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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:In reading over this post now that I just wrote it, I realize it reads like one of those stupid "tear-jerker" E-mails that get passed around. But it's true.



I was on call the other day. I was checking on my patients, and rounding on a sick little boy when I heard sobbing from the next bed. On our service, there are two teams, "Red Team" and "Blue Team." I'm on Blue team. The patient who was sobbing was a Red Team patient, so I didn't know her name or why she was in the hospital, but she looked to be about 8 years old. And on the pediatrics floor, the tears shed are those of fear.



I'm a pediatrician. Be it my patient or not, I can't just walk away from a sobbing, frightened child. So I went to her bedside and said, "Oh, honey. What's the matter?"



She looked up at me with big, brown, tear-filled eyes and said "I can't drink that stuff, it's too nasty."



I looked at "that stuff." It was Gastrograffin, the barium contrast used for X-ray imaging of the GI tract. And it is, indeed, nasty. Especially for a sick child. What could I do?



So I said, "Oh, honey, it's awful isn't it? But we need you to drink it. What do you think we should do?"



She sobbed, "I asked the nurse to put a tube in my nose and put it in that way. It's too nasty, I just can't!"



I was shocked. This child had ASKED for a nasogastric tube? A nasogastric (or NG) tube is a tube inserted through the nose that passes to the stomach. Insertion of an NG tube is...unpleasant. To say the least. And this girl had actually asked for it over drinking the gastrograffin.



"Honey, have you ever had one of those tubes placed before?" I asked.



She nodded "It hurts. But I can't drink that stuff!"



I was taken aback. "Honey, I can't believe you asked for an NG tube, but I'm proud of you. You're a very, very brave girl."



"I don't feel brave," she said, looking askance at me.



"That's because you're scared. But bravery isn't about not being scared. Bravery is about being scared and facing your fear. You know what has to be done and you're standing up to it. You're not fighting and kicking and screaming like a lot of other kids your age might. You're cooperating. That's because you're one of the bravest and strongest girls I've ever met! And that's why I'm proud of you!"



"You are?"



"Of course, honey!" I said. "I don't think I would ask for an NG tube! I'd be too scared! Think about that, I'm a doctor and I don't think I could do what you're doing!"



"You don't?" She looked amazed.



I answered honestly, "Honey, I just don't know. I've never needed one. But you'll do great with an attitude like yours."



That's when the nurse showed up with the tubing. I gave the girl a squeeze on the shoulder and left the nurse and the patient to do their work.



It was a few hours later when I was rounding on my sick little boy again that I poked my head around the curtain to check on the girl. When she saw me, she beamed.



"Hey, Doctor! I did it! I got the tube and I got the X-ray and guess what?!?"



"You did? What?"



She was all smiles. "They say I can go home tomorrow!"



I still had no idea why she was in the hospital because it wasn't my business, since she wasn't my patient, but I was thrilled for her. I gave her a high-five and then well, I just couldn't resist a big hug. "Honey, that's fantastic! I'm so proud of you! You did it!"



And this 8-year-old girl looked at me and said "Thank you, Doctor. I don't think I could have done it without you." Talk about one beyond her years. My heart melted into a puddle.



I work at an inner-city hospital. These kids grow up in the ghettos of the Bronx. They grow up around gunfire, gang wars, poverty, and death. They're raised by their grandparents because their parents are still children themselves. I've seen abuse, assault, abandonment, and other horrors too terrible to name. Every day, I see humanity at its worst.



But that night I saw humanity at its best, manifested in the strength and courage of an 8-year-old girl. That night, this child renewed my faith and belief in what I do.



Be well.


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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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roarfire
SILVER Member since Jul 2004

roarfire

comfortably numb
Location: The countryside

Total posts: 2676
Posted:Aww Doc, that's beautiful....

I wish I had a doctor like you around when I was 8. tongue

hug


.All things are beautiful if we take the time to look.

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Ry
GOLD Member since Feb 2005

Ry

Gromit's Humble Squire
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Total posts: 4496
Posted:Mike that's a really touching account. Thanks very much for sharing.

