I am not an expert on Shakespeare. Growing up, my mom dragged my brother and I to seasons of Shakespeare plays. As much as I say dragged, once we were there the magic of some would catch me up, the history would bore me to tears until fight or love, I would want to be the heroine in the all the comedies, and the tragedies would break my heart. For a long time I wondered why they were so sad–so much more so than other things. Every time I would cry and I couldn’t understand why it was so powerful. I think I know now, above all else Shakespeare knew that to make a perfect tradegy you have to have comedy. So intersperesed between all those famous lines–there many quips to make the story human. These pieces of humor get us through life but make it a bit more painful.
I am being so dramatic because it is a role of a nurse to play that ground. Of course we are not Shakespeare but my peds clinical professor today, after a good but tough day for some, explained this role. ‘Parents are going to be overbearing and crazy about care for a dying child,’ she said ‘but it is our job to redirect them to the life of the child.’ Meaning that it is our job to remind the parent if they are upset (from the realities of the situation) and taking it out by yelling at staff or crazy, it is our job to bring them back to their kid. To bring in games, make smiles, laugh. To give them opportunities for a bit of life before it is over.
I try not to be dark. My time at peds clinical has mainly been very light. Most kids get better but some do not. There was a lot of this today. One kid, who is very very sick, celebrated a life milestone at the hospital. Another was in palliative care, has a DNR/DNI (do not resuscitate/ do not intubate)–he will be let go tomorrow or so (and I do not mean sent home). The first kid’s celebration was so touching–smiles all around but it did make the tragedy of his situation human and real.