Tuesday, March 28, 2006

First day

First day on the pediatrics (hereafter referred to as "peds", which is pronounced with a long "ee") ward. I'm not real sure what I think of this environment. On the one hand, everyone is really laid back and pretty nice. On the other, they are very strict about some ways of doing things which seem slightly silly to me, coming off of medicine. And this hospital is entirely computerized, so I no longer have to write out my progress notes by hand. I'm not sure that's easier, actually.

Today had a bit of an eventful start though. I was supposed to be at work, normally 30 minutes drive from my house, at 630. Later start for the new guys, it's all good, right?

I woke up at 6:09.

I managed, by blending in with the crazy drivers I usually avoid, to be in place with my team at 42 minutes after six, but it was still a hair-raising experience. And thankfully, everyone else, including my intern, was late. But I'm going back to the "Chemical Brother's Greatest Hits" as my alarm.

One of my patients is less than a year old, but she has congestive heart failure, an ailment which is much more common to 70 or 80 year-olds. But walking into her room, and playing with/examining (they're the same thing here) her today, you'd never guess she's anything but a normal six month old, instead of a six month old who probably needs a heart transplant. It's strange, but I find it difficult to be sad about a patient who doesn't look sick. Or maybe it's because she is so young. I don't know. I actually a bit mystified by my reaction.


thebeloved said...

Thanks for your posts on my blog. I hope and pray that you keep both your mind and your heart active in those that you treat. For you can do many great things that will be absolutely worthless if they are not paired with love.

Nathan said...

Thanks for the encouragement. You are exactly right, in an eternal sense.

But I'm more curious in my questioning why an empathetic response is so immediately overshadowed by a loving response. I don't necessarily feel sad for my patient, but I do think she's great fun. She's a cute little kid, so of course she's fun. But maybe I'm subconsciously judging her loss of life as less saddening (but no less tragic, if that makes sense) because she's experienced so little of it. I feel more sad for her parents.