Showing posts from May, 2017

Delivering heartache

How many times am I the person who gives the news that destroys someone? How many people in the area we serve, remember my face as the one who broke them? I wonder if they ever recognise me in the line at the post office, or passing by them in the supermarket aisle. A man's wife calls an ambulance after he has a seizure and a scan shows a brain tumour pushing his grey matter tight against his skull. My words are careful, practised in my head before we meet, calibrated with each experience. The hospital is noisy, always moving, but in this room time stands still. ' I am so, so sorry' I start and his wife inhales deeply and closes her eyes. My face at this moment is her worst nightmare. We're trained in breaking bad news from the time we start medical school. There are formats to follow and studies that teach us that after we say terrifying words like cancer, little else will be heard. We deliver information in small pieces, answer questions, give time for reflecti