The Pediatric ICU

May 8, 2020

Dear friend,

The pediatric ICU is a place where the sick innocent secure health and healing. It is also a place where the visiting parents carry pain and fear in their eyes. The sight of the precious little souls wrapped in wires and bandages, with the sound of ventilators and monitors filling the room, can jar the most stoic hearts.

Think also about the doctors and nurses who spend most of their days in those four walls. I know a few of them as close friends and colleagues.

Recently, a pediatric ICU physician asked me, “How do I help parents who come to the ICU to see their child? How do I tell them to stay positive?”

I thought about it for a while. Asking parents to feel positive emotions in the pediatric ICU is like asking fish to breathe on land. Here is what I suggested.

“Asking them to feel cheerful may not work. Their inner being will resist it. A better approach is to bring kind attention to the eyes. When they see their child and other children in the ICU, let them bless every child. Fear and sadness fade in the eyes filled with blessings.”

In today’s world we risk seeing every other person as a carrier of serious infection. While following the physical distancing protocol, instead of fearing the other person, send them a silent good wish. It might momentarily lift you.

In these challenging times, kindness to others and self is one path to positive emotions that your mind won’t resist.

Embedded in this post is my silent good wish (blessing) for you and your family.

Take care.



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