as news of Sandy Hook came in, I was feeling a sense of horror that most people could share, then I had my own memories added into what I imagined, and that made the whole incident. worse. Memories of doing CPR on a baby while his mother was looking at me with desperate pleading eyes, and knowing that there was no hope. The 7 year old that was malnourished and abused, when we cut away her clothing she looked like a Somali stick figure, and the bruises were painfully evident. At first we couldn't get her to respond, then after we pushed pure dextros (sugar) into her blood she responded to painful stimuli by doing what's called flexation, where you flex all your limbs away from the pain. This sign is one step away from brain death. She died on the flight to Scott and White hospital.
And then there were the memories of Iraq. By order of degree more painful, because they were both more brutal, and at the time I'd had less support. Memories of an Apache strike that destroyed a family, and left a little girl holding her intestines. Memories of a child's terror at my visage, covered in the blood of her countrymen that I had tried to save, and trying desperately to comfort her to, to say without words, that she was going to be ok. Memories of bodies torn apart.
The frantic mother who desperately wanted me to treat her son who was beyond my help. His fingertips had been burned off, and his whole body covered in barely healed blisters, scaring from a fire that was caused by militias that poured him in gasoline and set him on fire. The story itself left me feeling almost as bad as knowing all I could do was put kirlex on his wounds and send him to the hospital, which his mother could not afford.
I remembered the boy who hand been taken by Sadam's men and was beaten so badly he was effectively retarded. He would walk around barefoot on asphalt even when the temperature was 120 degrees out. He was constantly drooling, and if he ever changed clothes I never saw it. This boy bad made the simple mistake of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time and now he was effectively unable to ever function as a human being ever again.
I have a lot of memories. A lot of good ones a lot of bad ones. There's power in those memories, and I need to be wary of anything that will bring them back in full force. If I do not talk about the shooting in Connecticut in any more than the basest ineffectual terms, it is because I can not afford personally or emotionally the horror associated with those events. I hope you all understand.