CSA Online First

CSA Online First is a weekly blog featuring insights from CSA members themselves.

Edited by Rita Agarwal, MD, FAAP, with contributions from CSA’s Committee on Professional and Public Communications, Online First is a place where knowledge and opinion from any one of our 3200 plus physician-anesthesiologist members can be shared, discussed and deliberated to advance the specialty of anesthesiology, the practice of medicine and society in general.

"Better solutions to difficult problems are usually made when all sides are heard."

Steven Goldfien, MD


Reflections of an Epidural Needle

  • Loeliger, Erin, MD
| May 03, 2021

Erin-Loeliger headshotThis poem was written by Erin Loeliger, MD, an Obstetric Anesthesia Fellow from Stanford Hospital. 

My journey starts in a quiet plastic bed
Awoken from slumber by screaming and calling for help
To find other friends, other needles like me that paved the way
This way, this way!

Into darkness
Where am I?
Coaxed forward by a gentle hand on my shoulder
Between islands of bone
Through ligaments
Tighter and tighter
Pulled up short
As all resistance is lost
Surrendering to stillness

Stopping sitting
Looking in awe of the dura
Going up and down
As far as the eye can see

Looking solid but not
One wrong step
And I could fall through
Into a starry sea of neurology
A sacred space that I can’t pass

I go just far enough
But not too far
Lost in the wonder of it all

Just far enough for the pain to go away
And for a mom to breathe again
To come back to herself
To let go of Dad’s hand
Which can finally regain circulation

And baby is born into a quieter world
With less screaming in their ears
My journey done, my purpose fulfilled
What more glorious existence could I ask for?
And you who reads this, what about you?
What do you live for?


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