Does anyone else ever envy their patients? - page 3

Be honest--do you ever the patients you take care of, even just a little bit? It probably sounds wrong, but I often do envy the patients I take care of. Ultimately, they get to choose their... Read More

  1. by   pixierose
    Thanks, everyone, ❤️.

    She's a tough lady. It's so very hard on HER to be so dependent on others ... all she wants to do is garden.

    OP -- time for you to go on a nice vacation. Or pick a hobby. Whatever.

    Bowing out ...
  2. by   KatieMI
    Quote from purplegal
    Sounds wrong, but I actually don't mind being sick, because healthy people are expected to do more.
    I'm not talking about the people that are completely dependent on others, but rather, the ones that basically do everything themselves and do what they want all day long. I don't necessarily want to be confined to bed, but would like the choice to stay in bed all day long like they do, if I so wish. I'd like to wake up every day with nothing on my agenda. I can't see some of the things happening in my life that I'd wished, so yes, I would like to skip forward past the disappointments and live each day as I wish.

    And no, these posts are not for drama. While I probably wouldn't wish to be completely dependent on others, sometimes it would be nice to be on the receiving end, rather than on the giving end and still not being appreciated at all.
    Who in the world prohibits you from declaring yourself bed-bound for one day if that is what you just want? Send kids to grandma and dog to kennel and go ahead!
  3. by   ponymom
    Oh good lord op lolol you are such a mess
  4. by   elkpark
    I can honestly say I've never envied my clients. In fact, seeing the people I do at work, in the situations they are in, makes me more appreciative that I enjoy basically good physical and mental health, independence, and some degree of autonomy in my life
  5. by   FurBabyMom
    I do not envy my patients. Not in the least. I work in the OR. I've had to have surgery twice. Neither time was fun but both times were necessary.

    My patients are generally very sick if they are being cared for by me. In fact, they are often life threateningly ill or injured. My primary area of assignment is neurosurgery. Most of the people I care for have significantly altered quality or quantity of life from what their expectations were (or their family members' expectations) prior to admission to the hospital. I've done plenty of off-service cases in urgent or emergent situations, and none of those are that great either. Fortunately, it's rare for us, but patients die in my environment, surrounded only by strangers desperately trying to keep them alive. Even the wholly scheduled cases we do in my environment are not without considerable risk or consequence for patients/families.

    I've been a floor nurse. And been a patient on a floor. I didn't envy patients as a floor nurse, and I didn't particularly love being a patient admitted to a floor bed when I had to be. Luckily, I was only a floor patient for 10-12 hours between when I met criteria to be moved from PACU to a floor bed and when I met discharge home criteria.

    I am more grateful of my abilities because of my job. I've seen people suffering from catastrophic injuries who got out of bed assuming it was going to be a normal day. I've seen patients not make it, and known what a sinking feeling it is, especially when we don't even know who to call and notify. Sure, we know the patient as their "disaster" name, but that doesn't change the reality that somewhere there's a family who doesn't know what happened, let alone the person they're waiting for won't be coming home, ever. Some of the situations kiddos face are inherently worse. So, no, I don't envy my patients or their families. I've been there. I've been the patient myself, and I've been the family member in a devastating situation. Nobody wants to be there.
  6. by   chacha82
    Sending hugs to you and your mom, Pixie.

    Never once envied my patients, what an odd thing to say. They don't "wake up with nothing on their agenda." They have to go by OUR agenda.

    I don't think they have it easy, I wouldn't want to have to use the bedside commode or bedpan because I'm so weak there's no way I can walk to the bathroom anymore. Would not want to be stuck multiple times a day, told I needed a PICC line, now I need a TMA, now I need a BKA...no thanks.

    I am not trying to be ugly, but maybe you are getting burned out or very exhausted? 2 jobs would do that to me. Are you able to drop one for a little while? If you're not sleeping enough, I think it would be very hard to do 1 job, let alone 2.
  7. by   KelRN215
    This post is ridiculous and, to be frank, offensive.

    I have been the patient. I was diagnosed with epilepsy a month before my 18th birthday, lost my license on that day, was diagnosed with a brain tumor 5 weeks to the day later (on the eve of my 18th birthday) and have spent every single day of my adult life, for the last 15 years, 4 months and 5 days, living with the effects of that. When I was told that I needed to have brain surgery "sooner rather than later" 4 weeks before I was to move into college, I didn't relish at the idea of being able to be dependent and lay in bed all day. I told everyone to go to hell and pushed through my freshman year of college, all the while having seizures every single day. At the end of the school year while my classmates were making plans for what they were going to do that summer, I was planning on having brain surgery 19 days after I moved out of my freshman year dorm.

