Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sad day

When you work in my field, obviously you get pretty used to people dying. If there is a way to get "used to" that. You learn to cope, and you learn that if you let yourself get extremely attached you will hurt. I got hit very hard with a reminder of that 5 years ago when I got very close to a patient and he had a sudden heart attack at dinner and died. I very nearly walked in on them prepping the body, and I was not able to make myself go say good-bye. I figure that (given his situation) I'm probably just about the only person who remembers him, and I make sure that every April 28 is Norman day in my heart.

Every so often though a death just stuns us all. That happened today. This man has been worrying us a bit because he has been very down since a friend at the nursing home died. Today at lunch he was his usual congenial self, making a fuss about my driving too far and telling someone else she always ignored him. 45 minutes later they were doing CPR. 15 minutes later he had not responded to CPR or having his heart shocked, the fire department was there doing everything they could, and nothing had happened. We pretty much knew then, but he was taken to the hospital and pronounced there.

CPR doesn't happen very often. In fact in thinking back I only have been aware of 3 times it has been done in my presence (in the building), excluding "only" Heimlich maneuvers. A couple years ago someone choked to death at dinner and CPR was started and her family asked that it continue until they could say good-bye. That was terrible because some of the resuscitation happened right in front of the other patients while they ate and then the coroner was in and the police and it was rather traumatic for the patients who didn't know what exactly was happening and we can't just tell them anything. I spent the evening helping calm people down. The other time was another choking incident and that patient actually survived, although she had brain damage from the lack of oxygen.

Honestly I'm glad that once CPR started that he didn't survive. CPR saves lives, but it also carries a risk of brain damage once it goes on very long. It is often ugly.

But I'm very sad about this man's death. He was special. For the first 2 months he was with us he called my "company name 2" because the PT assistant was "company name" and our company name is on the top of our name tags so he felt it was pointless to read further. It was hilarious.

I just hope he is in heaven now, enjoying a plate of broccoli and ketchup, something he actually did enjoy quite a bit. (EVERYTHING with ketchup).

1 comment:

otgirl said...

Oh. I'm so sorry to hear of your sad day. And right in the middle of lunch, too.

That said, "company name" and "company name 2" made me laugh out loud.