I tried to gather my dropped purse and Chinese takeout but didn’t realize I couldn’t even gather my body until a stranger knelt beside me and said, "Let me stabilize your arm.The ambulance is on the way."
I'm a pediatrician, and the aftermath is when my capable medical assistant or nurse goes in after me to give a vaccine or check a hemoglobin level or administer a shot of antibiotics because the oral antibiotic isn’t working.
A woman I volunteered with and hold most dear had a twin sister. Recently, during one of our sessions, I found out that her sister was headed for hospice; the next day, she began the active stages of dying.
A voice at the back of my mind said, This is his illness--you can't take it personally. But even so, I felt hurt by his crying.
The radio call comes in: “thirty-something male, cardiac arrest, compressions in progress, five minutes out.”
My adrenaline starts pumping. This new patient will be my first time running a code. I can’t help but be excited.
I claim my place at the head of the bed and start setting up my airway equipment. My brain is methodically running through the ACLS algorithms I have memorized.
I cried for a stranger today.
Her sister sat expressionless next to her lifeless body, and when I walked into the room, she began crying.
My tears swell. I tell her how sorry I am, and how brave she was. She tells me that her sister died “so quickly and peacefully” and that "it was her time to go." I am grateful she surrendered to the inevitable.
I leave to complete my documentation. Conflicted, I fight tears. I want to cry for her loss and for my loss. But, I am new here. I must make a good impression. What will they think of me? Unprofessional. Emotional. Unstable.
I’m crying a lot these days. Goes with the territory, and the triggers are everywhere.
My thirty-one year-old son had a newer laptop than mine and an iPhone 6. My iPhone 5 was a hand-me-down from him. (Prior to that, my iPhone 3 was given to me by a former resident, now friend, who upgraded to a 5 and was tired of mocking me for my flip phone.)
I have been paying my son's cell phone bill since he died on 1/16/17. I told myself I would do this until I could get it backed up so I could have his contacts, pictures and music (most of the music that I do not even like) until I can face going through the contents. And then I could expropriate it to be my phone. It's the same with his laptop: I don't want to lose what's on there.
As a rookie psychologist, I knew I had much to learn. Burdened with perfectionism, I had self-doubts about technique and process. I so wanted to do it right.
One day I was assigned a young client—a girl of no more than twelve, whose grandfather was anxious to have her seen by a therapist. His wife was dying, and the child’s mother had no interest in raising her. To complicate matters, the relationship with the grandmother was full of resentment on both sides. Not ideal in any way.
You were the one who felt lost, who longed for professional advice and support.
For eight years I have endured intense pain in my left jaw. While having four surgeries, I have also undergone Botox treatment, acupuncture and physical therapy; taken a variety of medications prescribed by pain doctors, neurologists and my primary care physician; and used specially made creams, ice and heat on the affected area. Nothing has worked.