Most of you know that I am a Pediatric Hospitalist. This means I am a doctor that only takes care of kids that are sick enough to be hospitalized. I work at the Children's Hospital here in my town. I absolutely love my job. I get to see really sick kids get better and go home. I get to see them go from scared and sick to happy and playful. I get to help parents cope with something horrible happening. I've always tried to remember that their child being sick in the hospital may be the worst thing that has ever happened to them and it is scary. Now that I know personally what it is like to have a child die I truly realize how scary it must be.
We get a variety of illnesses and injuries admitted to the hospital daily. From things that are really simple (like a toddler having tonsils removed) and they go home the next day, to kids with life threatening infections or conditions that stay in the hospital for weeks-months. We also get children with NAT (non-accidental trauma, AKA: Child abuse). I happen to live and work in the county in Texas with the highest incidence of child abuse. We care for A LOT of kids who have been injured by someone else. This is what I don't understand. How, How, can someone hurt a child? How can a child's own mom or dad hurt them? How can they hurt them bad enough that the child dies? I don't understand. For some reason summer time is a time of lots of child abuse, that and around the Christmas Holidays. I don't really know the reason behind this, just know that it is what it is. These cases have always broken my heart. It's one reason I wanted to go into foster care. My second night back at work after Grant died I took care of a child that had been a victim of child abuse. It took all I had not to yell at the family and I seriously wanted to punch them in the face. There was this perfect child that someone had hurt and the family was making up really stupid stories of how it happened. It made me so angry. Angry that this family has this perfect child that someone injured while I don't have mine. Angry that someone could even fathom hurting this child. I don't understand.