As children we all lived in the shadow of our siblings. My older brother always got first in his class and I always came second. Although I almost always had better marks, girls' schools are more competitive that way, I felt less. And had the need to always prove myself worthy. Being labelled number two was never good.
Looking back at how I felt when I was an 8 year old, I still can't possibly imagine how those two twin girls must feel. One a healthy child who could never dream of the attention her sick sister gets. And the other a diseased child who could never live or accomplish what her normal sister can.
Rahaf is a girl with congenital hydrocephalus and plasminogen deficiency, a rare disease with only few cases documented world wide. At the process of obtaining her medical history, the developmental part at precise, I had to ask the mother to compare between her two daughters. Rahaf fell short, in reaching the developmental mile stones and in her learning abilities. Her face fell too when she heard the comparison and I felt a dagger stab my heart for I have reminded her of her short comings. Then there was the social history and I had to ask how is the disease effecting the other family members? The mother confessed she doesn't pay much attention to the other twin because dealing with keeping this one as healthy as possible is alone a full time job. I couldn't judge or blame the mother but I couldn't help but also feel sorry for the other girl. A child will always starve for her/ his parents' affection, but to be denied of it and to feel guilty for wanting it because your sibling needs it more is probably far worse.
I don't know who has it worse? The ill child with a disease limiting her life, always shadowed by her twin's accomplishments? Or to be deprived of your parents full love and care and to always live in the fear of losing your precious twin? Always coming second doesn't feel that bad at all now.
We were asked to write our "reflection" on the paediatric rotation. Actually to write three reflections. This is my first one. Feed back is much appreciated.