3am 12/31/10 and the roosters are crowing in the new day as I make my way into my bunk. It is hard to distinguish the sound from the cries of the mother- cries that Hope and I were attempting to escape on the roof. Those wanton cries of untold and immeasurable grief ring in my ears now as I wish to find some rest, for an hour or two.
Today was a hard day. No lie. No bullshit. Just a hard, hard day. What started as ordinary – rounds, waiting for a case, wound checks, pharmacy runs – turned into intraoperative consults, ultrasounds, head lacs, poisonings, chest tubes, gastric lavages, codes, hugs from patients families, long distance ethics consults, no dinner, no beer, no more ventilators, another code and now, a mother crying and a child dead.
This is reality folks. And it sucks. Life and death walk hand in hand.
I have spoken of teams before and it is important to understand that everyone I am here in Haiti with is here with a full heart. It is another magical team of accomplished people far smarter than me, far more capable than me – but even when you play your a-team – you don’t always win. Sometimes, you don’t get to decide – you don’t get to control it – it is what it is and what it is ain’t always so frickin’ pretty.
Today we lost – and we lost big. There is nothing more to say, there is nothing more that would even begin to be appropriate. My teammates and I will carry today with heavy, heavy hearts and hear the echoes of a grieving mother in the crows of the roosters. For awhile, we will be haunted by the death in life but there will come a time when that balance will shift back to the equilibrium. What we carry in our hearts, what we honestly feel so deeply, lets us know we are where we are supposed to be, doing what we are supposed to be doing, living this life. Even when it ain’t so frickin’ pretty.