Jake Gyllenhaal ("Stronger") tells the story of a man recovering from heartbreak in a pediatrics wing.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Modern love, the pad cast supported by produced by the island a W B war, Boston. From the New York Times and W B, you are Boston. This is modern stories of love, loss and redemption. I'm your host leg, if the hospital pediatrics wing is a place of illness and resilience, fear and healing normally families are there for purely medical reasons, but for Thomas Hooven, the hospital became a space for a different kind of recovery. Jake
in Hall recently starred in spider man far from home. He reads: Tom's S a nurse the wound in an appropriate setting. I started my pediatrics resin. See on the cardiology unit, which was appropriate, my heart had a giant hole in it. Just after I graduated from medical school, as I was moving into my fiance's New York apartment, she ended our relationship. We went out to dinner that night and after we came home, she told me we were through she and I had been together. Twelve years engaged
for two. We had a wedding plan for three weeks later. I can't believe you're doing this. I said from the edge of her bed, I know, will always be best friends. She said I left just after sunrise suitcase in hand, feeling, as if I had just fallen from a moving train, it seemed unimaginable that I was meant to report for duty at the hospital. A month, my new employers were expecting a freshly minted physician full of knowledge and an eagerness to heal, as it was
I can barely remember my name yeah. I took a cab to the airport and booked a flight to my father's house in Minnesota and stayed there until it was time to limp back to New York. To start my run, I spent the hour that was supposed to have been. wedding ceremony sitting in the crook of a tree staring at the suburban horizon. the silent. The weather was perfect.
After returning from Minnesota, I moved to a marginal block in the neighborhood of highway access ramps and overpasses plastic bags, blue along the empty streets brief walks to and from the hospital and solitary meals with dust, motes swirling in my sparse living room where all that interrupted the otherwise constant blur of rounding on patients in the dim morning, hours writing hundreds of medical orders and updating. Parents who ranged from frantic to silently resigned there are rules The number of hours of training physician can work in a hospital, but the limit remains high. Eighty hours a week when done back to back and filled with children suffering from complex illnesses. Weeks like that tend to metastasize
leaving room for nothing else. When I started my work as a doctor, it took every bit of concentration to put aside my private sadness and focus on my patience. I was lost and it's a wonder. I didn't hurt anyone. In moments of downtime, and especially in the depths of night, when the unit was quiet, memories of my ex and my longing for her would overtake me like a persistent virus. Loneliness lived inside me my ex, and I had gone to the same high school as two children of divorce who had been caught between battling parents. We were drawn to each other like compete,
it's we held on to our young, romance through four years at separate colleges and journeyed across the country to attend graduate school. Together we seemed on the cusp of the grown up lives. We had imagined. Actually we were about to disintegrate. As a couple we did not fight. Our relationship was conceived from a Need security and stayed small, quiet and safe.
We came together in the disorienting haze of parental conflict and from the start we shared a tacit assumption that fighting men losing love at the end, surrounded by cardboard boxes. We had spent the day hauling into her living room. I asked over and over why she was leaving me. She couldn't articulate a single reason. I don't know she said after more than a decade together that non answer. Amazed me it seemed the most brutal response possible.
but now more than five years later, her responses less surprising and more diagnostic of why we failed. Our relationship had never developed the vocabulary necessary to express them many colours and intricacies of adult emotion. We had no language for negativity. She must have sense that and realized. We were headed for serious trouble compared with many of my patients that year, whose illnesses complications and treat regimens would fill a textbook. My burden of heartache was light, still my patience and I inhabited a space in the city together. At a time when we were suffering, a hospital is a place for that simultaneous suffering.
I remember a fifteen year old boy with severe renal failure. Tubes through his flanks, straining urine directly from his ravaged kidneys. His mother rarely visit him over the many months than he spent admitted every night. He would mount dramatic protests about the frequent injections his disease required.
