Sunday, October 28, 2007

Your worst nightmare

I loved pediatrics during my training. I briefly considered choosing it as a speciality, but opted for family medicine for 2 reasons:

1. Sports physicals. There is such as a thing as too many.

2. Sick kids. That's Sick with a capital S.

I hated setting foot in the PICU during training. Every story was worse than the one before. It troubled me deep down in my being to see kids on vents, kid's broken bodies after trauma, kids whose lives were forever altered before they had a chance to grow up.

During my floor months, I had an uncommonly high number for heme-onc kids, just by chance. They were all great kids, and dealt with their lot in amazing ways.

But their parents. To see them just killed me. There is a pain in the eyes of a parent who has faced the spectre of their own child's death that eats at you just to see.

And now I'm one of them.

My dear friends keep telling me if I need anything, just to talk, to call at all hours of the night. Some of them I've taken up on that. But I've become every parent's worst nightmare, and I can hear the pain and fear in their voices even as they try to comfort me. This road is so painful to walk that it hurts people to even think about someone else walking it.


rlbates said...

Try to treat it as a marathon and take one step (day) at a time. Don't think of the entire "26.1 miles" of this journey of yours and your family. Step, breathe, step,.....

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Rob said...


I chose pediatrics and do not feel that parents are my worst nightmare - even parents during times like yours. You go into pediatrics because somehow you feel you can help people in this circumstance. It is an honor to be someone who can help a parent during their worst nightmare. I would far rather have a parent crying on my shoulder than being alone in their grief. Please don't feel that the offers to help are made just to be polite. They are genuine and sincere. They are really an offer to stand with you during your hard time.

Emily said...

As a not-yet parent, I can't even imagine what you are going through, but as a future physician, I'm trying hard. I am keeping Henry and you and the rest of your family in my thoughts.

The Country Doctor said...

In the universe's Bank of Listening I'm sure you've build up many points from the pain and suffering you've unconditionally listened to from your patients. Now is the time to draw upon that account guilt free. Continue to talk through the discomfort. Remember, those who you talk to are still figuring things out too. They'll get better at it.

ten out of ten said...

It's a strange relationship we have, I think of you as a kindred spirit and friend even though we have never met.

My wife and I continue to hold you in our thoughts and keep you in our prayers.

And I doubt very seriously that you are every parent's worst nightmare, I'm sure they take great satisfaction in comforting you, knowing you would do the same for them, while everyone is reminded, as you said, that life is fragile, but love is not.

Meanwhile, everything I blog about now seems really ridiculous and petty :-)

Anonymous said...

Dave-speak only seems appropriate given your affinity to his music. To feel the essence of this song, you have to hear the depth of Dave’s voice. But, I know the fear in your world is intense and I hope you see a “light”...the hope exists.

“The Maker” written by Lanois Daniel and performed by DMB

Oh, deep water
Black, and cold like the night
I stand with arms wide open
I've run a twisted mile
I'm a stranger in the eyes of the maker

I could not see
for fog in my eyes
I could not feel
for the fear in my life
From across the great divide
In the distance I saw a light…

The song ends with... “Oh river rise from your sleep.”

- “When you cry I feel your tears running down my face
Sister, sister, you keep me”

Leigh said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Please remember that those around you are sincere with their offers of support.

Anonymous said...

You're not a worst nightmare, you're walking in one. You continue to be in our prayers.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and your family. I know you will find the strongest in your support group who will show care and compassion for you always. I've seen it happen.

Chrysalis Angel said...

I will continue to keep you all in my prayers.