It takes a day like this…..

To realize just how short life is. To be thankful for each and every moment I get to spend with my children, able to play with them and see how unique each one is.

My day yesterday was quite an eye opener. I came on to work, as always at 630am. Got my patient assignment. I’d be lying if i didn’t admit i was frustrated with my assignment. One was a chronic vented patient who was just there… just same old stuff with her. Nothing exciting. The other patient was a 57 yr old man, had an old stroke years ago and was recently found on the floor of his home unresponsive. After a new CT scan, showed he had another stroke, affecting his other side. (now left and right hemispheric strokes) He’s intubated and struggling. When doing my neuro assessment, he’s unresponsive in every way, no response to painful stimuli. The only thing i get is when suctioning him he’s gagging  and fighting the vent. Who knows what is going on neurologically. Anyway, all of his sisters want everything done for him, but his next of kin  want him to be taken off of life0support. So the meeting goes down, the dr. comes in and it’s decided, we are going to remove the ETT and supportive measures only. IT was quite sad to see the sons (one of he oldest is my age) having to deal with such a huge decision. It’s what was best for him, he’s never going to get up and walk, no quality of life whatsoever. He did hang on and was eventually transferred out to a medical floor where he’ll eventually pass away.

After him, we got another patient. Had a leaking abdo…minal aneursym, anyway, went to the OR had it repaired, lost TONS of blood, had transfusions and whatnot. So now he’s here. He’s intubated, but alert. Know’s what’s going on. Turns out he also had an MI, trop.onin. of 56. So he’s holding his own, wanting to sit up in bed, but we can’t, his pressure is barely 70systolic. So after a few hours of this, his heartrate started this funky rhythm.  It’s pretty obvious he’s going to arrest, sometime shortly. THankfully his family is there,able to decide what to do next, if we continue with resucitati0on or whatnot. THey did decide not to do any aggressive measures, maeni9ng shocking or cpr. It was so sad to see them having to come to this decision,. This man was alert, able to know what was going on and he wanted this too. To know you are going to die, how scary. He had these eyes, i will never.forget. as long as i live, the long eyelashes. We still aggressiuvely treated him with B/p meds and whatnot, but eventually after 4 hours he died. Just being there with him and his family, makes me realize just how shoft life is and to cherish every moment you have.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Renee
    Sep 30, 2008 @ 10:35:32

    Yes indeed life is short and we have to appreciate every moment of it! How easily we forget that our life will have a end some day!
    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  2. Ness
    Oct 01, 2008 @ 02:41:44

    I could never be a nurse. I’d never have the strength to face that sort of thing. Funny thing is both of my sisters are nurses (half sisters – I don’t really see them), and one of them to top it all is on neonatal icu – I reckon I would struggle with that even more.

    Heck I couldn’t even manage being a veterinary nurse! It takes a special, strong kind of person. Not a blubbering mess like me who can barely hold it together watching two sports teams sing their national anthems!

    Reply

  3. merr
    Oct 01, 2008 @ 15:16:23

    Oh man that is so sad and so hard. I admire you for what you do, because I couldn’t do it.

    Reply

  4. erin
    Oct 02, 2008 @ 11:58:56

    This post brought tears to my eyes. I could never do what you do. You are such a strong person. I really admire you!

    Reply

  5. Emma
    Oct 14, 2008 @ 23:42:36

    Oh, that is so heartbreaking, espeically the last patient.

    Reply

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