02 January 2008

2 JAN 2007 The kids are alright

2 JAN 2007 The kids are alright

Shot up people come here in helicopters. They get their bellies, chests, and heads opened up. It continues on and on.

I recently learned this proverb from friends. (You know who you are!) I'm going to paraphrase it, so my apologies if it comes out caterwampus.

A man is walking along a river. He hears a drowning man calling for help. He jumps into the water and pulls the man to safety. As he climbs out of the water, he hears another drowning man calling for help. Again he jumps in and saves this second man's help. The three are standing on the bank of the river and they hear more drowning men calling for help. The first man starts to head upstream. The two men he saved say to him

"Where are you going, there are more men to save?"

He replies

"I'm going upstream to stop whoever is pushing them in."

We haven't stopped the ones upstream from our hospital yet.

I can share some news about two babies who came to see us recently. The nine-pound girl who was admitted last night is doing well. She got down a few good meals of formula and was able to keep it inside of her. She wasn't leaking too much from either end. Our tests showed nothing serious. Pediatrician S. gave her a good checkup and concluded that all she needed was a string of hearty meals to get her strength back. Her grandmother took her home today. She told us that this baby girl was the youngest of three sisters. The girl's mother never took any interest in her and didn't feed her. The baby's care fell to the grandmother. She said that the only reason she had come to the hospital in the first place was to get some formula. Well, we gave it to them. I guess her plan worked. I have a feeling that there are quite a few babies going hungry tonight in the US. For some reason, I'm over here, not in the US, so I'll do the best I can and try to help the hungry baby in front of me. It hurts my head to try and make sense of our situation over here, but I know that helping this hungry Iraqi baby is inherently good. The nurses on the ward took turns holding the tiny girl and feeding her bottles before she left. She was a very cuddly visitor.

There is another boy in our care with two broken legs. His father said he got hit by a car. The kid doesn't seem like he is old enough to walk. It is bizarre that his legs are broken while there isn't another scratch on his body. Maybe he just got run over, but his legs don't seem to show signs of any crush injury. It doesn't add up. Back home I would have Child Protective Services all over this family. Here, I'll be happy if I don't see this kid back in the ER with a bullet or IED fragments in his brain. There is a different yardstick in use in Iraq. I don't think that the social workers of Iraq are too well organized yet. When they are, I wonder if they will pack heat. The boy is casted from the waist down to help his legs heal. He has a little cut-out in his cast over the bomb bay doors like a pair of Dr. Dentons. He has to wear over sized diapers to fit over the cast. I saw one of the nurses carrying him around the ward. He didn't look too happy. I don't think I would be either.

Well, I'm on call again tomorrow so I better catch a few hours of Zs. More and more I'm getting the feeling that I have more urgent business elsewhere. To use a great word that a friend just gave me, I'm feeling fed up with the ditherdum of this war. That's out of my control at the moment, so I'm just trying to keep my little cat box clean while I'm stuck in it.

Rock on, my pretties!



Cathy said...

Oh Chris, how could you not get these periods of feeling as though it is all useless at times? It just never ends for you guys and women who are there. I wish there were some magic words that could make a difference, but I know there is not.

you already know my feelings about this war and that in no way means I dont support our troops, becuase I certainly do.

You just keep doing what you are doing. Helping all those babies and people who happen to be in front of you at any given time. Don't fret over what you alone cannot change.

Thinking about and Praying for all of you!

lainy said...

I agree with Cathy, sometimes enough is enough and how could you not succumb to these feelings.

I hope you get some decent rest and today turns out to be a better day.

As always I keep you and the rest of your fellow docs in my thoughts and prayers.

Here's hoping you get home fast to your M and sons:)

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 01/03/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

HollyB said...

I came over y'day and could have sworn I left comments...guess I should lay off the pain killers.

Chris, I've been reading these posts since the fall, at least as far back as October, maybe further back than that, and one thing I've noticed, when you're tired or when you've been inundated with casualties, especially kids who would have a plethora of resources available to them in "The World" you get down.

And who can frickin' blame you? If you didn't care about humanity in general and kids in particular you wouldn't be a Doctor at all and you wouldn't have chosen the speciality of Peds surgery, now would you?
As a former Social Worker [with some experience with child abusers], I can tell you, as if you NEED my reassurance, that child with two broken legs was almost certainly abused by some family member. But you already knew that, and to whom would you report it? And what could they do? Put him in an overcrowded orphanage? OR leave him in a home where there is, in all likelihood, at least ONE family member who is nurturing and caring; and pray that it doesn't happen again. He's livin' in a WAR zone, with insufficient housing, food, clothing, utilities, and medical care. His caregivers are stressed to the max and one of them snapped. That certainly doesn't excuse their actions, but given the current conditions, YOU did all you could. As you did for the little girl who was undernourshished. You got to the bottom of THAT problem and fixed it. Again, you did what was in YOUR power to fix THAT problem.

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but your name is Chris, not Christ. You can't perform miracles. SO until you start walking across the surface of the swimmin' pool, quit beatin' yourself up for not doin' enough, ok, Buddy?

You and your co-workers are doing all that you can for our forces, each other, and all your other patients, even when they are terrorists/suspected of being terrorists. You're Aces in my book!

emergencyem said...

Hope today is going well for you.