Being a Parent and a Doctor

A story published in the PNEJM from a mother of a patient with epilepsy that was very difficult to treat who is also a physician, as is the father. Their boy eventually had seizure surgery, more than once.

She ends the piece with this quote:

“Is it easier or harder to have a sick child when both parents are doctors?” But this is the wrong question. There is no hard, no easy. Only fear and love, panic and relief, shaking and not shaking.

(the ‘shaking’ refers to her son’s seizures).

Annie and I have been asked the same question many times, about our experiences as parents in the NICU. I would echo the sentiment of this author, it was no harder, no easier, it is hard for everyone who has a critically ill child. There was fear and love, panic and relief, and eventually, for us, resolution and acceptance.

About Keith Barrington

I am a neonatologist and clinical researcher at Sainte Justine University Health Center in Montréal
This entry was posted in Neonatal Research. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Being a Parent and a Doctor

  1. What a lovely article thank you for sharing it. We are all human. Having a sick child is not easy. These children make their parents vulnerable and human but that is not what is asked for in our fast-paced society. We do need to slow down because sometimes little miracles don’t let us go fast. That is a good thing even if hard to accept at times.
    When I think of my own growing up in different countries, moving many times but always being close to nature, I think my children made me stop, completely for several years. It was a good thing.

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