Yeah, I know. You live in a land of snow and ice. You have no sympathy for those of us who live below the “Smith and Wesson Line”.
On the other hand, the repetitiveness of winter life is painful almost anywhere. Summers offer a reprieve from work that seems never ending, and always the same. I go from “I can’t wait” for fire season, to “Do I really want to do this again?”.
Hospitals are places of hope, healing, drudgery, death and despair. Kids, especially sick ones, can pull at the heart in ways you cannot imagine. Kids with profound, unrelenting, illnesses/genetic disorders pour a dose of resignation and pain into your soul in a way that seems to touch the deepest part of the being. The worst is watching the parents.
Moms, and occasionally Dads, of these kids attend to their basic needs. A child may be seven years old, with the mental development of a 3 month old…and the parent knows, and will tell you in the preop visit, of this fact. I saw a beautiful 7 year old girl, with a kind, gentle mother, who made the random movements of a 6 week old.
I have no cures. I have no treatments. All I have is the ability to give a few minutes of kindness, and attention. A swift anesthetic induction, and perhaps the surgeon’s knife will improve the child’s situation for a few years.
It’s been a long winter. Much of my personal relief is flying, especially on days with gentle winds, clear skies, and with friends. The past few months have seemed to have mostly harsh winds, low clouds, and days when my flying was limited to approaches to destinations that held anesthetic work. A good IFR approach gives great satisfaction….something about breaking out of the clouds just as light is emerging from darkness….and the runway lights beckoning.
It’s been a long winter. Family is growing older. Hell, I’m growing older. Beats the alternative, I guess.
Summer represents a change. Flying West, seeing different terrain….and no IVs, no difficult intubations, no sick kids. Nothing that makes me want to return to the hotel and cry.
I guess I’m ready to go.