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Life is fragile... - Nobody wears a white coat any more... — LiveJournal
...a tribute to becoming a doctor.
Life is fragile...
I barely slept at all last night on call. I am exhausted and I think I have RSV; I am sick. But my heart is breaking.

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.

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now feeling:: exanimate exanimate

9 whispers echo . o O ( ... ) O o . whisper a word
pwwka From: pwwka Date: February 22nd, 2006 01:04 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
There are enough prayers to go around, dearest. We love you.
From: wildcelticrose Date: February 22nd, 2006 01:30 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
That poor woman. I hope that man (if you can call him that) is put away for as long as possible.

When I was a medic I remember picking up a woman who had been beaten nearly to death (actually, I've picked up lots of them, but this one stands out) because of the timing.

This was after he had been put in jail.

She did everything right. Got a restraining order (not worth the paper their written on) called the police, filed charges, testified in court and put him in jail.

Then she changed her phone number to an unlisted one and moved.

When he got out of jail, he tracked her down and almost killed her (that's when I got her and fought to save her life)


What kind of society do we live in that this can happen?


reynardo From: reynardo Date: February 22nd, 2006 01:48 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
The blessings and peace of our lord Jesus Christ, and the love and compassion of God, and the strength and protection and fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you, and those you touch, and those you love, now and forever.
fyrfitrmedic From: fyrfitrmedic Date: February 22nd, 2006 02:00 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
I've never personally been one for prayer; I wish you the peace it sounds like you really need 'bout now.
tyomniye From: tyomniye Date: February 22nd, 2006 03:33 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
*sends hugs & snuggles*
culfinriel From: culfinriel Date: February 22nd, 2006 05:41 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
Wow. You are well overdue for a happy ending. A prayer for those who care is also a prayer for those they care for. Peace.
turnberryknkn From: turnberryknkn Date: February 22nd, 2006 07:05 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
I'm very sorry. There are not words.

blueeowyn From: blueeowyn Date: February 22nd, 2006 03:45 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)

Take strength and peace in knowing that many people are sending positive vibes to you and those you care for.
From: broken_onewon1 Date: February 22nd, 2006 10:43 pm (UTC) (etched in stone)
There are prayers enough for you and those you love and care for, and you shall have them. I hope this finds you and those you worry about and care for feeling better.
9 whispers echo . o O ( ... ) O o . whisper a word