Friday, January 26, 2007

infinite wisdom

Children are precious. My housemate from medical school has a 7 month old baby girl with chubby, dimpled cheeks. Her parents sent a picture of her with her faithful, omnipresent dog, Bosco, as their holiday card, which now adorns my fridge. Every morning, I look at her smile and and am thankful that there are loving parents in this world and children who receive their undying devotion.

I mention this as a study in contrast to some truly horrifying cases that I have seen in the last few weeks. The details of said cases I just don't have the heart to write about tonight, as they fill me with such anger and venom for the human being who could inflict such suffering upon an innocent child. If I could write about it, there would be words that sound clinical and detached, yet wield such power for those of use versed in the jargon...

posterior rib fractures

metapyseal fractures

retinal hemorrhages

subdural hematomas

These words describe for medical providers the nightmare that some children endure.

I am left wondering why. I am left wondering if any explanation could ever suffice.


MedStudentGod said...

Those are exactly the reasons I decided that Peds would not be for me. I could not muster the strength to deal with such tragedies, much less keep from being imprisoned after beating one these parents to death.

It is incredibly sad. Take solice from those that are being treated well and do what you can for those that aren't.

Just Suzanne said...

Just today I attended an inservice for those of us who teach Religious Education (Sunday School) in our church. One of the speakers present was a police officer who works with the domestic violence division. We discussed, at length, how to recognize signs of abuse, who to contact should we suspect abuse, and what kinds of resources are available to the abuse victims themselves. This is certainly not the kind of thing you'd like to dwell on when considering your young charges, who, as you so rightly stated, are so very precious. But, being the sister of a woman who has been a very classic abuse victim, I am way more aware of this already than I'd ever want to be.

Bottom line for me: as much as it kills my soul to hear about children being abused, or adults, for that matter, I hope that I can somehow help. Whether that means comforting someone, or testifying against someone, I just hope that I can make some kind of positive difference.

I don't have children of my own -- I'm infertile, and now older than I think would be reasonable for me to consider adoption -- so my contact with the little preschool and kindergardeners that I teach is my version of substitute motherhood. And like you, girlMD, there is nothing in me that understands in any way how a human being could harm a little one. But, I guess that makes it all the more critical for non-abusers, and especially non-parents, to be present in the lives of children. It's quite possible that you may be the only thing that stands between them and unwarranted (always) suffering.

Keep your heart safe, girlMD. YOU are much too precious to lose, too.


AleS said...

Pretty-cool pictures... :)
I like it!

Would you like to exchange links with me?


daedalus2u said...

Actually, I think I know what causes postpartum psychosis leading to infanticide. It is an evolved "feature". A state that all female mammals invoke when they are under sufficient metabolic "stress" during the postpartum period.

If there are insufficent liver mitochondria to support gluconeogenesis to support lactation, what is the mother to do? What is the "evolutionarily "correct" answer. What did our ancestors do 1, 2, 5, 10, 50 million years ago? Kill the infant and maybe reproduce when times are "better". That is "better" than the mother dying because then the child will surely die also.

It must be a pretty powerful psychosis to overcome a mother's love for her child.

I think I have a treatment that will fix it by increasing mitochondria biogenesis. email me at daedalus4u at yahoo dot com