Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:So the baby was born at 24 weeks (term is 40 weeks and we consider any baby over 37 weeks to be full term). She weighed 700 grams.

She cried at first, but soon developed respiratory distress. She was intubated and put on a ventilator.

Yesterday afternoon, we saw blood in her ET tube (the breathing tube). Her lungs were hemorrhaging. And then the acid started building up in her system. Her twin sister did the same thing...and died yesterday afternoon.

All night we pushed bicarbonate and blood into her. We loaded her with drugs to keep her blood pressure up and we ventilated her with the most powerful ventilator we have for her delicate little lungs.

And yet her potassium levels crept higher and higher...so high that her heart stopped being able to beat at its needed rate. And her sodium went higher and higher...so high that her muscles kept spasming.

We did everything we could. She's still alive, but we've stopped trying now. Now we're just ventilating her and giving her narcotics. And waiting.

So my question is...why? Why was she brought in this world so that she could suffer for a few days and then die? If there's an afterlife, what will she be in that afterlife? She's so little that her eyes are still fused shut. In the state of New York she's still young enough that she could be aborted! What is the point?

It's at times like these that I become convinced that there can't be any sort of God in the Judeo-Christian sense because I can't imagine any being so malevolent as to inflict such suffering and such a fate on such innocence.

WHY?

Anyone have an answer?

Because I can explain in intricate physiologic detail WHAT happened last night...

But not WHY. shrug

Excuse me. I need to go to sleep. I did good work last night. I did everything I could and everything that could be done. I'm proud of myself and I'm proud to be a doctor today. We lost, but nothing we could have done would have changed the outcome.

But what was the point? I still don't get it. confused


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete Topic

vanize
vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas
Member Since: 21st Aug 2001
Total posts: 3899
Posted:no answers from me,
just a
hug
for you.


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

Delete

_Clare_
_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 5967
Posted:hug

Getting to the other side smile

Delete

.:star:.
.:star:.

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol
Member Since: 6th Jan 2005
Total posts: 1785
Posted:hug life is cruel sometimes. I'm not sure if we will ever know why

Delete

Kyrian
Dreamer
Location: York, England
Member Since: 15th Mar 2002
Total posts: 4308
Posted:I don't know. But I am confident enough that there is a reason, despite not beliving in any sort of a god or other supreme or similar enough being.

hug

I wish we could understand, too. Thats always the worst thing... not understanding.


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

Delete

Gelfling
Gelfling

Watcher of 80s cartoons
Location: Chepstow & Bristol
Member Since: 7th Jul 2004
Total posts: 665
Posted:My cousin was born at 25 weeks spending her first four months in an incubator, during which time her heart stopped her eyes un-fused and then she spent a year plus of going in and out hospital. Now she is doing well and is just like any other child of 3 (with the exception of the glasses she needs due to lack of oxygen to her optic nerve when she was in the incubator). My cousin is doing so well due to the perseverance of the people around her and not giving up. So thats why you spend your efforts on causes that seem hopeless every now and again it pays off. From a metaphysical point of view such exceptions may be regarded as miracles.

So why would a divinity allow such suffering as the case you describe and why would a divinity allow suffering in general? Well it boils down to the age old argument of free choice humans can choose to preserve life or prolong life at all costs and humans can choose to destroy life at all costs. Unfortunately, sometimes the choices made in an attempt to preserve life may in fact result in the destruction of that life. Personally I think the free choice argument is the metaphysics cop out equivalent to physics greatest cop out - Heisenbergs uncertainty principle. But both work in terms of explaining their relative phenomenon.

Keep up the good work Lighning and have many of these hughughughughughughughughughughug
hughughughughughughughughughughughug
hughughughughughughughughughughug


>What do you think about the state of the Earth?
>I'm optimistic.
>So why do you look so sad?
>I'm not sure that my optimism is justified.

Delete

Gnor
Gnor

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Perth
Member Since: 31st Mar 2003
Total posts: 5814
Posted:Because we are imperfect creatures who are still animals and our bodies are under so many stresses that sometimes the perfect ending doesnt happen. We no longer accept death at any age as being a natural part of life. 30 years ago it would have been a much simpler tradgegy of the baby dying soon after birth. With little support of the parents in the event of the loss of your two precious children. There is legislation being looked at here at what age a premmie will be given this sort of care. Its one decision I would hate to be asked to make.
Some 25 weekers can handle it, some 32 weekers have no drive.
There is no answer in terms of a god unless you have religious belief. If there is a god its the same one who has created you to give these people a chance to survive.

take care Doc Lightning

hug hug


Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu

Delete

frostypaw
Great balls of fire
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Member Since: 28th Jul 2003
Total posts: 643
Posted:Awww fella frown

Big hugs...