It's wonderful how sometimes life slips you a little bit of sunshine like that. Just the other day I was on a long escalator on my way up to the train station with my bike, and was kind of leaning to one side, holding the brakes, waiting to get to the top and kinda zoning out.

Then two young boys, one maybe 10 and one maybe 4 or 5, kinda squeezed past on my right, the older boy already through before I had the time to react to pull my bike a bit closer. The younger boy, whose hand was half being yanked along by the older boy, looked at me from a step or two above the one I was on, grinned and said brightly, 'thankyoo!'

I was taken aback, snapped out of my trance by this young kid who thanked me for nothing I did. Before I had the chance to react, the two of them were beyond the next person.

That little boy's remark really made my day (though I kinda felt guilty about not responding). Anyway. On humanity- that was my little glimpse smile


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pricklyleaf
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

pricklyleaf

with added berries
Location: Manchester

Total posts: 1365
Posted:Thats a lovley account, and one that makes you realise that things aren't always as bad as they seem with humanity.
Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work!


Live like there is no tomorrow,
dance like nobody is watching
and hula hoop like wiggling will save the world.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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linden rathen
GOLD Member since Mar 2005

linden rathen

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 6942
Posted:its always nice to have lil moments like that - bout the only thing that keeps be going at times



oh and its only one of those anoying chain letters if you ask for money


back

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:hug

wow that was a really great story... little kids are so amazing sometimes!

thanks for sharing smile


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Thanks, guys. Working with kids is always interesting and unpredictable, but the beauty of kids is that so many of them are as yet unburdened by all the baggage that adults carry.

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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Psycho_lemming
SILVER Member since Jul 2004

Psycho_lemming

Running hippy spinning lemming
Location: Scotland

Total posts: 15
Posted:hug <smiles> hug

Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering...

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yoni
GOLD Member since Jun 2005

yoni

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bideford and Bath

Total posts: 3099
Posted:hug

thanks for sharing that it's really touched me and made me feel happy.


UCOF "evolution: Poi -> stick -> hoops -> devil stick -> juggling club -> juggling ball -> crayons."

Supergroovalsticprosifunkstication
In other words, it's the thumps bump

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TinklePants
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

TinklePants

Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr

Total posts: 4217
Posted:awww hug thats such a wonderful story!



I wanted to be a Doctor when i was a kid but the though of seeing sick children is awful - especially when my daughter (who is now 5) was 6 months old and contracted meningococcal septicaemia - the worst form of meningitis I was told. I spotted it early as I took child development as a subject in school - and If I hadn't taken that subject I would have never have known the symptoms or how to check with the rolling a glass over the spots.



I remember how it began the day before with flu like symptoms, sore throat and that - we called a doctor as she was vomiting and had diarrhoea but he just prescribed paracetamol and a cough remedy - but she just got worse and the following evening she was so lifeless - then had the worst projectile vomiting episode i've ever seen.



She was so hot to the touch, that i undressed her and then i saw the purple spots - my life flashed before my eyes when i rolled the glass across her skin, i called an ambulance immediately and when they arrived I held her limp body close to me as we took her to hospital, my shoulder ached unbearably but I had to keep holding her.



They stablised her and wrapped her up in that aluminium stuff, dozens of tubes in her and we drove 100 miles to cardiff (wales) as they didn't have the facilities needed to care for her properly. I had to go in a taxi as there was no room, which followed the ambulance way too close at dangerously high speeds. She spent 5 days in the icu pumped so full of morphine, she was puffy.



She woke up on day four and on day six was allowed down to the wards. On that morning I went down to see her as I was staying in the parental suite at the hospital - a student was feeding her strawberry yogurt, she turned, saw me and said her first word, mama which made me cry on the spot.



On day nine we got transferred back to the other hospital but before i left I caught food poisoning from a lamb dinner i had from a trolley. So on the tenth day - which happened to be my nineteenth birthday - I spent the day in bed, recovering from salmonella while Stephanie jumped about in her cot beside me. I was very ill, but incredibly happy at the same time.



As you can see from this video she suffers no side effects from her ordeal - although she's very emotionally immature and has bad tantrums at times, she's incredibly bright and reads at an 8 year old's level!



