time. More blood and barf. Medical noir, to coin a term.
So Broken Bones is about breaking bones. And bleeding brains. And broken people, really. Maybe including myself. I still think it’s sort of funny, but often, I laugh and no one else does.