Thursday, March 27, 2008

Life is Precious

This week has been a tough week - not just because I've had a more demanding schedule, but also because I'm reminded that life is precious. Working as a physician can sometimes lend itself to becoming callous, because we experience so much sickness, death, trauma, etc., and it's often a way to subconsciously protect ourselves from becoming overwhelmed. This week, there was too much sorrow in my path, and I think I was too tired to shrug it off.
  • 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.

1 comment:

Trish said...

Wow, what a job!!! Just when I think my week is rough! Thank you for doing what you do:)

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