    Those six days that I spent in the hospital after having brain surgery were not anything to envy. I was woken up every 1-4 hrs for neuro checks- so no, I couldn't sleep the day away. My surgery was on my temporal lobe and the muscles cut made chewing nearly impossible so I ate pretty much nothing but oatmeal, soup and mashed potatoes for weeks. I wasn't allowed to get my incision wet so I couldn't wash my hair. I had a drain ripped out of my skull which hurt more than anything. I went home on a strict decadron taper and had to wake up every 6 hours to take it. I had a prescription for vicodin but had no chance to use it because my brother stole it all. In the fall, when I had to face reality that I couldn't take on the full course load I had signed up for and take a medical leave of absence, it was- at the time- the worst year of my life. Far worse than the previous year when I'd been sick. I wanted nothing more than to be able to be at college and to be the person I had been before January 10, 2002. I have never been and will never be that person again.

    Fast forward 6 years later. I was 25, working full time as an RN and had an annual MRI that showed "an increase in the T2 signal abnormality" in the tumor bed and raised the possibility of tumor recurrence. The medication I was put on for my worsening headaches caused a rare side effect- renal tubular acidosis- that caused me to spend 9 months and hundreds of dollars on specialist appointments to figure it out. I was diagnosed with diabetes insipidus and am dependent on medication for the rest of my life. That was the worst year of my life. There was NOTHING positive about the possibility of being sick again. If I had to go on short term disability, I would not have been able to afford my rent or student loan payments.

    Now, a year and a half ago, I had another questionable MRI (this time with mention of a new growing lesion in my left temporal lobe) and I've been dealing with the effects of that since December 7, 2015. I had started a new job just 6 months before that MRI. For the following 6 months, I worried about how I would not qualify for FMLA if my Neuro-Oncologist decided I needed to go on any treatment or needed surgery. My company changed our health insurance plans going into 2016. I met my annual deductible by April of last year and maxed out my flexible spending account- that I contributed the MAXIMUM amount allowed by the federal government to- by July. I have already had surgery on my right temporal lobe and have had testing that confirms that my left side is my dominant side. If I had to go through brain surgery again, this time on the left, it would be so much more complicated. And, you know, there's also that the lesion is millimeters away from my left MCA- the major artery on the dominant side of my brain. So there's the chance that if I had to have this surgery, it would neurologically devastate me.

    I know all too well that the life of a patient is not one to be envied. My patients are children who are dying. I had a 5 year old patient die last week- she spent the last 5 months of her life in the hospital, the greater part of her hospitalization was spent intubated and sedated in the cardiac ICU and on dialysis.

    OP, you really need to get a grip. This post just made me so mad.
  8. by   ivyleaf
    It sounds like you are under a lot of stress and maybe need to try and take something off your plate?
  9. by   caliotter3
    While my medical problems are nowhere near what has been described, I am not completely healthy. You don't have any idea what you are wishing for. Be careful, you just might get your wish.
  10. by   Cricket183
    Be very careful what you wish for. I'm going to try and answer this as nicely as I can, because I really hope you wrote this in a moment of being overwhelmed and exhausted and didn't stop to think what you were saying.

    I'm a RN whose career was taken from me by disability when I was only 40 years old. I was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (now known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) of the neck, right arm & shoulder after a nerve injury caused by a herniated disc. It progressed rapidly and spread across my chest wall, into my left arm & shoulder and into my upper & mid back. It also started affecting my heart (SVT & tachycardia), stomach (gastroparesis), and caused bone marrow depression for a period of time. So I didn't "have to work any more" because I basically lost most of the use of my arms and upper body.

    But hey,, "I got to choose my own schedule", except my life was controlled by doctor's appointments, insurance companies, physical and occupational therapy schedules, treatment and medication schedules, etc. But hey I was home all day and could sleep all I wanted, or stay up all night if I wanted to. Except for the fact that I was in excruciating pain and wasn't able to sleep much at all due to pain. And RSD/CRPS affects the limbic systems in the brain which affects the sleep/wake cycle so most patients suffer extreme insomnia so when I was up all night it usually wasn't by choice. (I love sleep too. But I was lucky to get 1-2 hours of sleep at any one time and usually no more than 4-5 hours in any 24 hour period of time.)

    And while sitting around watching TV and reading sounds great it gets really old really quick when it's all you can do because your arms don't work and you really can't do whatever you want to do under those circumstances.

