Sunday, January 2, 2011

Better Days

630am 12/31/10

“Suzanne, they need a pediatrician in the ER. Mark needs you to come now.” . . . Somewhere in the back of my mind, the roosters were still crowing.
“I am not a pediatrician. Get Laura. Get Paolo . . . “ I say as I feel myself pulling out of bed, wrapping my hair in a ponytail, shuffling into my shoes.
“Mark said to get you.” . . .

We had just escaped the night and now, less then three hours later, there was another baby. 6 months old and unresponsive, cholera, no access. I unsuccessfully tried one 24 gauge IV and then someone passed me an interosseous line. I hit the tibia but I did not understand the odd mechanism – turns out we had a bone marrow biopsy needle in the kids tibia and I pulled the wrong stylet . . . Mark, the oncologist, got the IO line as I prepped for a subclavian. When we had the line, I took a breath and watched a baby, getting better, smelling that awful cholera smell, but looking at us, wide-eyed and full of life. Save. I went back to bed – for an hour.

Today was a strange day. Being the 31st, many people treated it as a holiday. Clinics ran half time, the staff seemed to run half speed. No one was harried – sure we ran another resus in the ICU, sure we did a few fun lacerations in the emergency department . . . but this was all mostly routine, easy stuff. It was a mellow day with lots of laughter and down time. We had time to reflect, time to blog, time to just sit on the roof and watch the sunset.

And so I did. I watched the sun leave 2010 behind – on a rooftop in Haiti.