I've been working SICU (with the exception of a short-lived foray into Case Management a few months ago - HATED it) for about 14 years now. I've seen some really tragic things in my time and somehow I've always been able to mostly leave it at work.
These last two days have been very hard for me, and I cried into my chips and guacamole after work this evening, IN PUBLIC, while my poor non-medical husband struggled to understand.
Yesterday I had a 41 year old woman on an LVAD (been in our unit for 49 days) whose family withdrew care. It literally made me sick to my stomach to watch that little old couple sign papers so that we could let their daughter die... and in the three hours it took her to do that... OMG... they were just so pathetic... they sat next to each other and held hands, and the dad was so stoic, and the mom just cried and cried...
Today I had a 25 year old MVA with SEVERE head trauma, multiple fractures, chest tubes, etc, who will more than likely wind up being an organ donor in a few days at most (if the family consents; they're still in that initial stage of total shock and "he's gonna pull through") and I watched his mother on her knees most of the day praying and crying for a miracle... and she clung to me when I left this evening... just sobbed on my shoulder. I walked out with her tears wetting my jacket.
I am really REALLY beginning to feel the cumulative weight of what I do for a living... and I just don't know how much more I can handle. :uhoh21:
Thanks for reading.