It's been an incredibly long, challenging, rewarding and amazing 2 months. The biggest thing that I have learned though, is how unbelievably useless I am in so many situations. I have no lasting ability to improve my patient's lives, I cannot fix their chronic disease, and what bothers me the most is that I can't even take away their pain.
I felt so useless to see her, a tiny teenager, twisted up from a chronic, unfixable ailment, now suffering from intense abdominal pain. She was a frail, beautiful, intelligent girl, in so much pain that she was drenched in sweat and and any movement made her cry out. A cry that pierced my very soul, an expression of sheer torment that I was powerless to stop.
I am thankful for my partner that night, he can come across as a bit of an arrogant jock, but tonight he was pure teddy bear. Lifting her gently, arranging her twisted limbs in a more comfortable position, driving at a snail's pace across the speed bumps and potholes to limit her inevitable pain. I just wish I could have done more for her. She lay on my stretcher for that interminable 20 minute ride, crying that piercing cry with every bump, every turn. I wanted so badly to soothe her pain, to take away her agony, but was powerless to do so. Instead, I merely watched and waited for the hospital lights, trying in vain to not let that cry settle permanently in my heart.