    Some people may like the idea of "ordering other people around" and having others do things for them, I personally find it very difficult to ask other people to do things for me. My husband had to help me with the simplest things, like washing my hair. Most days I didn't have enough strength to open a bottle or jar for myself, let alone cook a meal for my family,. I couldn't drive my boys to school or extracurricular activities. I felt like a horrible wife and mother and burden to my family. The thing is you still have responsibility you just don't have the means to meet those responsibilities any more. And that's a whole new level of stressI wouldn't wish on anyone.

    I'm fortunate in that in the past few years I have started a new treatment (high dose IV ketamine infusions coupled with Aqua therapy) that has dramatically helped me and I have slowly regained almost complete functions and range of motion of my arms and upper body. I still deal with pain but as long as I continue my regular monthly treatments it stays under pretty good control. I have regained a lot of my life that I had lost although I have yet to be able to return to nursing (but I'm working hard toward that goal!).

    Pixierose, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's cancer. You both are in my thoughts and prayers. I just recently (May 17th) lost my mom to liver cancer and am still struggling to come to terms with it.
  11. by   TriciaJ
    Quote from ivyleaf
    It sounds like you are under a lot of stress and maybe need to try and take something off your plate?
    That was my thought. If you envy sick people because they have the luxury of lying in bed all day, sounds like you're sleep-deprived. Time for some "me-time". Figure out what you can scrape off and get some rest.
  12. by   Boomer MS, RN
    Quote from Cricket183
    Be very careful what you wish for. I'm going to try and answer this as nicely as I can, because I really hope you wrote this in a moment of being overwhelmed and exhausted and didn't stop to think what you were saying.

    I'm a RN whose career was taken from me by disability when I was only 40 years old. I was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (now known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) of the neck, right arm & shoulder after a nerve injury caused by a herniated disc. It progressed rapidly and spread across my chest wall, into my left arm & shoulder and into my upper & mid back. It also started affecting my heart (SVT & tachycardia), stomach (gastroparesis), and caused bone marrow depression for a period of time. So I didn't "have to work any more" because I basically lost most of the use of my arms and upper body.

    But hey,, "I got to choose my own schedule", except my life was controlled by doctor's appointments, insurance companies, physical and occupational therapy schedules, treatment and medication schedules, etc. But hey I was home all day and could sleep all I wanted, or stay up all night if I wanted to. Except for the fact that I was in excruciating pain and wasn't able to sleep much at all due to pain. And RSD/CRPS affects the limbic systems in the brain which affects the sleep/wake cycle so most patients suffer extreme insomnia so when I was up all night it usually wasn't by choice. (I love sleep too. But I was lucky to get 1-2 hours of sleep at any one time and usually no more than 4-5 hours in any 24 hour period of time.)

    And while sitting around watching TV and reading sounds great it gets really old really quick when it's all you can do because your arms don't work and you really can't do whatever you want to do under those circumstances.

    Some people may like the idea of "ordering other people around" and having others do things for them, I personally find it very difficult to ask other people to do things for me. My husband had to help me with the simplest things, like washing my hair. Most days I didn't have enough strength to open a bottle or jar for myself, let alone cook a meal for my family,. I couldn't drive my boys to school or extracurricular activities. I felt like a horrible wife and mother and burden to my family. The thing is you still have responsibility you just don't have the means to meet those responsibilities any more. And that's a whole new level of stressI wouldn't wish on anyone.

    I'm fortunate in that in the past few years I have started a new treatment (high dose IV ketamine infusions coupled with Aqua therapy) that has dramatically helped me and I have slowly regained almost complete functions and range of motion of my arms and upper body. I still deal with pain but as long as I continue my regular monthly treatments it stays under pretty good control. I have regained a lot of my life that I had lost although I have yet to be able to return to nursing (but I'm working hard toward that goal!).

    Pixierose, I'm so sorry to hear about your mom's cancer. You both are in my thoughts and prayers. I just recently (May 17th) lost my mom to liver cancer and am still struggling to come to terms with it.
    We all know how patients suffer. I won't say more about that other than since day one at age 16 as a nurse's aide I would think, "There but the grace of God go I." And reading some of the posters' stories here...well, it is heart wrenching. This last one struck me. I read hoping she would say there had been some improvement with her CRPS. Life isn't fair.
  13. by   Ben_Dover
    Sweet mother of hairless baby Jessie!
    Purplegal what ever it is your smokin'! Stop it!

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