heart is breaking

  1. Okay, all I want to be is a nurse who cares and does her best... and this is all getting to me. I have seen countless people die and have taken care of them until the end. I was able to maintain a certain professional distance, but this one has gotten under my skin. See thead "I wanna screem!"

    I love her dearly and she is truly a very special person. Everybody says so. So confused and so lost, but has so much love. Hugs and kisses her stuffed bunny all day and night and tells it that it's a good girl. There was nothing like walking into her room during the day from hell and having her say "come here uncle, and let me hug you". No I am not a man, if you're wondering -- far from it! But she does give good hugs, though. I had to get my daily "fix" and that made everything better. I bought her a stuffed dog a few weeks ago and (I know I'm being silly) it feels like the kiss of death!

    She is fading really fast. Has severe urosepsis and decision has been made not to pursue treatment because she has been through so much. Poor little thing! Couldn't even swallow thickened water the other night. No more gag reflex. Face has gotten so gaunt and pale. Raging fever. Trying to talk to me, but voice was so weak. Trying to give me a hug. I just held her and kissed her head, she made her little giggle. It's breaking my heart that she is dying.
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  2. 40 Comments

  3. by   rncountry
    Actually now you are being a real nurse. The person who is there to give aid and comfort to the dying, not only the living. It is my belief that while we do all sorts of interventions to aid people in getting better, the ultimate gift we can give is to someone is to be there to give comfort at the end of life. Certainly not everyone can do it, many family members have difficulty with this. To feel grief with the passing of someone you care for and still go in and care for them everyday simply makes you human, and a good nurse.
    Been doing this for 11 years and I still have patients who make me cry. If I ever quit doing it that is the time to leave the profession.
    I'm glad your little lady has you. I wish I could offer better words of comfort.
  4. by   misti_z
    Oh Adrienne you are a wonderful nurse. She is lucky to have someone like you there. You are doing all that can be done. Just make her final days comfortable.

    Good luck, we feel your pain.
    :kiss
  5. by   Grace Oz
    Hug her... set her free... believe in angels.
    I'm sending YOU a BIG hug (((( ))))
    You've done your best, you've been HER angel, now it's her turn. She'll always be in your heart.
    Hope I get a nurse like you one day.
    Love from "Down Under",
    Grace xxxx
  6. by   Motivated, SN
    Adrienne,

    That's very sad. It's difficult to lose someone that you care about. It sounds though like she has no more "quality of life."
    There needs to be an end to her suffering. I'm sure that you have done everything you can to make her as comfortable as possible; you sound like a very caring nurse. Now you need to care for yourself so that you can deal with your pain. Get all the support for yourself that you can; and allow yourself to grieve. It's ok to become close to the people we care for; that doesn't make you unprofessional, it just proves you're human and not a robot. Take care.
  7. by   Youda
    When I think back over my years in nursing, there's a scrapbook in my mind with pictures of those precious ones who really touched my heart. I also know there aren't any good words to give you to comfort you. Although it helps to be around others who are coping with loss, grieving is a solitary thing in the end. In this case, you are just as affected by her death as any family member would be. This is a time when you need to call upon your faith to help you through, whatever those beliefs may be. It is a time to renew your faith in yourself with the knowledge that you are capable of loving and caring at a very deep level. And with that knowledge, remember that there is nothing greater than to love in this purest form that you have experienced. Yes, it hurts to lose it. But, how much more enriched you have both been as you touched each others lives. "Be kind to yourself. For all it's sham and drudgery, it is still a beautiful world."
  8. by   researchrabbit
    Adrienne, I don't know how you do it. (((((((Adrienne))))))))

    You care so much for her, and how wonderful that she has someone who loves her to see her through the end. I can't say it any better than rncountry already has. Take good care of yourself -- your patients need you.
  9. by   Rustyhammer
    Adrienne,
    You ask what to do yet I think you know the answer already.
    You let her go with love and support.
    And then you mourn.
    -Russell
  10. by   adrienurse
    Thanks Guys!:kiss

    I don't know if she's gonna be there on Monday am when I come back to work.

    I did say goodbye, though before I went home. In many ways, I think that I knew this was coming and that she wasn't gonna be with us forever. I can see my gestures in the last months as attempts to hold on to her. I do have to let her go. She WILL be more comfortable once she's gone. No more dressing changes, no more fighting during her bath, no more foley, no more being cooped up in her room 24/7.

    Goodbye Flo.
  11. by   Gator,SN
    Adrienurse,
    I hope that I have someone as caring and compassionate as you should I ever be in the hospital.....or God forbid, my mother. Any human being can learn the technical stuff, but a really good nurse practices the "heart" stuff!
    Hugs to and god bless you!

    Gator
  12. by   LilgirlRN
    (((((Adrienurse)))) It's hard to watch someone slip away. It is nice to know that someone that you have given so much to, has also given back to you. Love is a wonderful thing to spread around. You can take care of a patient and give adequate care without giving love but when you give care with love it makes you feel wonderful and makes the patient feel special too. Obviously she feels that way about you. Bodies die, but love doesn't. If she could say, I'm sure she would thank you for being so kind to her. Sometimes the kindest thing you can do is to let them go, there are things worse than dying. If I ever needed that kind of care, I would hope to have a nurse with a heart like yours Wendy
  13. by   traumaRUs
    Adrienne - thanks so much for being a nurse!!! I recently lost my father (July 29th). He had decided to quit his meds while he was still alert and oriented and we got hospice involved. He died peacefully one week later, still alert and oriented and able to make his own decisions.

    The hospice nurses and nurses at the assisted living facility were fantastic!!! So very kind and patient. I would be very proud to work along side any of them.
  14. by   911fltrn
    God smiles upon you!

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