Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's never enough

So, I have decided that when I have kids and they decide they want a pet one day, I’m going to stick with a goldfish or something along those lines, that can be easily replaced without their knowledge. ;-) Because let me tell you, no matter how expected it is, it’s still hard losing a puppy after 14 years.

On another note.

What can you really do when someone has lost their desire to live? I am definitely not one for giving up. Though I can't help but think that if it were me in certain situations, I wouldn't want to live either.

Which brings me to another thing. This past week I had a transfer, 74 year old female going from dialysis back to a nursing home. She had undergone open heart surgery three days earlier but her vitals were stable. After I took her pulse and blood pressure she grabbed onto my arm and closed her eyes. I asked if she was feeling alright, but was answered with silence. A moment or two later she started to speak. At first it was just a whisper and I had to strain to hear her over the noisy ambulance. She told me how she wished that the doctors had let her die in surgery when she started bleeding. She said she had no reason to live, no family to visit her, no friends left to talk with. More than anything, she said she wanted to be rid of this world.

I wanted to assure her that life was worth living, that her life had worth and value, that people cared for her. But all I could do was hold her hand and give her a smile. The only words I could manage were “I’m sorry.” To which she replied, “Once you hit a certain age, there’s no point anymore. Don’t go getting old.”

Four minutes later we reached the nursing home, and she started crying. She begged us not to take her back inside. As soon as we walked in the door of the facility it was obvious why she didn’t want to be there. You couldn’t pay me to stay there.

What do you say to a patient in that type of situation?
How do you act?


Just Me said...

A friend of mine very recently lost her two year old daughter to cancer. We went to visit them shortly before she passed and I knew I wanted to go, but I was also very nervous - what do you say? I found that to the parents it's enough that you come and show your support. I let them know that we were thinking of them, and that I felt so helpless. To this they replied that they felt just as helpless because nothing they would do would save their daughter either. Food for thought. I have been in several nursing homes in my life and I find the quality of life of the residents is usually directly proportional to the quality of care. Some PCA's just don't care enough.

peedee said...

Sorry for the loss of your puppy. And the ruff time your friend is going thru. :'[

You did what you could for the old lady. It never gets easy or comfortable. I've had a few of those in my day that begged me not to take them back "there". I just told them that we had no choice BUT I would make sure I spoke to the supervisor when we got there and get you all set up. And I would. I'd make sure they were all comfy, extra blankets, go get snacks and drinks from the kitchen and talk to the Head Nurse. Make sure that head nurse new I new that this patient wasnt happy and terrified to be there. Sometimes you cant change a lot if anything at all. But you can try.

Keep at it girl. And congrats on passing your exams and practicals. Big thumbs up!!

Dave said...

It's always difficult taking care of people who see no hope. I've found some answers and a way to bring closure to people in this situation. You might check out my blog.