StudentNurse2011 2,594 Views
Joined Apr 2, '10.
Posts: 89 (62% Liked)
I just found this thread a few days ago, and I am addicted! Thanks for all the great stories, and please keep them coming! I have a few myself....some from patients and some from family members, and even one from a deceased doc.
Many years ago, I worked as an aide at a LTC facility. Just before I worked there, a resident had died in the room at the far end of the hall. The other staff talked about this man frequently, but they said he wasn't a pleasant person by any means. They said when they did his post-mortem care, a chill came over the room and they had the distinct feeling that an evil presence was in the room. The entire time I worked there, that room was always icy cold - regardless of the temp in the facility or the weather (I started working there in August).
I had another resident that we all became somewhat attached to. To this day I still remember her name (30 years later), but we had nicknamed her "Pooky Bear." One evening shift that I was working, Pooky Bear fought her last battle with cervical CA. I did her post-mortem care and went home. The smell was so bad that I could still smell it after 3 showers, and I cried the whole time I was in the shower. Finally, in an attempt to get rid of the smell, I showered with rubbing alcohol. That did the trick.
That night, I had a dream that I was doing her post-mortem care. In the dream, I picked Pooky Bear up to put her in a body bag, but instead I placed her in God's outstretched arms. It was just a dream, but it gave me a sense of peace about her passing and also changed the way I feel about death to this day.
About 10 years ago, my mother was fighting COPD. My daughter and I lived with my parents, in their basement, since Mom needed round the clock care, and I'd also just gone thru a divorce. One night, my daughter was in bed asleep, and I was sitting at the desk (in the basement) playing a computer game. I distinctly heard 3 knocks on the wall. Assuming that it was Mom trying to get my attention, I went upstairs to check on her. She was in respiratory distress, so I did what I had to do to help her breathe. Later, she asked why I came to check on her when I did - I told her I heard her knock on the wall for me. She swore and declared that she never knocked on the wall; she was struggling just to breathe. Until the day she died, she told everyone who would listen about her angel that summoned me for help that night.
After Mom passed, I frequently saw or heard unexplained phenomona in our home (even though we moved out of state), and my DD (dear daughter) related similar stories. DD had very troubled middle school years, and as a result moved in with her dad, who lived a couple of hours away (also out of state from where Mom had lived). When DD moved in with her dad, the strange sights and sounds stopped - here. My daughter said she continued to experience them in her dad's house. The only times we had occurrences in my house were - you guessed it - when DD came here for the weekends. Even stranger? When DD got past her troubled times, the occurrences stopped. She and I are convinced that Gammy was watching over her and trying to help her.
Another time, I was working in the endoscopy department at the hospital here. Since the equipment is so expensive, I always made sure to turn off all the electronics when I cleaned the room at the end of the day. One day, I cleaned everything, turned off the equipment, and left to get supplies for restocking. When I got back, everything was turned back on, and the radio was blaring. We never turned the radio on loud; it was just background noise for us. I stepped outside the room, and the charge nurse was sitting right outside the door. I asked her who came in my room while I was restocking (assuming that a coworker was playing a joke on me). Very seriously, she told me that nobody had came in my room. I gave her THE LQQK....the don't BS me look. She swore that nobody had been in there. I told her why I was asking, and without so much as a blink, she said, oh, that's Dr So-and-So. He used to be one of the endoscopists at that department, but he passed away and willed enough money to the hospital to build the department we currently worked in. I didn't really believe her at the time.
Some time later, I was in another room cleaning after procedures. I had already turned off all the equipment, but while I was alone in the room, everything suddenly came back on - including the radio, again blaring. I said aloud, "Dr _______, this is my room now and you have to stop this." I swear to God, I kid you not, these things never happened to me again while I worked in that department - although they continued to happen to my coworkers.
Thank you for this article; the story, writing, and emotions were beautiful. Yes, it brought tears to my eyes as well.
I've had a patient for the past two days that is going downhill very quickly. I was with her yesterday when the MD told her there was nothing more we could do for her. She's a precious lady - very gracious and ready to rest. I spent as much time as I could with her yesterday. I held her hand while the doctor broke the news to her, and we hugged frequently throughout the day. We celebrated her life together, and yes, we cried together.
Typically, I consider tears to be the highest expression of weakness, but I've learned that sometimes it takes strength to cry. Suppressing emotions is a way to protect ourselves from having to feel them. It takes strength to allow our vulnerabilities to show - and yes, sometimes our humanity. As difficult as yesterday was for me, I wouldn't change a thing. The patient was still alive when I left last night, but I've wondered about her all day today. She declined so quickly - right in front of my eyes. Being a nurse means being a professional, but sometimes it also means being human. Most of the time a patient's needs are physical, but sometimes they're emotional or spiritual. I believe it's our duty to be there emotionally and spiritually as well as physically, and I believe that's what nursing is all about.
Godspeed, sweet lady. I hope I touched your life just a fraction as much as you've touched mine.
Awesome article; thanks for the tips! May I add an addendum to Academic Tip #3? One of my nurse friends suggested that for the 1st 2 semesters of nursing school, I should study from an NCLEX-PN book. The last 2 semesters, study from an NCLEX-RN book. It saved my life. Between the NCLEX books and ATI study guides, I very rarely picked up a textbook - and did very well in school.
Addendum #2 to the same tip: Tons of books are available for next to nothing on the internet. www.abesbooks.com www.amazon.com www.ebay.com www.half.com I think I probably have the entire series of Made Incredibly Easy books for nursing. They make for great light reading, and they frequently cover material in easy to understand and easier to remember verbiage. By the way, I got most of the Incredibly Easy books on abesbooks.com for about $5 each (including S&H).
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