It's easy to forget how hard it is.
As I get further on in my training, the hours feel a little less demanding, the answers come a little faster, the work feels a little less intimidating.
But confronting sickness and death? That's something that never changes. It's something that never gets a little easier.
In the last 24 hours, I have stood by a bedside as family members watched. I stood, my stethoscope to the patient's chest, listening for the thud of a heartbeat, the whoosh of a breath. I listened for a long time, knowing that I wouldn't hear anything. I looked up at the family, and they know it too.
I left the room to call time of death.
In the last 24 hours, I have stood by a patient's side as they stroked out in front of me. I watched them panic as they lost the ability to talk, and then to move, and then to respond, and then to breathe. I might be able to place breathing tubes and central lines and start medications. But I couldn't stop it from happening.
Despite being busy doing what needed to be done, it felt like I just stood there and watched it all happen.
In the last 24 hours, I have felt powerless, sad, scared, angry, and empty.
Some days, I don't know how to come home and feel normal again.
The hole inside of me feels like it's ready to suck the joy out of my entire life. And take me along with it.
I don't know how to come home. To play games with my boys. To read them stories. To laugh at Hubster's jokes. I sit in the car in the early morning before going inside. Anything normal inside of me has been changed to yucky, dead emptiness.
And at times, I don't want to fight it. I want to give in to the sadness.
And then I see Monkey crack the door just a little and wave excitedly to me. I feel him hug my knees. I feel Hubster's kiss. I hear Bug's welcome.
And I realize that I still feel. That I can recover. That I can go back to normal.