Through the open window of my fourth flour Paris hotel room, the sounds of the city never ceased. In the wee hours of the dawn, delivery trucks opened and slammed their doors, engines rumbling about from stop to stop. The policeman with his incessant whistling cued the morning commute, commanding traffic in time with the busy intersection's stoplights. Gangs of Paris metro riders swelled from the underground, crowding the sidewalks with voices. The cook at the crepe stand called customers' orders back to them as he poured batter onto his hot griddle. Two dings sounded as the tram approached and the clicking of high heels clipped along more rapidly in order to board.
Each noise verbal or non-verbal was a communication, an indication of moving, of doing. To listen to it all at once was cacophonic, like the tuning of a symphony or the static from a radio. Yet a keen ear dialed in each sound as its own. Discordance transformed into dialogue, revealing a constantly changing conversation that charged the city's occupants to participate, to integrate their lives with millions of others.
Noise is what lets us know we are not alone.
ePatients are healthcare's noisemakers. We share. We disclose. We reflect and analyze. We reach out with the hope that what is within will connect. We give voice, which in turn grows our chorus. Listen. Listen to what we are singing. Our chorus sings a mighty song in an inverted key — we have shifted, we can rearrange, we will bring about change.
Listen. Listen and join in our song. Be it in harmony, be it in discord, sing. It is the sounding of the voices that is important. Our voices charge healthcare system occupants to participate, to integrate, to consider the lives of millions of others.