The Things I Carry

I’m in the Neonatal ICU at Tampa General tonight. I looked at the responsibility that I bear by being the senior resident and it’s daunting. I am responsible for 73 children, all between the weight of 1 pound, 2 ounces up to 10 pounds , 6 ounces. Tim O’Brien wrote a novel about Vietnam The Things They Carried. The opening chapter is titled the same as the book and lists the tangible and metaphysical weight of what each and every member of the platoon bore. A particular passage resonates with me this evening:

“They carried all they could bear, and then some, including a silent awe for the terrible power of the things they carried.”

How can I carry the weight of 73 souls? From when I started this post until now, I have attended 3 more deliveries; the number is now 76. I will do as the soldiers did in O’Brien’s story. I will do what I have to, I will trust my training.



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