So little G.A. has been sick this week. I got a little tickle in my throat sitting in the airport waiting room on our way out here, and 24 hours later it was yet another cold. That makes 3 in 8 weeks. I hate colds, when the prodrome hits, I think "ok, i've done this, I know what this feels like, let's just fast forward 7 days and I'll be well again. I've been recovering, and now GA is sick. That makes you feel pretty terrible as a parent, knowing that you, and only you, are resposible for your little one's misery. He's a good little trooper though, and he smiles at me between his periodic bouts of coughing and congestion, which makes the smiling a little sad.
The midnight thought of a semi-awake medical student with a sick child make me realize that I know nothing about medicine. I study about 40-55 hours a week, and finished a unit on the respiratory system not quite 1 week ago. For all that work, however, I realized as I listened to my little boy's cough, that I didn't actually learn anything while studying respiratory viruses. The first clue of course was the fact that my second respiratory exam was the worst one I've had since anatomy a year and a half ago. It became obvious of course, as well, when I could not recall which viruses caused RSV, Croup, pertussis etc, nor which ones were associated with wheezing v. stridor v. cough v. rhinorrhea. Fortunately, it seems that GA has only a garden variety cold, but seeing costal retractions and hearing his cough made my mind whirl away to unpleasant places.
I imagine then, that the main purpose of 3rd year will be to actually acquaint me with the real presentation of these and other illnesses. What does a child with stridor actually present like? I know theoretically what to look for, but I'm a pretty visual learner, so I need to actually see something before I can really recall it in a useful way. It was pretty disheartening to realize that all my work is not as productive as I had imagined.