This morning while I was making coffee for our morning staff meeting my boss came by and asked if we'd had a good weekend? I said we'd had a busy weekend and a very busy night. I told her we had gotten some new preemies and that I was dead tired. She looks at me - pale as a ghost, with bloodshot eyes and a huge headache (not to mention the nausea I get when I don't sleep and don't eat but that can't be seen) - and gives me the biggest smile and says "isn't it amazing!? This is what it's really like to be a pediatrician!" Suddenly I can't help myself. Despite my night-shift hangover (times two as I've had the nightshift both friday and sunday) I'm smiling and giddy - it is amazing!
I so often think about the stuff I can't do. I yell at myself when I can't get an IV-line in on the first attempt. I want to punch myself in the face if I don't remember to check some blood works as soon as they come. I consider myself to slow if a patient has been waiting for more than one hour - it's unacceptable in my world, no matter the reason.
Last night I berated myself for all of those things, but this morning I thought back at the umbilical vein catheter I got in after the specialist had been having difficulties with it and was giving up. I thought back on the good talk I had with a sad and frustrated mother at five in the morning (who actually said thank you for doing your job so well at the end). I thought about the little girl who smiled shyly and waved at me after I had "forced" her to stay at the hospital and she had looked at me like I was the devil on earth. It's some pretty amazing things I get to do on a daily basis. How can you not love holding a baby less than a minute old in your hands and hearing them scream and telling the parents - you don't need me here, you have a strong and beautiful baby? Or holding their tiny hand through the incubator while their parents are taking a well needed nap? Or hearing a three year old tell the nurse "I'm definitely not talking to the doctor" and then still get him to laugh and smile and tell you where it hurts? Amazing!
Every single day it amazes me how strong and disciplined people are who get up in the morning to do something they don't love, all respect to them.