- On Monday, I told a very sweet 70 year old man that he had cancer - it doesn't look good - and he could only ask me, in his broken English - "Is it bad?"
- On Tuesday, I told a young woman, who very much desired to be pregnant, that she was having a miscarriage.
- On Wednesday, I sent one of my prenatal patients who's 33 weeks pregnant to the ER Crisis Center because she struggles from severe depression and told me she had thoughts about hurting herself.
- My grandmother went back into hospice care, and she's experiencing a lot of pain and is fearful and anxious. We're hoping hospice will get her back to a point where she's comfortable.
- My friend's mother "coded" after she had surgery for colon cancer. Fortunately she's much better now, but I can't imagine watching my mom go through that. My friend was sitting by her mother's side when it happened.
In the midst of all these very sad things, I also experienced the precious gift of life in the miracle of birth, as I delivered a beautiful baby boy to a mom who was amazing, valiant, and made childbirth look like something easy. It's not always that easy! She had no medications, and labored like a champ with grace and beauty.
It's an honor to be a physician, but sometimes it's a big responsibility and certainly not all that glorious.
It's the little reminders of how precious life is that helps to keep me humble.