I have so many things to be thankful for this year. This time of Thanksgiving allows us to share with others the bounty that we have received. Of love, three beautiful girls that greet me with hugs and exclamations of “Mom’s home!” at the end of a hard day. Of love overflowed, a husband, who has spent all day cleaning, cooking, and caring for said girls. The smell of a home cooked meal that evokes all the feelings of the holidays in one breath.
In medicine, at the end of a tough case that had a great outcome, it’s hard to be anything but thankful. You don’t feel successful. You don’t feel triumphant. You are just thankful that the patient survived and so did you. I did my first crash cesarean. Living in small town America, it was bound to happen. This is how and why I chose the rural training and subsequent attending life I chose. The call came just minutes before my 24-hour holiday ER shift started. Decision to incision was 37 minutes. Incision to baby was 1 minute. Many of those 38 minutes had the father on his knees. I interrupted his prayers as I rounded the corner to scrub. He stood and apologized. I begged him to continue. For now, I could not be on my knees praying. I had to stand at the table, scalpel in hand, in an effort to save not one but two lives. But what he did not know, was that I too was frantically seeking guidance from God to watch over us, guide us, and protect the lives of mom and baby. I found him there, after I closed with the final counts correct, still praying. Thankfully, we had a healthy mom and babe to celebrate.
Thankfully, I had an OR staff at the ready, called from the warmth of their homes with their families. Thankfully, I had a partner, not on call, but at the ready to scrub and support an infant who was not quite ready to be born. Thankfully, I had another partner, willing to eat a cold meal to cover my ER shift while my OB patient took precedence. Thankfully, I had a hospital that was willing to let me be the kind of doctor I want to be. Thankfully, I had training that prepared me to succeed. Thankfully, I have faith, that at the end of the day, God has put me here for a reason.
At the end of the day, I have not gotten so busy making a living that I’ve forgotten to make a life. No, I am busy making a life worth living. So thankful to be busy doing it!
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