---- the rest of this tries to answer a why and may or may not be a touch harsh if you're still well cut up

And why? Because this has always happened - it's nature and evolution and the way things are

Why have we come to think it's not like this? That life can be all good and everyone live and have their fair chance? It's a lie. We can't. Animals don't - for billions of years they've died in childbirth, had still births, rolled over and killed their young in their sleep

What makes us think it won't happen to us?

Have a look at some roadkill....

Then remember how often it doesn't happen to us - and how many lives are saved - how many you've saved

You want miracles :P they're around every day - we've changed natures order a huge amount.... YOU have stopped the world turning and nature following it's course - but you're not infinitely strong, and noone can criticise you for that only thank you for all the good you've done and lives you've saved

thankyou smile


I can SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Delete

Lemonkey
Lemonkey

Stalking amidst the desert, carrying an oversized scalpel...
Location: Huddersfield + Hull Uni... UK.
Member Since: 1st Aug 2005
Total posts: 1019
Posted:Being a doctor you should understand how weak, fragile and pathetic the human body is.

... but, from a religion PoV - we're given free will. The people who produced the baby did so via free will. God didn't control the baby coming into the world, and due to the imperfections of our being, it died.

Such is life. Cruel.


Willy - is bad for your health...

Delete

Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Perhaps it was for a lesson that is not for you sweetness. Perhaps this is a lesson her parents must learn.
Perhaps this is for someone else in the family.

Perhaps it was for you...to get these questions out now, early in your career, so that later you will not be struggling with a life spent on a career that left you wondering why.

Even by many Judeo-Christian standards she will go on to a better place. And it is not about whether there is a god, or a purpose, or what have you....that is all in faith and what we each believe, so there can be no real clear answer....only that which we can each determine for ourselves. So then, what did she give you in her little exsistence? There is no way that you could have worked so hard on this pixie of a child and not be touched in some way. In *that* I think you will find that her exsistence and even her death is not in vein, for you learned and will grow...as will her family.

hug
I smiled reading this from you. It shows your beautiful heart, which is why I love you so. ubblove


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

Delete

Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by: Pele

Even by many Judeo-Christian standards she will go on to a better place.



*What* goes to a better place, though? She was only ever conscious for like...an hour of her life?

Does heaven have a nursery where kids stay eternal pre-term infants?


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Depends, do you believe that the spirit/soul matures as the body does or do you believe they are fully formed and cognitive, only limited by the limitations of our bodies?

Personally I believe the latter, but I also don't think if she did go wherever as an infant that she would stay that way forever.

It's personal belief darlin'. What do *you* believe? Is your glass half full? hug


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

Delete

Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Well I just called the NICU.

It's official. Her family withdrew care this afternoon. She was given powerful narcotics, her tubes and line were removed, and she died in her mother's arms.

Sometimes, we can save them and they do well. We doctors can do amazing things.

But we didn't fail today. We succeeded. We succeeded because we did everything we could. And when we realized that we were beyond our capabilities, we stopped...

...and we kept the patient comfortable and we consoled the family.

We did a good job today.

Godspeed little girl. ubbcrying


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

Medusa
Medusa

veteran
Location: 8 days at Cloudbreak, 6 in Per...
Member Since: 25th Nov 2003
Total posts: 1433
Posted:Lightning I can feel your pain...I have a cousin in the eastern states who was born as one half of a set of twins and they were premature also.

The difference though is I ask why the doctors let him survive.

The female twin, Coralie, (supposed to be the strongest) died after two and a half days of struggling to keep her alive. The male twin, Matthew, was kept on machine for the first year of his life, he is now severely brain damaged, he is almost blind, can't talk, one side of his body is shorter than the other.

He will be taken care of for the rest of his life by his parents till they pass on, then by a carer.

He was not expected to live but he did anyway....but for what type of quality of life?


Delete

Kyrian
Dreamer
Location: York, England
Member Since: 15th Mar 2002
Total posts: 4308
Posted:hug

I'm glad you did a good job.

we need more good doctors somedays.


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

Delete

linden rathen
linden rathen

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: London, UK
Member Since: 2nd Mar 2005
Total posts: 6942
Posted:hug
you'll keep doing great things doc hug

as for why - depends on your own belief - if there is a 'plan' then it served a higher purpose maybe to show you something - maybe to show us something

if there is no plan then it was free 'will' and that will wasnt your's

as for why we think it should all be happy - humans are the ultimate optimisits - sitdown and think for half an hour how lucky you are to be alive from one second to another - now wonder how we get up and go to work each day.

keep believing doc hug your an amazing person smile


back

Delete

Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:So today we lost one in the OR. She lived 15 minutes. Sort of. By "lived" I mean she had a weak heartbeat and didn't really even try to breathe.

