It happens again.
I know it will. I train for it, recertify every two years for advanced cardiac life support, I am at the ready…but, I am never ready.
Not when it’s a baby that needs CPR.
It goes against the natural order of things. It is not a 90 year old, ready to let go. It’s a person who hasn’t had a single birthday party yet. Throughout the entire ordeal I’m sure the babe is going to bounce back. We used to say, “These little people are made of rubber.” Made to bounce back from whatever life threw at them. That’s what we used to say.
Minute after minute of this crucial hour we try. Optimism in the glance at the monitor. Oxygen forcing hope with every breath. Rage at the nonresponse. My heart sinks and every adrenalin drenched beat hammers my core.
I try to process the pain of this loss but the depth of it escapes me. I’ve free falling tears but my shield is in place because I know it will happen again.
…she sits on her mother’s lap, right where I left her- at least a year ago; waiting for me to get on with her story. She knows the story must be told- but, her parents? They want me to stop. They’d crawl out of that hospital room and onto my keyboard, flick my fingers away, muttering, “What do you think you’re doing?”
Of course they would. They don’t think they’re strong enough to face a critical illness. And they aren’t. At least not to start with. They will crumble, grasping each other. Ripping their hearts out if it would make a difference in the story.
Our bodies are wired to like certain things. Evolution, survival of the fittest and all that. So why is it that habits which amount to nothing, have no real psychological, physical benefit hang on like glue?
You know the habits I mean: using only your stall when using the restroom at work, drinking yourself silly on Friday evenings, playing silly games on your tablet for hours on end. Repetition breeds comfort, comfort breeds repetition and on and on.
Can the twist of a thought, the turn of a hand pave new patterns that become beloved?
This just opening the door to change. Resistance to change is under the definition of human. Things are working fine just as they are, thank you very much. Why would I want to change anything? The wanting doesn’t matter. The doing it does.
The tears of joy… Caressing, welcoming and happily the majority.
The howls of grief…Letting go at 3AM. The empty hospital corridor unable to shield- in fact echoing the pain.
There is no having one without the other.
A sweet and salty mix of a weekend (lots of both) with my favorite friend. Your visit jump started the dusty neurons in my brain- the ones responsible for liking to write. I can almost hear those synapses starting to fire again, “Who? Me? Oh, yeah, I used to do this.”
Perhaps my three chapters will become more if I just write every day. There is easily time for this habit I’m sure.
I’m hoping for some inspiration to write my book. All of my patients over the last 25 years have left a mark on my soul.
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