The Chick Project

I took this from my diary, written last April of 2004, during my first year in nursing school. Nurses Announcements Archive Article

The Chick Project

The Deformed Chick

This morning I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by something I haven't realized yet. I went to the kitchen to lock the door when my attention caught the little chicks that my dad hatched from an incubator. One of those chicks was deformed. It couldn't walk because its feet were deformed, and it bled from struggling (to move around). When I held it, I started crying for some reason, pity, maybe, but I don't know. I held it in my hands and I guess it gave me an excuse to expel whatever was overwhelming me. There were two other chicks that were deformed: one also had deformed legs, and the other came out a size too small. I separated the deformed chick that couldn't walk and held it with me. Having it in my hand makes me want to cry every time I look at it. I placed it in a different basket so it wouldn't move so much, and so its feet won't bleed. My mom thinks it's going to die, but I wish it won't.

The Chick Project

Remember that deformed chick I was talking about the other night. Well, I adopted it, sort of, and took care of it for the last four days. Today was the last day...

The first day, that was when I was all emotional, I decided to look over it after I noticed that it can't mix well with the other chicks. So I placed it in a separate basket and kept it by my bedside. When I take naps, or before I go to sleep, I let it cuddle with me, especially when the room gets quite cold. That was when I decided that someone should give this chick a therapy of some sort, so that it will learn to stand up and mingle with the other chicks in the pen again.

So the second day, I was getting worried because the chick wouldn't eat at all. I was sensing that it probably has low self-esteem, probably pitying itself for being deformed, and just wishing to die. I took it from the pen and said, "Look, you have to eat to live." I took out another one of the deformed chicks, and placed it with him, along with some starter feed. Then it started eating. I felt a bit of relief. Okay, so maybe it wants to live after all. I gave it water, and it drank like his whole life was a desert. And then he saw the other chick get out of the basket, so he followed it. I left them down the carpet to wander around. Therapy it's time you have to learn how to walk! I looked over them at my shoulder, while chatting on the net, and then I decided to put back the other chick. It probably sensed that it was alone, so it started tweeting and I was like, "If you want me to come to you, try coming to me first." And it started wobbling its feet towards the desk, and it learned to use anything perpendicular to the floor to lean on to and aid on his walking. When I looked at it again, I was amazed, and I laid on the carpet, saying, "Okay, come to me then...come to me." It was like teaching a kid how to walk! But it came to me, and I was so happy that at least, it was helping itself.

The third day was fine. I let it stay in the pen with the other chicks. Its feet weren't bleeding anymore. I was proud to show my dad that it can move around already, and even try to scratch the ground for food. I only checked on it every now and then to see if it's okay. Night time came, it started looking for me, but when I took it off the pen, the other deformed chick would tweet for it. So I took like three of them chicks and let them sleep in the basket beside my bed.

This morning, the fourth day, I placed them all back in the pen. They were all doing great from the morn till the afternoon. Night came again, and it started calling me, but I was busy doing the laundry. When I went to the kitchen for it, the chick was clearly looking for me. I was like, "Fine, I'll eat here. I won't go away." Later, my sister noticed that its feet were bleeding again, and so I took it out of the pen and placed it in the basket. But it wouldn't go to sleep. It wanted to cuddle with me. And for a moment here, I thought, "Okay. This is new." It was acting like it should stay in my hands forever. When I took off my hand, it would start tweeting. I figured, maybe it doesn't want to be lonely, so I should just put it back in the pen. I placed it back. I went back to the laundry. And then after a while, I noticed that it wasn't crying for me anymore. I went to check it out and... was dead.

The Chick Project: FAILED! (2 days later)

I'm done grieving. I've never grieved for something so peculiar before. Well, to others it might seem peculiar to grieve over a chick, but the last four days with it meant so much to me. This particular chick gave me an insight on what type of behaviors I would likely demonstrate if I am responsible for something deformed or disabled. I never thought I'd care, you know. But I cared so much that it broke my heart to see that the project is a failure. I thought we were winning. He was becoming better. I was so glad of his improvements. But his accident was neglect on my part. I shouldn't have returned him to the pen. I should've just let him sleep on the basket. Too late for 'I should'ves'. If it were real life, and a real baby, I would've been charged for neglect, and now locked up in jail.

Oh, why did you have to drown yourself over the shallowest water dish in the whole world!

A class instructor once said to us, "The duty of a nurse is to prolong life." I've prolonged life for a tiny chick, but all the work had gone to heaven by simple neglect. I blame myself, and I am ashamed, though sometimes I think maybe it was meant to be. But I can also see myself, I'm still a novice in the arts of nursing. God, help me to avoid these mistakes in the future, as I will be dealing with a fragile life.

Well, chick, it has been a pleasure working and learning with you. I hope you forgive me. May you rest in peace...

...and in my heart.

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