Paranoia Will Destroy Ya'

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“Clear”, I yelled above the beeping monitor telling her the innocent child was already gone. I gripped the paddles in a desperate attempt to bring him back. He was four days old, and his left lung had collapsed because they hadn’t had time to develop in his mother’s womb. He had been born six weeks early. The doctor took my shoulder and said, “We need to call it.” I refused to call time of death – I couldn’t. So he did. “Time of death,” He glanced up at the clock that that was on the pale blue wall of the isolation unit. “8:37” He took the paddles from my hands and hung them in their designated place, then walked out of the dead room.

I waited until everyone was gone, then shut my eyes and took a shuddering breath. I thought about just going home, getting some sleep, and blocking this entire day from my thoughts forever. But how could I do that with the dark pain in my stomach telling me that his death would haunt me forever. That I could never walk into the NICU again without knowing that I failed to save him. It never got any easier to lose a baby. It didn’t happen often, but when it did, the pain stays with each of the doctors for days - whether they want to admit it or not. I wonder how they could act like it doesn’t affect them deeply. I took a deep breath and walked out the room with merely a glance back into it.

Two days had passed, and I keep having dreams about the little boy and what I could’ve done differently. I wonder if they would’ve saved him, or if it was just meant to be. How could that be anyone’s fate, though? I have asked myself this question too many times to count in the two years I have worked here, and never gotten an answer. Death is always very difficult to understand, but someday I’ll learn that each time is an experience that I have to learn from, to do things differently the next time I am faced with this situation. I also have to make sure I am not too paranoid that I could’ve saved each and every one of the children that come through the NICU. I have to remember that sometimes, in some twisted way, that is just fate, and I cannot stop or change the outcome.





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