A Crisis of Identity
One hundred and three. The number leapt out at me from the little slip of paper. An incandescent flash of comprehension flooded my brain.
It was fourteen years ago: I was standing beside the trauma bay bed, holding one of Jack’s tiny clenched fists in my hand as I gazed worriedly at his contorted face, his tongue thrusting rhythmically, eyes rolled insistently upward.
His spasming little body was submerged in a beehive of activity, medical personnel busily supplying critically needed oxygen, readying resuscitation equipment, and delivering intravenous medications and fluids.
Paramedics had crashed through the doors ten minutes earlier, wheeling Jack on a stretcher. It had been a sleepy Monday morning in the ED to that point, the mundane chit-chat of nursing staff disturbed only by the raspy breathing and occasional seal-bark cough of a young boy with croup. After dosing the young lad with dexamethasone and settling a misty mask of epinephrine over his face to ease his breathing, I sat in the doctors’ cubicle with my resident, killing time by quizzing her on the case we had just seen. Read the rest of this entry »