Friday, October 13, 2006

palliation

As much as it was a good experience for me to rotate through the Peds Pain service and as much as I learned, I'm really, really glad that this week is over.

Yesterday I watched an eight year-old die. She was a patient on our service, terminally ill in the ICU, and I stood there watching as her sobbing father cradled her in his arms, kissing her face gently and whispering in her ear as her heart slowed, then fibrillated, then stopped. If there's anything that we on the pain management team did to make the process easier, I'm glad, but I have to say watching an eight year-old child die puts a stain on your soul somehow.

Moments after that, I got summoned for a new pain consult, a six year-old with terminal cancer and intractable pain, writhing around in bed and screaming, "Mommy, Daddy, I love you, it hurts, make it stop."

I went home last night and hugged Cal for a very long time.

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