THAT one I can swallow. It wasn't meant to be.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

LazyAngel
LazyAngel

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Cambridge UK
Member Since: 29th Jul 2004
Total posts: 2895
Posted:Credit to you for taking on one of the harshest jobs in existence
hug


Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

Like sex, I'm much more interesting in real life than online.

'Be the change you want to see in the world around you' - Ghandi

Delete

pineapple pete
pineapple pete

water based
Location: melbourne
Member Since: 20th Sep 2004
Total posts: 5125
Posted:*edited because it could quite easily be missinterpreted*



hug hug hug

EDITED_BY: pineapple pete (1123757388)


"you know there are no trophys for doing silly things in real life yeah pete?" said ant "you wont get a 'listened to ride of the valkyries all the way to vietnam' trophy"

*proud owner of the very cute fire_spinning_angel, birgit and neon shaolin*

Delete

VampyricAcid
VampyricAcid

veteran
Location: My House
Member Since: 27th Jun 2005
Total posts: 1286
Posted:everything happens for a reason, yes their lives were short, but in that short space of time, think of all the people they affected, they gave all those people a view of how precious life is, and (hopefully) showed you and all your collegues how important your job is, and everyone else, how much respect you all deserve

Proudly Owned By The BMVC

Are You Sniffing My Mitten?

Delete

Arty Farty
Arty Farty

I wear yellow on monday
Location: Farnham Ahoy
Member Since: 5th Jul 2005
Total posts: 551
Posted:true true.

Everything happens for a reason. We have to grow from what we experience, good or bad- and its usally the terrible things that change us most.

I stopped believing in a God years ago, as any kind of God suggested in the Bible would not have made this world. shrug


You'll find me on the dance floor

Delete

Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:So they come in fours, apparently. Another one died last night at 2:30 AM after delivery.

This one was born all messed up. Anatomy wrong, probably some sort of chromosomal abnormality.

But what luck!


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

linden rathen
linden rathen

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: London, UK
Member Since: 2nd Mar 2005
Total posts: 6942
Posted:hug to doc

your amazing smile and much respect for your dillegence smile


back

Delete

BansheeCat
veteran
Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:A huge hug to you Doc.

Your choice is hard, to work and help in that environment, where life and death are always a daily issue. Much love and respect from me to you. The children and other patients are very lucky to have you there. Even if you cannot extend life, your caring counts. They can feel it, at any age and any stage. I do believe that.

I have been living with death as constant for the last while too, and I am not even working in a hospital! Many many people in my life have died recently,including a child only seven who died suffering considerably from the effects of a brain tumour. Shortly thereafter a friend killed themself... Then I went to help with recovery after the tsunami ( where other friends had died amonsgt thousands) , came back and had more loved ones die, most recently my Dad. So many in such a short time.

I had no issue with death until it tackled me on such an overwhelming scale and forced me to reassess my beliefs and comfort level. Even while I accept the loss, I still miss the people on a very deep level. It is hard to adjust. Certainly made me recognize that we should value every moment of every day, and kep our hearts open to each other, not wasting precious time in anger and negativity.

Like some others have said, I think some of the angst has to do with expectations. We need to recognize our fragility. Yes, we die. Not everybody makes it through the birth process to be sure. And sometimes it is painful, and sometimes it is early, and seems so sad and unnecessary. But nature works this way, practical, efficient, ruthless- everything transient, flowing from one form to another. We dont always see the underlying patterns, as much as we wish we could. But suffering is a constant aspect of humanity. From it we learn the gift of compassion, and can cultivate our love and respect for this beautiful transient experience of life.

I wish so much I had an answer to why, or even some comfort to offer. I do beleive in connection, and pattern, and flow. We come, w go, the ties that are between us all determining how when and why are intricate.I think to a large degree we make up the whys and their answers, to allow ourselves to learn and grow, and feel secure within this expereince. It is hard to go on without a sense that there is a point out there somewhere. So if one is not apparent, creative beings that we are, we make one!


I see that as a good thing, a sign of humans creativity and resilience. Sometimes we find solace in religions and beliefs that offer a solution to the why question in a way that resonates with our personal environment and expereince, and our hopes. Then we can rest in that a while, sometimes a lifetime. Questionning can be tiring. We do sometimes just have to accept what is, without an explanation. I hated that answer when I was a child" Cause that is just how it is" made me crazy. But now I find it peaceful.

Just musing, no conclusions to offer. But again, much love and respect to you for doing what you do, and having the courage to ask the questions.
~A


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

Delete

_Clare_
_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast
Member Since: 22nd Oct 2002
Total posts: 5967
Posted:thanks for sharing that Andrea

hug


Getting to the other side smile

Delete