Peds clinic was pretty much what I expected. Runny noses and coughs, with well baby checks thrown in occasionally. A welcome change from Patau syndrome, carnitine deficient cardiomyopathy, and HIE.
The really sick kids have been tough for me to deal with. Seeing them, with so little hope of recovery, makes me think I would have a very tough time having children of my own. I admire the courage of those who have children, who have the faith to trust G-d to give what He will in their lives. But I would worry that my children would be like those I've treated, only born to suffer. I still don't know that my faith is strong enough to have children, to run that risk.
Most of what I feel here is my natural pessimism coupled with anecdotal experience of the worst nature can throw at humanity. But even recognizing that, I still feel it.
Probably, I'll just try not to think too hard about it when the time comes. Almost certainly, there's a bit of cowardice in that reasoning. Thankfully, right now I don't have to worry about having children, since I haven't found the girl yet. But every time I think of having children of my own, the images of my patients, of my embryology texts, come to mind.
Which is why the peds clinic has been good. Here I've seen dozens of kids, usually about 14 a day (in 6 hours, you do the math) forming a steady stream of normal, happy kids with runny noses or ear aches. It helps balance a perception skewed by experience in a hospital renowed for its ability to deal with "zebras," those medical entities so rare they are never seen elsewhere. It's been, at the very least, a restoration of perspective.
I've been thinking a lot about parenthood in general lately, but the rest of that's going to wait for a further post.