Right now, the worst things happening around me involve children. I cope and get on with it, but I am much more sensitive than ever before. I guess that will eventually settle down.
So, calls involving pregnant women whose waters have gone, and they are only 20 weeks or so into term, make me very sad indeed. I know the woman has probably just lost her baby and I know exactly what she and her other half are about to go through.
But these calls pale into insignificance when I listen to the last moments of a child who is in Palliative Care; a child who has stopped breathing and whose nurse is carrying out CPR in a vane attempt (and contrary to the meaning of 'end of life care') to revive him.
I listened in as the call-taker processed the resuscitating nurse through the procedure, against all odds. I could hear mum in the background sobbing. "Please my darling, come on my little angel", she says. She repeats this over and over again as her child undergoes the physical punishment required to force life back into the lifeless.
I had to put my head into my hands. I was thinking I might be losing it. Or maybe I've gone soft. Or maybe the fact that children live for such a short time, just to die in medically predictable circumstances, is finally getting through to me and I'm feeling the pain of parents who are going through a hell of a lot more than I did.
If there are parents like that reading this, I want to say I can't believe you have the strength; I honestly salute your souls for loving so deeply for such short years, just to say goodbye without ever having watched your child grow old enough to earn death.
It breaks me against religion and it denies me the power to support weak and institutionalised people who think their lot is so bad that they need ambulances for every little problem they have - their drink problem, their drug problem. I wish we could drag them to see these kids. Take them all up to Great Ormond Street Hospital, or any children's hospital, so they can see what suffering with dignity looks like.
If you have the time and a little money left, give something to any Children's Hospital you know. They really need it. If I ever get Mr Tonsilpus back I will start another campaign so he can raise money for Children's Hospitals.