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.