Ambermist's July Challenge has the whole blogosphere abuzz. The inspirational Battlechicken has shared some of herself with us and invited us to do the same.
Give me a detail about yourself.You can tell me something about your gaming personality or about your favorite color. You can tell me how you got started playing the game you love to play. You can tell me how gaming affects your life.Or you can get personal, if you want. Tell me about something you fear, something you treasure, something you’ve learned. Tell me about why you write. Tell me about why you play.Tell me about you, because from what I can see, you’re pretty cool.
There are some amazing stories out there. So many I can't count. Some are terrifying stories, others are fantastic memories; some are happy, and others are sad. Some tell us the real story behind the person.
My real life profession as altered my outlook on life. What is this outlook, you ask?
I live every day like it's my last. I don't take anything for granted.
I have seen a lot of death. I have a healthy respect for it. Death can be unexpected, it can be heartwrenching. Sometimes it is welcome, and a relief. I have wondered if some of these people knew that these moments would be their last. And I don't take death lightly. People may think that doctors are cold, unfeeling, unsympathetic when it comes to death, but remember, dealing with the constant pain of death and dying would drive you crazy. This is probably their coping mechanism. Or maybe it's only these people who can cope with all the death around them, the compassionate ones would have had mental breakdowns by now.
This sounds strange and macabre, but I remember every person who has died in front of me. The memory of them stays with me always, as a reminder that life is a fragile little thing.
- There was a young man, car accident, head split open, brain on show. Clearly not going to survive, but somehow was still breathing when he arrived in the emergency department. Some of his brains and blood dripped onto my shoes while I was trying to put a breathing tube into him. He didn't even make it out of the trauma room. The stain on my shoes reminded me for 2 months of how quickly a life can be snuffed out. I should have thrown those shoes away, but I would look at them and think this is one of the last things remaining of him, can't throw it away... yeah I know, I'm a bit strange.
- 8 year old girl, front seat passenger, car accident, face and head smashed into dashboard. Head bleeding, she was dying. Her brain was too damaged, too swollen. I tried to keep her alive for transfer to the children's hospital after we drained the blood from her head, but her injuries were unsurvivable, and she was too unstable to transport. I could prolong her life but for what? She could die on transfer to the children's hospital, alone. So I made a very hard decision. I called her parents in, to sit next to her and turned off her life support. I let them sit with her as she passed away. All my nurses were crying. My registrars (training doctors under me) were in shock and stunned. I COULDN'T cry because everyone was looking to me to debrief them. I cried all the way home.
- The 50 year old man, who somehow survived his massive stroke by removing half his skull to relieve the pressure on his brain, suddenly had a blockage of his breathing tube. He suffocated in front of my eyes, even though we tried to replace the tube, but we couldn't push the air in. There was a blockage somewhere and the air wouldn't go in. What a HORRIBLE way to die, suffocating to death... :( I cried for 2 days.
- The 65 year old man with terrible heart disease who was warned that he could die from the operation on his blocked arteries in his leg. Sailed through the operation, made it to the recovery room, had a heart attack, lungs filled with fluid from heart failure and shock, and he died. I was devastated. I was the last person he saw, he spoke to, before he went to sleep. I had to go tell the family, and my eyes were red and swollen from crying. Talk about unprofessional. They were shocked, but prepared because they knew about his heart. But it doesn't mean I was OK with him dying on me. I felt like a failure.
Death, unexpected, sudden, can come at any moment. You can do one of two things. You can live your life in terror, seeing death around every corner, never knowing when it will come for you. But I choose to live my life, and never wishing I didn't do something, never putting off what I really wanted to do, until tomorrow. Before I go to work, I look at each of my children before I leave, so at least I can see them once in case something happens. I let everyone I love know that I love them, so I'll never feel like I never told them. I leave comments on every good post I read, because I may not be able to tell them again, and the moment and what I wanted to say will be lost.
I don't want to be afraid of death, because it will come to all of us eventually. But I don't want to dwell on death or dying. Life is what we have now, and I will live it, love it, and be thankful for it. Because once it's gone, I can never have it back again.