Saturday, September 18, 2010

Why I do what I do...

courtesy of

Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck. Your profession is what you were put on earth to do. With such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.” ~unknown

I am in the pediatric intensive care unit this month.  It's a rough and awesome month all-in-one, with lots and lots of hours, eight 30 hour call shifts, really sick kids, genius attending physicians, and my ginormous black cloud.  Needless to say I have learned tons and have lots of stories about this month.  I am going to start by telling you my favorite.

I came in to work one morning to a little patient who was on the ventilator due to a pretty bad pneumonia.  This little guy also has known cerebral palsy, infantile spasms, and intractable seizures.  Without giving too much away, I will tell you he was adopted by an amazing family, who not only had 4 kids of their own at the time, they already knew that he would have some medical challenges.  "So what?" They will tell you.  They didn't care, they had more love to give and wanted to give it to him.  They deserve some angel wings in my book, you can read more about angel wings here.

Day after day, I would go in to check on this little guy and I would always find his parents at his bedside.  It was evident by walking into the room how much this child is loved.  Someone would always be next to him holding his hand or stroking his hair.  After a few days on the ventilator, he started getting better.  It was time!  He was finally ready for extubation, ie remove the breathing tube from his lungs, so we all gather round for support and to cheer this little guy on, I think it was because deep down we all felt connected to this little guy and his family.

The respiratory therapist is getting ready to pull the tube, the nurse and I are in there to make sure all goes well, and mom and dad are at the bedside ready to hear their sweet boys voice.  The respiratory therapist tells him to cough real big and then she pulls the tube.  Yay!  We all cheer.  The little boy takes a few breaths and looks up to his mom and with his sweet angelic voice he says, "hiii, love u."  Awww talk about pulling at my heart strings.  Words can't describe how I felt at that moment. All I can say was that it was one of those magical peds moments that will make an impression for years to come.  As I leave the room to give this boy and his parents time to love on him, with tears in my eyes, I can't help but think, "this is why I do what I do."

"These are tiny humans, these are children, they believe in magic, they play pretend, there is fairy dust in their IV bag, they hope and they cross their fingers and they make wishes, and that makes them more resilient than adults. They recover faster, survive worse, and they believe. In peds we have miracles and magic, in peds anything is possible!" 
~Greys Anatomy

Why do you do what you do?

1 comment:

  1. Nicole!! You got me sobbing! Such a sweet boy, such a sweet story! Touched my heart!