Sunday, August 23, 2009
The last time
Sometimes something happens that is so powerful that you have to just let it out. It consumes your thoughts and you try to make sense of it. I have one such moment that stays in my head. I had a patient that I took care of for several years. Every time I saw her she would joke around with me. Over the years I saw the worsening of her condition. She went from walking in to using a wheelchair and finally arriving to clinic on a stretcher. Her last visit remains in my memory as to why I do what I do. Her blood pressure was low and she needed some fluid. I started the IV while another nurse kept her attention. She was worried about the IV and before she even knew it the IV was going and she was relieved. The doctor decided that she needed to be admitted to the hospital for care. This was the worse I had ever seen her. As she was laying there and the ambulance crew arrived, she asked me for a hug. I leaned over and gave her a hug. She whispered to me that she was scared. I had whispered back that it was alright to be afraid and that she would be just fine. She gave me another hug and I told her to take care. Her pressure dropped even further that night and she was coded and intubated. She passed later the next day. I hope that the care I gave her comforted her final hours.