I just had two 12 hr nites, and had a pt. who is staying with me still. She is a single mom, who has been given the dx of Breast CA...2yrs of chemo, and bil mastectomy, she has now been dx with CA and mets.
I talked with her at length, in between running trying to keep another Lung CA pt. who is becoming increasing confused. Pulling out two IVs...but thankfully had a place to start others!
My heart goes out to both! But one is a elderly lady, and the other is a mom...without a job...d/t dx, and no one to really help her. Her mom is unsupportive, and when boyfriend found out about the dx, he decided he couldn't deal with it. On the night she got the dx, I went into her, and found her distraught beyond words!
. NO ONE
was with her, when she was told this horrible news, and I couldn't imagine being in her shoes!
She had tried to call her boyfriend, and one of his friends answered the phone, and hung
up on her!!! I called her boyfriend, and told the friend, what room she was in, and that she really needed some moral support. The boyfriend came in to see her last nite, and I shamed him into staying the nite. She needed someone there...and I was angry...that not even her family had come, when she told them the dx!!!
She came out of the room, and told me she was really happy, and thanked me for helping her. I couldn't help but think...what a sorry piece of crap her boyfriend was, and is! He told her ...he had problems of his own...and couldn't help her, until he helped himself. That he had watched his mother go thru CA tx, and couldn't go thru this with her! But she was happy just to have him there...for now at least!
My heart goes out to her...and I felt I wanted to take her in, and help her...but I knew that wasn't possible. I wanted to leave her money...or offer help in some way....but I didn't. I just pointed her to support groups...and left it at that.
Because she couldn't sleep...and nothing I gave her helped...I spent a lot of time, in and out of her room ...most of the two nites I worked. I just can't shake her out of my mind.
Her family is another trip...and made the day nurse's life so miserable...that she had to be given to another nurse, as the family made unfair accusations against this nurse. Then they all left to the pts..relief!
This pt. was in healthcare also, and worked in the OR...but d/t her dx..she was "let go..until she was better"!!! I'm angry at what happened to her. She now has no job...as she was living paycheck to paycheck...like most single moms do. She can't keep her insurance going, as she has no job now.
I became to think about...what about all the other people out there who are basically making it week to week. What happens to them..when there is no family to step in and help? What if this had happened to me?? Both my parents are gone...what if I had left my job...and was dealt a blow like this...how would I have taken care of my kids??? How does one find help in these situations??? Does anyone have something to share...that would help this caregiver?? One of the MDs who knew her ...said she was such a wonderful person...and she was a truly caring person.
One look at his face...told me he really meant what he was saying..
Aug 16, '02
I will surely add that mother and her children to my daily prayers.
The best thing you can do for her from a nursing standpoint is to write up a Social Service Consult so they can begin to meet with the family, the patient's doctor(s), and the patient in preparation for her chemo treatments and any other outpatient assitance she will need. They should get the ball rolling from that end once you put in the consult for it.
Pray about the situation, and asked God what He would have you to do for this woman on a personal basis, then trust your gut instinct. I have helped patients before outside of nursing because I felt it my duty to do so as a child of God. I have never regretted doing so, either, and would do it again in a heartbeat.
Stay abreast on her case and make sure everything that can be done for her is being done for her by Social Services within the hospital setting. Discuss with her who she will leave her children with after she dies. Does she have a will, an advance directive, or any other plans outlined to be instituted after her death. These are things she must eventually deal with as her time of grief allows.
Putting her in touch with Cancer support groups is an excellent idea! That will be a great resource to her alone.
Also, mention to her about tape recording messages for her children to hear and grow up by after she is gone. This has been known to be a comfort to dying mothers and fathers who have little ones they will not be able to see reach adulthood. They should record the family history for the children's health reasons, and any other pertinent information the kids will need for survival purposes while growing up (i.e. Parental advice, wedding wishes, kisses for future grandkids, etc. ) You'd be surprised what things are taped on tapes like that. Heartbreaking, but oh so necessary and very comforting to the one dying, and the ones left behind to grieve their loss. :kiss
Last edit by live4today on Aug 16, '02