Anaesthesiology is hard, guys. And paediatric anaesthesia even more so. But I really like my days on the Paeds Slate because the theater is out-of-this-world amazing. Everything is in stock (well, mostly) and the nurses are out-of-this-world competent and everything is just nice.
We gassed for a simple inguinal hernia repair and did a caudal block for post-operative pain. Even the best caudal blocks apparently don’t ALWAYS work so when the baby awoke he cried. Although I have my suspicions that he was crying from hunger and not pain. Anyways, his mom came running to console him, and she was crying too.
Big, silent tears that broke my heart. I haven’t seen a mother cry because her baby was crying in a very long time.
For another case, a child started resisting as we were about to start the inhalation agent. Usually when this happens, if their parent can’t calm them down, we turn the Sevo up high for a quick induction. But in this case, the mother was an absolute champion. She showed her young son the ventilator-bag and told him to inflate the balloon. Then she cheered him on as he breathed deeply to blow that balloon as big as a he could. It was gorgeous.
In the background we slowly turned the Sevo up bit by bit, and it was one of the smoothest inductions I have seen in a child.
I grew up with awesome parents like these. But I’ve come to see that they are rare. The parents I see in the hospital are often absent in mind or body. It’s sad. I can’t judge them because I know for many of them survival is a daily struggle. I get angry with a lot of the parents I see in the hospital and I don’t always know what to do about it, because what do I know about being a parent?
But it says something that these two little encounters tugged at my heartstrings, doesn’t it.