My partner and I were doing our 6 a.m. rounds; we only have a census of 7/9 right now, so we're not overly busy. We have a new pt who came in a few days ago, lung ca, young (mid 40s) and very, very catchetic. Weighs less than 80 pounds so she's very sore and hard to position. I doubt that she'll be with us past this coming weekend - if that.
She was on wickedly high doses of hydromorphon contin, highest I'd ever seen, and she was just switched to a syringe driver of Dilaudid and Versed as we try to get her pain under control. At one point, as we were moving her in the bed as gently as possible, I saw a tear escape from one eye. The look on her face was "I'm not going to cry, I'm not going to cry." We offered her breakthroughs, but she refused. That one tear was heartbreaking.
As we were trying to help her feel comfortable, she asked for a cup of hot chocolate to go with the muffin we gave her. Ffrom her first morning, we learned that she liked a few nibbles of a muffin while taking her a.m. meds. They're only token nibbles, but she enjoys them, so that's what counts, right?
Unfortunately, we don't have any instant hot chocolate in the res. nor did we have the time to make cocoa, so my partner suggested that the pt ask her husband to buy a box of instant packages and we would be pleased to bring her hot chocolate in the morning. I pointed out that this was now her home and that she could do pretty well anything she wanted to do. My partner said "heck, if you want a good beer or wine even." The patient's face just lit up. She said, "I can??" I responded, of course you can. That's why you have this fridge in your room, you and your husband are to treat this room as your home.
The look on her face, of contentment, was priceless. Absolutely priceless.
Jan 7, '07
some patients just touch your heart in a special way
Jan 7, '07
what a lovely story.
i would sneak a couple of wine coolers in the fridge, yes?
Jan 8, '07
When I got report last night, I was told that the patient's family had visited at dinner time and there was a bottle of port. The nurse doesn't think that the patient had any, but I think that just knowing that she could, just smelling it, made a pleasant difference to her.
Sometimes you don't need to have that thing you enjoy, but just knowing you can have it is enough. She was very peaceful last night.
Jan 10, '07
Yeah, I totally agree! There are some patients/clients that grab ahold of your heart. I have an ALS patient and his doctor prescribed 2 beers/day and he is quite the beer connisour (sp?). Well, one day I stopped by a local market and asked thier beer buyer to put together a 6 pack of different bottled beers. When I pulled that out of the bag and presented it to him @ home....you would have thought I gave him a million dollars. He went through the various kinds and then gave me a full report on them the next time that I visted.
Oh, how I love Hospice nursing.
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