Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sick Kids

I remember why I ruled out pediatrics as a career choice 6 years ago.
I can't stand sick kids.
Not that I have anything against them. Just that, in my primitive, simple mind, kids aren't supposed to be sick. They're supposed to be cheeky, playful, noisy, bouncy. Poo poo and pee pee. Not sick.
I have this 5 year old with a humongous sellar tumour. Surgery last week; they were unable to save the pituitary stalk, nor the optic nerve. He's blind now. Having trouble adapting; crying in bed, whining, screaming. I don't blame him. A lifetime of visual stimuli, all gone. At so young an age. He'll never see the colours of a rainbow. His dog's face. People. The gaze of his wife. The sensuous form of a lover. His baby. Trees. The ocean. Instead, total darkness.
I pray he regains his vision. Yet, unless he defies the laws of anatomy and physiology, I know he never will.
Then, I saw a 7 year old girl the other day, with severe mental retardation, wheelchair bound, blind. Has a tracheostomy and on a portable ventilator for recurrent pneumonias. Can't eat, so she has a percutaneous gastronomy feeding tube. Recurrent pressure sore.
Aside from an occasional smile, perhaps random, she doesn't interact with the environment. Or her family. Has been like this since birth.
My emotions and mind were in turmoil. May the heavens forgive me for saying this: If I was her I wouldn't want to live. If I were her parents, I'd pull the plug. Not drag it for decades, bankrupting the family. Because this is existing, not living. Terri Schiavo comes to mind.
I respect her parents for their undying love and dedication, and for their strength, and not taking the cowardly shortcut that I am thinking. Because they're infinitely stronger than I will ever be.
But for me, life is meant to be lived. Not merely to exist.
On a different note: Thanks for the words of encouragement regarding my earlier post. I'm just going through a tough time right now having to deal with some interpersonal issues. Appreciate the words and prayers.


Blogger WMD: Wife, Mother, Daughter said...

Whenever I feel like complaining about my sons over trivial matters, I am quickly reminded of the many sick kids where I think their parents wished they could see them being naughty and cheeky. Then, I count my blessings.

Anyway, hope you will be able to resolve whatever struggles that is disturbing you.

3:17 AM  
Blogger dobbs said...


A special child is still a gift from God, and should be loved and cared for just for who she/he is. :)

5:07 AM  
Blogger A Fellow Traveler said...

my heart breaks just reading ur post....makes me appreciate all of god's goodness in my life....and be contented with my lot.

a lot of things are beyond our understanding....we ask why but sometimes there is no answer....

take k, mate

5:17 AM  
Anonymous CC said...

hang in there...

i truly salute the strength of both child and their families.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous CC said...

hang in there :)

personally, i truly salute the strength of both child's family!!

1:49 PM  
Anonymous catlover said...

And that is why I cannot be a doctor...(not to mention the many years of study..) You are doing a good job - be strong.

8:05 PM  
Blogger titoki said...

Sometimes when I am drown in depression (on the many unhappy memories in life), I will quickly remind myself that there are many more unfortunate people out there and that I should feel blessed for the things that I have and the things that I don’t have.

Life’s not a box of chocolate. Life’s sux but life goes on.

There is a saying goes, use your best frame of mind to face the worst music in life. Have a nice day doc!

3:05 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

I agree with you on euthansia. I guess sometimes, even if we want to live that long, circumstances do not permit us, we might as well die. It is not a form of cowardice. It is a choice.

I cannot stand looking at sick, poor, crippled kids. I would end up really emotional as well.

9:18 AM  
Blogger vagus said...

i'm not talking about euthanasia though. there's a distinct difference. euthanasia implies active participation of the caregiver in ending the patient's life. no, i consider that morally and legally wrong.
what i was referring to was more of withdrawal of care. semantics maybe, but i think they're worlds apart.

11:05 AM  
Blogger cissy~~~BLooSom plz!!! said...

me too... i have the same feeling of will never be a peads...
"life is meant to be lived, not merely exist..."
who in the sane mine do not want to live... sometimes, the choice just wasn't in our hand...
also, througout my clinical studies, i learnt that even the most perfect creature will never own everything in hand forever...
one day, anyone of us might be just like them...
it is all about how we adapt to it, or rather do we wanna live we it....

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