One time is howling scream. Summoned me to the hallway it was after midnight, crouched and sobbing against. The wall had buried in his palms. He looked barely older than seven sat on the floor. Next to him and put my hand on his shoulder. We stayed there for about fifteen minutes me and my scrubs him and his den yellow gown with clowns on it, both isolated amid the nurses, medications and monitors after that he returned to his room, took two shots and went to bed, and I went back to the tiny sleeping quarters for overnight staff and traipse into the past scrolling through old emails from my vantage,
The answer and waiting for dawn healing come slowly, but it comes a budding. Pediatrician must observe lives cut inexplicably short, the fourteen year old girl, with cardio my apathy who had a heart attack before my eyes and died staring at the ceiling, but have also been privileged to witness how most gravely ill children overcome or bypass their challenges they mature they become writer. They pick up areas increases
they smile despite themselves. My patience and I also healed together for me healing, started through a desire to be a better doctor. The drive to improve my skills as a physician. To recognise diagnoses, no disease mechanisms and determine the correct treatment, Boeing and eventually pulled me out of my sorrow. The long days that were at first such a sisyphean cycle became a new refuge for a time. The study and practice of medicine was my only and perfect partner.
Some time during my second year of residency, I emerged from the elevator to see the boy with renal failure cruising down the hallway. seeing the wheeled base of his ivy pole as a skateboard. He had a paper airplane in his hand and tossed it as he approached laughing as it looped past my head. He was getting better. And so was I my ex and I are not in touch our relationship So long in the making, and so quick to end was like an ornamental piece of crystal aesthetically. Please
But lacking resilience and once shattered irrecoverable, looking back at the various romantic and not so romantic dating experiences, I had afterwards it's hard to separate. My growth has an emotionally conversant partner from my development as a capable physician. Both happened simultaneously and gradually through stretches of triumph and sorrow. There were no Eureka moments and neither ever really ended. The turmoil. I experienced as an intern left me with a deeper understanding of how pain works, how it feels how it ebbs.
And how it leaves you less naive. I also learned open up two important facets of life that my previous relationship had locked out. Unhappiness uncertainty, regret, comfort, around feelings like these is crucial in both medicine and intimate relationships. It's the basis of empathy. I didn't understand that before my ex left me
and I learned the hard way by the time I met my wife. I was a changed man and a real doctor and our love developed differently from any. I had ever experienced before less like a crystal vase, more like a basket ball. Our relationship is made for bouncing for good and sometimes rough play that modern professional lives generate. We do have fights we. Yes, we do, but they do
Not threaten our foundation a deep in it. I would not return to those difficult and lonely days any more than I imagined my young patients now grown would return to the wards where I labored to keep them alive and well, but I would not choose to have avoided that experience either. The I ran into the kid with renal failure on the street a while back. He was with a bunch of his pals. It had been years since he left the hospital and frankly I wouldn't have recognized him. He had filled out his
chronically ill little boy's face had developed into a sly winking young man's his skin had darkened from sun. He was dressed in a denim jacket, with a Bob Marley shirt underneath dark. He called out hey Doc,. We stood there talking for a few minutes enough for me to learn. He was finishing high school and doing well somewhere near by an ambulance siren wailed. I watched him walk away to rejoin his friends and then turned to enter the children's hospital the the.
I Jake Gyllenhaal reading Tom, Vince essay nursing a wound in an appropriate setting coming up. Tom gives us an up. On his career and his love life, I came packaged with a lot of fears, believe me, but she, accepted that and seemed to see me and she does, to this day I love selling my boyfriend and I often play spelling be together.
together. I mean sitting next to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed in sorry. It may have happened again. I have one friend who I will say. In the screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words that I always get nervous that I sent it to my parents or something like that was my bad. It was the first time together and I was out. I think I got to see it. J. A c k, P, o t Jack. Finally, hit nice I'm same is asking the digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try, spelling bee and all our games at annoying times dot com. Flash games, we're back its modern love. The pod cast a magnet everybody.