Children can be real fighters. I don't know what kept her (or me) going through that fortnight - her strength or my unconditional love for her.



Edit---




Non-Https Image Link




I thought I'd add this picture of her!

EDITED_BY: TinklePants (1129558231)


Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible

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Ry
GOLD Member since Feb 2005

Ry

Gromit's Humble Squire
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Total posts: 4496
Posted:Tammie, that's a *really* touching account. I'm more than glad it turned out ok- it would have been a nightmare at the time. And to see where the both of you are today.. it's so heartwarming I can't even begin to describe. Thank you for sharing.. hug

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MasterOfDreams
BRONZE Member since Sep 2005

MasterOfDreams

member
Location: London

Total posts: 57
Posted:Wow, Truly beautiful and heart rendering accounts have been shared.
It is so good to know that things can work out for the best in such an amazing way. Makes you realise how much you should value the life of others just as much as your own.
I was in Thailand when the Tsunami hit. It was my birthday on the 27th of Decmember and the Tsunami hit on the 26th. I missed it by about fifteen minutes. I was on a boat leaving Koh Pi Pi. We were even joking about the waves. Asking each other if we would surf the first wave untill it became bigger and bigger and finally had to watch it engulf the island in which we had been sitting on about ten minutes before. The idea of those people on the beach, people we had just walked past being swept away. Makes me cry right now thinking about it.
I wanted to go back but the boat driver knew that it would be too dangerous especially when that second wave hit. Struggling to correct the boat. The waves were not too huge when they were cummin for us but enough to make the boat heave.
I do not know any one that was killed in the Tsunami but I have a friend that was in Sri Lanka who ran away from the waves watching people getting dragged away. She managed to make it to a roof and had to stay there for two days for someone to get them out.
It's amazing how people that you do not know will group together and help eachother out when somthing like that happens. I feel it is just a shame that it takes somthing like that to happen to make people group together.
It also makes you value your life lot more when you feel so close to loosing it. And the same when you think about the fact that you could loose somthing else so close to you as a friend of a family member.
My heart goes out to all those who were affected by the Tsunami, by the earthquake in Pakistan, Bali and London bombings.


Dance like no one is watching, Sing like no one is listening, live your life the way that you see fit

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:heart

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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maus
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

maus

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Sihanoukville, cambodia

Total posts: 4191
Posted:beautiful story doc,and a beautiful thread to start.
thankyou. grouphug meditate heart


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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by: TinklePants

awww hug thats such a wonderful story!

I wanted to be a Doctor when i was a kid but the though of seeing sick children is awful - especially when my daughter (who is now 5) was 6 months old and contracted meningococcal septicaemia - the worst form of meningitis I was told.



Think, Tinkle, about what those pediatricians did.

Here they took a kid with a potentially lethal disease and fixed her. Made her better.

She was a criticially ill patient, but kids are so resilient they bounce back from even the worst illnesses like it's nothing.

Yes, I've lost kids before. I've lost five, not including a few babies born before they were viable who we didn't even try to resuscitate. But I've saved HUNDREDS.

And that's why I'm a pediatrician. ubblove I like to say that I love kids enough that I even love the sick ones.


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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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DrBoo
BRONZE Member since Oct 2005

DrBoo

I invented the decaffinated coffee table.
Location: Cornwall

Total posts: 453
Posted:Written by: Doc Lightning

ubblove I like to say that I love kids enough that I even love the sick ones.



I am with you on that one. Kids are amazing. I love working with them.
I am continuously humbled by the children I come into contact with.

hug


Boo x

I intend to live forever - so far, so good.

If it costs "a penny for your thoughts", but people give you their "two-pence worth", who is getting the extra penny?

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Ry
GOLD Member since Feb 2005

Ry

Gromit's Humble Squire
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Total posts: 4496
Posted:MOD: Thanks for sharing.. It's such a different experience hearing people's account firsthand, compared to waiting for it to be filtered and mutated by the media. hug Knowing the devastation the tsunami caused, very glad to know you alright in spite of how close you were to the chaos..

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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:sounds like an old soul in a young body smile
thanks mikey!!!


Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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