I was wondering if like, the way that the internet has permeated the world has really changed the way that culture works.
Like, things like manners— somehow, whether it’s because of the anonymity or the distance, people just don’t care mucha bout manners.
In person, when one meets strangers in a social setting, the default mode is to be polite. If you end up playing a game of Taboo or Scrabble, win or lose, most decent people will just take it as it is: a game that is won or lost. There’s always something to take with you with an experience like that– on some level, at least you had a bit of fun, right? The nature of the game is social.
But there are certain things that become more than games. Other factors become important, perhaps more important than the social aspect. Pride? Self-appreciation? A sense of place in a society? When a game reaches certain levels of importance, then that’s when a game stops becoming a game in the childish sense of the word– then it becomes something scientific, with an almost martial obsession.
So, can we judge people by their actions towards strangers? Or shall we accept this capitalist mentality towards relations, that we just get what we can out of anyone and that people who engage in this medium to begin with accept the rules?
Who has the commendable attitude– the ones who who treat strangers with politeness and fairness, no matter how naive the treatment, no matter how undeseving the recipient; or thoe ones who treat people shabily, with a utilitarian minimalism that relies on professional commitment rather than personal decency?
Does anyone care about anyone but themselves?
An ECMO is a procudure that’s rather uncommon. It has a kinda cool sounding name to it. Extracorporeal membranous oxygenation. It’s what happens when you’re born, and there’s a defect in your heart or lungs, such that the blood going to your brain doesn’t have the right composition– there’s not enough oxygen in it, and there’s too much carbon dioxide. What happens is, we basically run a bypass through your neck. We hook up a machine to the upflowing blood coming from your jugular, then hook the output of this machine to your carotid vein that goes right to your brain. The result, in theory, is that “stale blood” coming up gets de-crabonized and re-oxygenated before it goes to your brain. That way, your brain doesn’t asphyxiate.
One of the main pros about working at Montreal Childrens’ Hospital in the departments that I do, as opposed to back when I worked at the Montreal Chest Institute, is that I have to deal a lot less with death.
Death is an incredible thing– it’s one of those things that is absolutely fascinating to observe, like a building on fire, yet the destructive nature of it is completely different from any other kind of deconstruction. The extinction of a life is, for every ounce you of wisdom you gain from, a pound of poison of such metaphysical constituency that you wonder if you’d rather not learn those kinds of things about the world.
The trick is to put those ounces to good use, and collect more of them, without completely poisoning yourself.
As a clerk, I meet geometrically more people on paper than I do in person– but that doesn’t mean that I don’t know them, to a certain extent. Last Christmas, while I was working in OR, there was a girl who came in after a skiing accident. She hit a tree with so much force that she broke almost every bone from her neck down in at least once place. Ribs. Arms. Legs. Her hands, feet, skull and spine were intact, but she had pretty much crushed her rib cage and had bone fragments floating around. I see her name a couple of weeks ago in the OR followup logs. The books say she’s doing fine. Walking, according to reports! Not even a limp! Isn’t that great? It’s really something amazing what they do in there.
I don’t know who she is, but I’m happy for her. Truly.
Is there a prerequisite, I wonder? What is it that allows humans to connect with one another? Is it the information? How much does it take, to know about someone, to care about someone’s well being?
How much information does it take about someone to know that you care for someone other than yourself?
When a child is born, they aren’t always given a name right after birth, because sometimes, the parents’ haven’t yet decided on a name. In that case, the teddy-bear patterned identification braclet, fastened lightly around a baby’s pudgy ankle (but not flush, so as to prevent skin problems) usually identifies them as Smith, BB. Well, it could be any last name, not just “Smith,” but the first name of an unnamed newborn is always BB.
There’s one such BB who was here last week. She showed up on my emergency list a couple of weeks ago, booked for a category 3 (not extremely urgent) case. Went through fine. Had another category 3 last week, we took care of that also.
She underwent a category 2 ECMO decannulation today.
About an hour after it was done, one of the surgeons called me up to rebook the same patient as a category 1 : ECMO recannulation.
Ten minutes later, the same surgeon called me up to tell me to forget about it.
Eleven minutes later, I was informed that BB had just passed away.
Couldn’t tell you right now much more what’s on my mind, it’s kind of blank. It’s an ounce heavier, a pound heavier.