Pushing it. Maybe past the limit.

I read the Chicago Tribune article, Sept. 16, section 1, about Chicago Police officers and suicide. A photo showed an officer, in probable mental and emotional exhaustion following the finding of a fellow officer dead in his car. The first words in my head were “I’m sorry. “

I also have read about Black Lives Matter. But I am white and have never had a bad interaction with police. I am not trying to anger anyone. Perhaps that is impossible. My purpose now is to

agree that those who are here to protect us, Police, Fire, Doctors, Nurses and others, need to acknowledge and receive acknowledgement for the stress that may push them to the limit, or beyond.

Who am I? A retired pediatrician who has also dealt with stress, pain, fear.

Being a Pediatrician is much more than cute babies and school physicals. It can be very complicated and stressful. The training was even worse. Still, I loved what I did. However I remember near the end of medical school; I feared failing after all the years of studying. I had picked out a tree on a winding road down toward the medical school. If I flunked I would steer toward it, unfasten my seatbelt and step on the gas. I got an “A “ in my finals. One of my colleagues was stressed about his insurmountable debt and other personal issues. Drugs eventually killed him. Another friend jumped from the roof of a building where I lived and splattered on the sidewalk. Why do we do this? Perhaps some are just pushed beyond their limits. Approximately 35,000 die from gun violence annually in this country. About ⅔ of those are suicides.

People who want to protect us are in pain. This pain can be treated.

Let us NOT let those down who are here for the rest of us. We need to accept that the torments many feel are human; before someone reaches the limit, we can help each other to make it for one more hour, one more day.


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