Monday, April 28, 2014

thump, thump, thump....

You know what sucks? Sitting outside a room at the nurses desk hearing the thumping of the "lucas" automated chest compression machine.  Someone in there is dead. They were dead before they got here. They aren't coming back.  The machine thumps on.

You know, sitting there, that when things have gone on this long with no return of pulse its over.  It is almost obligatory to continue the code going for a while.  Especially when the spouse chooses to be in the room. Especially when the person is only in their 50's.  Too young to die.

 So it goes on, med after med is given. Nothing changes. It gets to the point where you just want it to stop.  The thump, thump, thump.  Its painful to hear after awhile. Knowing what is coming.  The stopping.  The doctor sitting down next to the spouse and telling them its time to stop.

The anguished cry.  The weeping. The rest of the family arriving.  The young adult children stunned and wailing.  Thinking about that could be you, laying there, or bent over your now loved ones dead body.
Those could be your stunned children.  You don't know them, but you feel like crying about their loss.
Wondering how they will go forward. Thinking about yesterday they were alive and today they are dead. How do you deal with that?


Kristen Proctor said...

I have no words for you. I frequently work in hospice, and while I am surrounded by the dead and dying, it is a different sort. A death that has been prepared for, contemplated ahead of time, a softer death. All I can do is give you a virtual hug and a virtual beer.

Robert said...

I imagine after seeing a situation like that, I would probably try to shut myself off from it and "wall-in" so to speak. That seems to be what many nurses have done when I've been in the hospital--they don't show much reaction to someone's family crying after a loved one has just passed away. How could nurses and doctor's work in an environment like that and not put up some level of defense mechanism against seeing such loss and grief on a daily basis? It's natural to do that, and I imagine I would do the same thing.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, I never got good at walling myself off. I worked in L&D for 10 years and everytime I had a baby die (believe me, it happens more often than you think) I cried. Sometimes with the family, sometimes by myself later. I don't work there anymore, because it was too much after 10 years.

Jonathan Downham said...

Same old, same old! What we need to do is decide who should be resuscitated rather than focusing on how to do it best only. Many, many times I attend an arrest which seems pointless from the start and yet we carry on waiting for someone to make a decision. Not sure it will change in the near future.

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