Monday, September 13, 2021

An ER doctor's nightmare

I shook him awake

The screams rattling my own slumber.

He grabbed my hand

but refrained from telling me

what images filled his nightmares.

Before bed, we had talked

and he teared up when he spoke of our children.

The oldest is thirteen.

How much of our boy's childhood will my husband

miss as he drags himself home hours later than he should be. 

He did rural ER medicine to slow down.

We bought a farm.

And until COVID, he could leave the hospital

and simply be with us in the fields and gardens

among the sheep and chickens.

"The dreams," he explains ...

and fails to get any more words out.

"There's so much I don't tell you."

So much he can't say

but mostly things he doesn't want to say.

That slow life has vanished.

He's trapped in a job

knowing if he quit, there is no one waiting

to fill his spot.

The doctors are hanging on by a thread.

When he finally does share the screams

He says that they usually surround

mass casualty.

The idea that he will have to choose

who lives or dies.

It hasn't happened much. Yet.

But he's had a few moments where he's had to weigh options

and it's the thing he's dreaded since all this began.

A year and a half ago.

Can it really be that long?

What if there is a child that needs help?

Or an older person with a problem that

he could normally correct easily?

How does he choose?

How should any person be forced to make this choice?

This isn't war

or is it?

It's not supposed to be.

It's a virus.

Not a battle.

I shake him. 

He wakes.

I say: "Wake up! It's okay! It's just a dream."

Only I think:

Is it really?

By: Wendi Kitsteiner

(His wife and best friend)

1 comment:

Sonja said...

💔 thank him for us. I feel for rural docs right now as there's no where to send really sick patients and there's only so much that can be done at rural hospitals. May the Lord give you strength, courage and grace as you continue to live and work through this nightmare.