RIVEREDGE, MI – Dr. Elaina Huspitz remembers the time when she fell hopelessly in love with the kidney – when electrolyte disorders seemed to be an entire world of dreamy adventure. She gazes into the distance when she speaks of those torridly passionate years in residency, when just the idea of spinning urine for microscopic evaluation could occupy her thoughts for an entire day. When she committed her life to Nephrology, she imagined that the same unquenchably thirsty romance that captivated her soul would enthrall her for a lifetime.
Now she looks at the kidney and is not sure whether she changed or whether the kidney has changed. That same kidney that had seemed endlessly inviting, now seems boring and even downright disgusting at times. The demands of work-week life in her DaNephro dialysis clinic make it hard to get out of bed in the morning.
“Now, I just dialyze people all day long. I don’t even care what the blood work looks like any more. I keep it together for the sake of the patients, but if I ever get the chance, I’ll probably do something else.”
She reports that she is going to work enough years to pay back her medical school loans and then is planning a career shift; but don’t tell the kidney or her colleagues that.
“For the stability of my practice, I keep pretending things are fine. They wouldn’t understand. But one day…” she sighs, “I’m going to blow this fudge stand and run off to somewhere else…a place where everyone’s kidneys work.” She says she’s still not sure where she will go but she has always found the thought of Rio de Janeiro exotic. Some days she even fantasizes about pushing one of the Dialysis machines out of the suspended cable cars that she’s seen on post-cards.
“I want to run off to some place warm, get a tattoo that would embarrass my parents in Grand Rapids, and fall in love with a romantic, slightly chauvinistic Brazilian soccer player who can dance but knows nothing about the glomerular filtration rate.”
For now, she will continue in the “mundane” task of every day giving new life to several hundred patients with kidney failure. The Daily Medical Examiner salutes Dr. Huspitz, one of thousands of valiant physicians who continue to dream of bigger things while living a monotonous life, enslaved to the horrors of student loans. Though millions throughout global human history might look at your life in envy, we acknowledge the depths of your suffering, and we applaud your inspiring restless fortitude.