There is a sixteen year old boy who just transferred today to another hospital for further therapy and rehab. Unrestrained passenger, T-boned. Came in via air medical transport. On good days he will move to look in your direction when you speak, and he can manage "Hi" with prompting. Two weeks ago he was playing baseball.
There was an e-mail today that the mother of one of my friends, a woman I have known and loved and admired for over fifteen years, was killed in a car accident. I knew it was bad when the residency sent out an e-mail stating that there was a family emergency. I wonder if I am the only one who knows how bad.
My mother called to tell me that, a man I did not necessarily love or respect but whom nevertheless was a part of my life, died alone and silent of a heart attack at home. He was not old. They are not suggesting a viewing because of the condition of the body; police broke in two to three days after the fact.
A patient I admitted to the hospital, cared for in the clinic, spok earnestly with about his limited life expectancy and ultimately approved for hospice died several days ago. I was called to be notified. I liked him. The onus fell to me to cancel his follow-up appointment the next day.
I admitted last night a tiny pale fragile infant, 6 weeks old, that stopped breathing as her mother carried her into the emergency room at another hospital. The descriptions of the code in the chart note are vivid to my eyes: Infant grey, pulseless, apneic. Chest compressions under way. One minute of CPR brought back a pulse and struggling respirations and earned a ticket into our peds ICU, where she is over-breathing the vent but otherwise quiet and tiny in her crib. Her mother is young, still in high school, I think. Her whole family is gathered.
Out on the floor, a mother is cradling an infant the shade of autumn leaves. Bilirubin 12. Liver dysfunction. Matter-of-factly, she answers my qustions. C-section, 25 weeks, fetal distress secondary to abruptio placentae secondary to a fall down the stairs. She says it without fear. "But I would have had a C-section anyway. My pelvis has been broken in 8 places. Domestic violence." I am stunned. She shrugs. "He's incarcerated now."
I am terrified, withdrawn, overwhelmed. My reserves are drained and gone, and I feel fear and worry gnawing at what little I have. Do not pray for me, O Best Beloved. Pray instead for the ones I love. There are more stories that are not my stories that I will not share.