Thomas Hooven, is married now, and he has two children he's finished his medical any and is now a NEO Natalia, just a pediatrician whose specializes in caring for infants his work, continues to teach him as much about love and relationships. As about medicine in science. My job lets me meet P well and become involved with families at moments in their life that are scary and significant. Probably beyond anything else that will ever happen to them and it's a tremendous privilege for me to be involved at that time and through helping families through
I'm like this. I continually learn more about what it feels like to be in pain. How empathy hopes that pain and how it helps people get through really trying times and just before his s, he was published in the new year, Times Tom reached out to his former fiance. I sent her an email saying I had written this and that I had tried to be fair to her. I hope she saw it that way. She wrote back a really warm email and said: congratulations. She said that she always thought I was an excellent writer and then, of course the essay came out and I wondered how it landed with her, but I never heard she never sent me anything which I consider
Absolutely her prerogative, I imagine that for her it's hard to contact me, in the same way that for a long time it was hard and painful to contact her. So I don't blame her for that. So Tom learned a lot of lessons from his experience. I hope the people reading it will take from it if they're in that situation, that you'll emerge and you'll actually emerge a better partner and healthier partner than you would have otherwise been. I really believe that he knows that because he can see it in his relationship with his wife. I think I sensed in her the same understanding,
around the need to communicate openly. She is a great communicator in every respect and as our relationship built, it happened differently than had happened before it was much more intentional and based on talking everything through all of the feelings that we had and all the fears that we had and I came packaged with a lot of fear. Believe me, but she accepted that and seemed to see me and she does to this day. the Tom in lives in New York City with his family. He still works at Columbia, University, medical center, the same hospital where he did his residency.
Coming up some thoughts from Daniel Jones, editor of the modern love column for the New York Times and more from Jake Gyllenhaal. I love, spelling my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together. By together I mean next to each other playing individually and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed in theory. We may have happened, I have one friend who I will say
in the screenshots, from spelling bee of inappropriate words that I always get nervous that I sent it to my parents or something like that was my bad. It was the first time together and I was out. I think I got to see it J, a c k, p o t Jack nice, I'm same as earth's sky. The digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try spelling bee and all our games at N Y Times dot com, Slash Games Dan Jones says that he was struck by how Thomas who wins idea of love changed after his relationship with his ex ended. Love for them was escaping conflict and he articulates that that didn't allow their relationship to have conflict.
It was just such a sort of smart articulation of know what love require theirs, and that love is a more often tumble thing and how he learns that by being in this, hospital setting and what, moving Journey that was assertive come out. The other end of this just brutal experience with with a greater understanding of what love is but being able to describe what an understanding is to other people almost like the doctor, as teacher in this case
jake. Gyllenhaal says that he found Tom Humans s a deeply moving. Someone said to me recently to treat everyone that you meet as if they've had a broken heart, and I feel like I don't always live that way, and if I did, I think I would live a much richer and fuller and happier life That's where I want to get too so I think this story just shows us that the only way to being human that we wish to be is inevitably through some pain. That's Jake, Julian Hall. Thanks to Jake for reading this week's peace will be back next week with the new episode featuring
any sleet. The man who sells me ham is the first person who would notice if I were dead. Experience supports this claim when my grandmother died. Unexpectedly, three years ago, I left Paris for the few Without warning any of my local shopkeepers, this led Sure kudos salesmen to believe I myself was dead alarmed by I continued absence and aware of my daily dining route. He hurried across the street. Wine guy does if he had any news of me. I'm the human equivalent of a stray dog who wanders from shop to shop in search of whoever will give me a snack Modern love is the production of the New York Times and W B you are Boston, NPR station, its produced directed and edited by Caitlin, O Keefe. original scoring and sound design by Matt Reed Iris Adler
executive producer Daniel Jones is the editor of modern love for the New York Times and adviser to the show for the modern love podcast was conceived by LISA Tobin, special thanks to Julia Simon, on your struck me in and merely at the New York Times additional me courtesy of a the talk of already and by the way my other job is hosting an MP. Our show called on point check it out in your pocket. Feed will see an extreme The.
Transcript generated on 2022-04-15.