Span of One Day

At 4 AM yesterday, I went off to babysit a child who was about to become a big brother. At 7 AM, his father sent me pictures of the latest addition to our population. Although the delivery itself had some complications requiring a C-section, the outcome was a healthy baby boy. My charge and I spent the rest of the day looking at pictures of his new sibling and celebrating the day of his birth.

At 6 PM the same day, I headed to the ED to start another 8 hour shift. Not even thirty minutes into the shift, we had two full arrests come in by paramedics. The physician whom I was scribing for took the 97 year old who was in respiratory distress. The other ER physician took the 4 year old pediatric cardiac arrest. As far as I know, our 97 year old is still thriving, albeit in critical condition in the ICU. The 4 year old, who was running in the park just an hour before, was pronounced dead shortly after her arrival. There are a lot of terrible sounds in the world. But the sound of a mother screaming out her daughter’s name is bone-chilling. It is a wonder how anyone – physician, nurse, respiratory technician, EMT – can continue on with their jobs after losing such a battle.

January 29th marks a witnessed birth and death. Life works in strange ways, doesn’t it?

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Shock.

It’s a sad truth, but it takes a death of someone else to make you cut out all the bullshit in your life. That death doesn’t have to be someone who was particularly close to you. It could just be someone who you knew of and who you passed by that other day when going to work. But to have that knowledge – to know that someone who was perfectly fine a day ago, is not breathing anymore and has no chance to change her life or live her life to the fullest. Well … it makes you re-evaluate your own life. All those formalities. Trying to please people or beat around the bush to ensure that everyone else, but yourself, was happy at the end. Well fuck it. There are so many people out there who don’t give a damn about other people’s feelings, and yet they are still well-liked by all and have no trouble leading a successful and fulfilling life. And here I am, trying to bend over backwards to make sure everyone else is happy. I’m sick of feeling crappy on a perfectly good day, because I feel like someone else is not happy. I’m done. I’ll be nice to people. But I’m done trying to go out of my way when there’s so much I still need to do for myself.

RIP Rachelle.