It's Christmas morning and I am where every loving mother is on her daughter's third Christmas. I am at work. Where I've been for every major holiday and social event since the day she was born. I'm living in the Pediatric ER this month so now I get to bring all the coughs and colds home to share with her. Who says I never bring her anything nice. We have been rocked and rolled as usual for a holiday, but not as bad as the big room. They've been turning over the Trauma Bay all night long. 18 traumas, four GSW's, one pediatric full arrest and a partridge in a pear tree. Oh wait, that's not how your version goes.
It's never a holiday without at least one dead kid. Every holiday goes horribly wrong for at least one family. There was last Mother's Day when dad was drunk and turned in front of a car. Killed mom and the kid in the back, the other kids survived to be shipped off to grandmas and watch their Dad get taken away for vehicular manslaughter. I'm guessing no ones going to forget that little Kodak moment. And forget about the commercial. This Thanksgiving I intubated two kids, one lived, one died. Ahh, the stories I could tell. I probably will tell given enough time. That Pediatric resuscitation room has put more cracks in my soul then anywhere else in this hospital. It is the one place that reminds me of how much I still have to learn and of the fleeting nature of life. The holidays, they just shatter you.
I've learned to control a lot of how I feel and react. I've taught myself to toughen up. There are so few things that get my adrenaline to flow anymore but half dead, sick as shit kids rattle my cage,. There's so many different tube sizes and equipment, their vital signs are all over the place. Every drug you give is based on how much they weigh and as if that isn't bad enough their weight is calculated in kilograms. Are you kidding me, in the middle of this grand cluster fuck known as a Pediatric trauma, I have to deal with the metric system. These are the moments your high school algebra teachers never told you about.
So what to tell you . The kids seized, then stopped breathing then died. Just like one did in ER's all across this country tonight. It doesn't ever stop in my world, not even for the holidays. Merry Christmas. I'm going to go open presents with my daughter now.