Monday, June 20, 2011

Knife edge

Fresh start today.  I'll be doing six weeks with the little people, by which I mean paediatrics.  I've been really looking forward to it, from both a personal and an professional point of view.  I got to see very few kids last year so this will be a good learning experience.  Plus, I like kids.

A few times I've heard people say to me, "I couldn't do paediatrics, I hate seeing kids in pain".  Which kind of confused me.  I always felt like replying, "But you like seeing adults in pain do you?"  I didn't actually say that since obviously that would be a pretty jerkish response.  But I guess I couldn't really connect to what they were saying.

But last week I was reading a book on death and dying and I opened it up to a chapter on the death of children.  The sentence that fell under my eye was: "Parents who have a child that dies will often experience grief, guilt and anger so severe that they feel that they are losing their minds". 

As I read that sentence I involuntarily contemplated how I would feel in that situation.  And it was like a panic attack.  For about twenty seconds, my chest was tight, I couldn't breath, my whole body seemed to tense up and freeze.  And that was just from reading one sentence in a book.  I can't imagine the horror of having to cope with it in reality, day after day, forever.

So now I'm feeling quite apprehensive about the next six weeks of paediatrics.  Hopefully I'm not going to be a walking mess of raw nerves.  On the round this morning I didn't see any kids who were really life-threateningly sick.  Which was nice.  But it meant that I spent the morning wanting to grab them all and play with them and then feeling increasingly homesick and missing my little Hatchling.

This is going to be tiring...

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