Until this current episode involving the little brat, I have rarely set foot in hospitals. (Visiting Juimiin’s various prior hospital labs does not really count, as I did not experience anything other than rushing through hallways and trembling in decrepit elevators.) Now, having clocked probably 40+ hours within Toronto East General, I get a little better sense of significance of the enterprise.

While waiting for the Eric-removal surgery to begin, for example, there was a “code pink” (neonatal resuscitation) alarm that went off in a neighbouring room. A swarm of nurses and onlookers ran, literally ran, to the baby in trouble. No developments were visible from my vantage point, and it sank in that these people, this place, deals with genuine life and actual death all the time. My own humble life’s work and play seemed so pale suddenly. (One might say that my flying and shooting hobbies place me into life & death situations too, but these are under our control, and subject to lots of judgement and training. People get hurt sometimes, but they are “other people”.) A few minutes later that troubled kid started to cry, signalling a happy end to the crisis. The attendants wiped off their sweat and went back to their regular duties. I sat there with a tear in my eye.

Another development over the last few months was a growing sense of adulthood, or more specifically, losing another childishness. After having attended classes, watched videos, monitored bodily changes, sat ring-side during the C-section surgery, I have been observing a whole new side of human physiology that even young adults find as icky and mysterious as a snickering eight-year-old does. The routine mundaneness of its raw messiness have taken away all sense of judgement, embarrassment or shame. It just is.