Need to share my feelings

  1. Today while at work I went into one of the patient's rooms to help him with something. He had a roommate who I easily recognized. I will call him GR. GR's wife passed away within the past year and towards the end of her life she was in the hospital almost constantly. The dear woman had had a stroke some years ago and was left bedridden and barely able to communicate. Even in her fragile state you could see that she was once a very beautiful woman. GR had private caregivers at home who took fantastic care of her and GR doted on her. GR would come onto the unit every day with a big smile on his face. He liked joking with the nurses and bragging about how great his wife's caregivers were. Although he used a walker he was still in pretty good shape.

    Tonight GR was sitting up in his chair for dinner. He barely touched it. He was hunched forward; he had spit dripping off his lower lip and snot running out of his nose. He was staring at the floor. I felt as though someone had punched me in my heart. He looked so lost, so sad and dejected. I almost started crying right there on the spot. I sat beside him, rubbed his back and asked him how he was doing. In a barely audible whisper he replied "I'm tired. I'm so tired." I asked him how he was doing and he told me how rough it has been for him since his wife died. I sat there with him for a few minutes then helped him into bed.

    Every now and then I have a patient or an experience like this that just zings me. The look on his face is burned into my mind. I really don't have any purpose in posting this. I just wanted to share my experience with some anonymous people who won't think I'm being silly or overly emotional.

    Nurses are such special people. Thanks for reading.
  2. Visit KAW1962 profile page

    About KAW1962

    Joined: Oct '05; Posts: 57; Likes: 15
    Orthopedic Nurse


  3. by   loriangel14

    I have had that feeling plenty of times. These are the same people whose families will fight tooth and nail to keep them a full code, feeding tube, the whole nine yards.Sometimes people have just had enough.Sometimes they are just tired and want to go.Even people that are nonverbal can still communicate with their eyes that they just don't want to do it any more.
  4. by   ♑ Capricorn ♑
    Such a touching story, thanks for sharing. As sad as it is, one can't help feel for one's patient. Its so difficult sometimes to notice someone who was so 'up' and so full of life and then see them later on, and deteriorating down hill. Almost, like giving up their will to live because one doesn't want to do it anymore. My only experience with this was with my dad's dad who was in a nursing home for 5+ years, and slowly deteriorated over a period of years and eventually died there. Each time I'd visit him he'd be different in some way or another. It can be heartbreaking, we're only human after all.

    I am not a nurse, yet. And, I have alot to learn. But, I can imagine there is only so much one can do for a patient and the rest is up to him/her and God. After all the meds, tests, labs, therapy, interventions etc., what else can one do besides just be there for that person, wish them well, pray for them and give them the best care one possibly can for as long as they are living. Like you are doing. We all know we can't change people, we can help them if they want help and hopefully they will want that help.

    Best wishes for you and your friend.
  5. by   cacentralvalley
    What a heart touching story.

    There are people that make such great differences in our lives. Thank you for sharing this story. I've been feeling so lost lately, I just can't get my head above water. This story touched my heart and actually gave me perspective once again.

    Thank you for the story and thank your for posting it.
  6. by   jlg47rn
    I am a young nurse and this story was just so touch. I hope I can experience these in my many years of nursing to come....By the CaCentralvalley hi five to you...I am from the California Central Vally if that what your name stands for!
  7. by   jlg47rn
    Quote from cacentralvalley
    What a heart touching story.

    There are people that make such great differences in our lives. Thank you for sharing this story. I've been feeling so lost lately, I just can't get my head above water. This story touched my heart and actually gave me perspective once again.

    Thank you for the story and thank your for posting it.
    Hi-five for your Nickname! I am from the California Central Valley if that is what is stands for!!
  8. by   Kica93
    Growing old and frail is so difficult especially not having your loved one near. His wife was lucky to have had him. You're a nice person, probably your act of kindness really warmed his heart a little bit. If you are a believer, pray for him, it will make you both feel better. I'll pray for you two tonight.
  9. by   RxOnly
    I remeber back to nursing school. I was assigned to a sweet older man who was in the hospital for one particular illness. His wife passed away while he was in the hospital, and he had heart attack when he heard the news. He was moved to the telemetry floor where I was assigned to him. An EEG was scheduled for him that day, and I was able to go with him and observe. The tech, meaning well, asked him how he was holding up. He answered "Oh you know, we don't live forever. I'll go on." and he began to tear up (luckily I had a little pack of tissues in my pocket). I was the only one able to see these tears as the techs were behind him. Later that day, my instructor gave me the OK to sit and watch TV with him while I charted my care plan so as to keep him company. He looked over at me during a commercial and asked "What do I do now?" I replied "What do you mean? I don't believe you have any appointments scheduled until about 4pm..."
    "No..." he said, "I don't want to go back home. My wife isn't there. My kids live far away. What do I do?" Not knowing how far I could discuss the situation, being a student, I told him what assisted living facilities were all about and that I would make sure his case manager knew that he'd like to discuss his options.

    Every chance I got, I walked past the case manager's desk. Never did I see her. I ended up leaving a note on her desk and asking my instructor to keep an eye out for her after telling her about my conversation with the patient. My instuctor said she would certainly relay the message if I didn't get the chance. I only hope it didn't slip through the cracks.

    I've since forgotten this gentleman's name, but I will NEVER forget his face and those tears have been forever burned in my memory. I say a little prayer to myself when I think of him. It was such an honor to be near him during such a pivotal time in his life.

    Kudos to you, and just know that you aren't the only one who feels like this! ((Hugs))
  10. by   Phoenixbyrd
    Nurses are such incredible people. Please allow this stranger to give you a hug.
    ((((((((((((((((((((((((((((hug))))))))))))))))))) ))))))))))
    I'm not a nurse yet, but as I read posts daily by nurses I realize that the important work nurses do can leave nurses vulnerable, and in need of some tlc too. Hugs and kudos to you for all you've done for that gentleman and your other patients.
  11. by   rn/writer
    I'm so glad you were able to recognize this man and speak to him in a caring way. You also acknowledged his humanity. Kudos to you!
  12. by   SamyRN

    I believe that we cross paths with people at certain times for specific reasons. Whatever the reason, be it for your gained perspective on your passion, his, to know there are people who genuinely care, whatever. It doesn't really matter. I've learned to embrace the interactions, and pray for "thy will be done."

    If you get the opportunity to talk with him again, tell him about what you remember about his wife, just as you shared here. It will mean the WORLD to him that you remember those things.

    Oversensitive? I would hope you would be to an extent!!! You're a nurse!

  13. by   SamyRN
    ..... and CICA: I love the phrase you used, and use it often.... "His wife was lucky to have had him." Caretakers need to hear it and love to hear it. Use those words lavishly! They need to remember that!

  14. by   GitanoRN
    I salute you for reaching out to GR, when he needed it the most . I strongly believe all nurses at one time or another has experienced this situation...thank you for sharing it with I send you hugs from across the miles~