Leaving Work at Work?

When I started working with children, everyone warned me that it would be hard to “keep work at work and not take it home”, in the sense of not allowing things we see and experience at work to affect our personal lives.  So far, this has been pretty easy.  Not that I don’t have compassion for parents and families who are living with children with different disabilities or issues.  Actually, if you know me at all you’ll know I truly and deeply feel hurt and pain for people who are going through these difficult times.  But when I started this job all of the “sick” kids were already sick and all the kids with disabilities, syndromes, and disorders already had the diagnosis when I met them and for some reason, that makes it easier to accept.  But when you see a perfectly normal, happy and smiling toddler receive a diagnosis that significantly decreases her life expectancy and provides an expected future in a wheelchair with a tube in her stomach providing her meals and no functional communication, it becomes nearly impossible to “leave work at work.”  I’ve been around long enough to know there are thousands of children in this country who have the same diagnoses this little girl just received, but it still doesn’t make it any easier to know the grim prognosis for this beautiful happy little girl.  Her family will mourn the life they expected her to live, and then they will move on – because they have to.  But right now I just want to hold her close to me  and snuggle with her because I know that with the progressive nature of this syndrome, she will only get worse and I’m not ready for that yet.


  1. I’m glad that you haven’t been so accustomed to all you deal with on a daily basis that you lose your compassion and empathy. I love your heart.

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