Friday, January 8, 2010

In Case You Were Wondering

God is real. He is so real and he still moves. He makes things happen. You can call it coincidence or whatever you want but the events of today were nothing more and nothing less than divine. I have really been suffering from burn out at work lately. I am so incredibly sick and tired of cleaning up after drug addicts and others who have trashed their bodies and then blamed society or the medical profession for the fact that we cannot fix them. Day in and day out I see people who deserve to get better and walk out of the ICU die and I see people who are the lowest forms of human beings survive and thrive. It makes me sick and it makes me wonder sometimes just what I am doing and why I keep doing it. Then everything changed. I started caring for a lady on Sunday who was as sick as they come. She was on a ventilator, sedated, paralyzed, and in ARDS. She just survived breast cancer was but succumbing to a horrible viral pneumonia. I cared for her most of this week. Although I never heard her mutter a word I could tell that she had the sweetest spirit. Her family...they were nothing less than precious. She had 7 kids and a dear husband. Anyway, for whatever reason, I really connected with this family and this patient on a level I had not done in quite some time. I have yet to figure out why some cases come and go and I never give them a second thought and then others will shake me to the very core of my being. In the beginning of my career I remember being so tender hearted and I have seen myself become hardened over the years. I think sometimes it is just a self protective thing. It can be good but it can be detrimental at times too. So I was supposed to be the patient's nurse again today but received a phone call early this morning that I would be on call. There was going to be a patient going for heart bypass (CABG) surgery and that I would be called in for that case which was going to the OR at 0730 and would likely be compete around lunch. I ended up getting called in earlier than lunch and arrived at the hospital at about 1000. I had time to visit with the family and say a few things to the patient. She was still sedated and paralyzed but I never stop talking to my patients. I have no idea of knowing when the hearing goes. I then walked out of the room and down to the other end of the ICU when I heard "Code Blue" and without even looking I knew it was her. We did CPR and pushed some drugs and eventually we got her back. Although we all knew what was to come we carried on. She never really recovered her oxygen saturation but stayed alive long enough for the rest of her family to get there. Once they were all there then the Priest arrived and prayed with her and with them. And then just as quietly as she had entered our unit, she slipped from this world into a better place. It was so sad. My heart broke right along with this family. I noticed none of the nurses were looking each other in the eye because we were all trying to choke back the tears. I have never wanted so badly for someone to get better and for a family to get their mother back. The family thanked me over and over for what I had done. I only wanted to thank them for allowing me the chance to get to know them and their mother. I know she must be awesome, she was the mother to all of these wonderful people. We cleaned her up and called the funeral home to come and get her. The family stayed with her and I was able to visit with them a bit more. The funeral home came and they were all gone. And I will miss them. Then suddenly beds for the other patients we had transfer orders for came available and I was no longer needed. I was sent home. That just doesn't happen. You never get put on call, called in, and sent home. But my God, he knew I needed to be there. He knew I had laid awake at night praying for this woman who I barely knew and he knew I needed to see this through to the end. The family was grateful I was there too. I think they felt blessed to have had me care for their mother and told me I am like family to them but the truth of the matter is they have blessed me far more than they will ever know. They made me realize why I am doing what I am doing and that it is worth doing and that every now and then, when you least expect it, people come into your life for a brief moment and change everything. God Bless this sweet woman and her sweet family because God knows they have blessed me! And if you are wondering why My God would let her die just remember, there is a season for everything...

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