“C'mon kids!” I called. “Get in the Jeep. Zachary isn't feeling well. Let's go!” I shouted to my three other kids as I tried to herd them into the car, but then I called my wife, who brought me back to reality.

“What are you going to do here? Sit next to Zachary, with three other bored and hungry kids to stress us out?” she asked. I replied, “I don't know. I just need to do something.” She suggested a plan that helped ground and focus me.

About 36 hours earlier, ironically on the day I passed my board certification, the elementary school nurse called to tell us that Zachary, my normally happy and healthy almost-10-year-old son, complained of sharp belly pain. My wife took him home, and when the pain didn't improve after relaxing on the couch cuddling with our dog, she brought him to the emergency department. After...

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