Sunday, April 16, 2006

Here in the ICU...

We don't see many little kids, especially toddlers or babies, here on this unit in the hospital. Sadly, if you see one here to visit someone, it's a fairly safe bet that the patient they are visiting is gravely ill. As I left my patient's room tonight, I heard a funny squeak and noticed a tiny little girl, probably no more than two, wrapped around her mother's legs, while her mother was on the phone. The little girl had on pink and purple striped velour pants and a pink top, which made me smile right away, because EVERY little baby and toddler needs to have velour striped pants. It's just a rite of passage, and they're just cool. Anyway, I started playing peek-a-boo with her, hiding around the corner and popping back out, as she ventured closer and closer, then jumped back and squealed with delight. I knew who she was here to visit, and as I looked up at her mother's face, then back at the monitor to confirm what I had just realized, I knew that her daddy had just died. My own patient's monitor beeped then, and I had to go get her blood pressure medication, so I waved goodbye to my little peek-a-boo friend, and felt tears in my eyes as she held out her pudgy little hand like a starfish and waved good-bye. I know I say this a lot, but this is a strange job.

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