This evening, as I was taking "signout" about the patients I will inherit on the pediatric inpatient unit tomorrow, for some reason I started to think about how far away I am from "home"
Not necessarily a home to which I want to return. My original home in Brooklyn, New York. The daughter of a bus driver who graduated from High School and a homemaker who had to quit school after the 8th grade. A life with no extravagance. A life of goals that seemed unrealistic, and completely out of reach.
My thoughts were wandering as I considered not the diseases of the little patients I will be seeing in the morning, or who may come in during the week, but their life circumstances. I know so little about them at this time. I know so little of their backgrounds, their situations in life. I am pretty sure that none of them call Brooklyn home. And most have likely never seen a city as big as my home town. Yet somehow I feel that we are connected.
Many of the children will be admitted with acute illnesses that can be treated. Some will be there with chronic problems that take a long time to heal. Some will have traveled from a far distance, others may live within a few miles of the Children's Hospital. Yet all of them likely have a goal, or will once they are old enough. Or their parents have a goal on their behalf. And it is my job to see that they can get out of the hospital so that they can pursue that goal, whatever it may be.