The Patient I Failed - page 10
She knew what she wanted. She'd watched her husband of 52 years die on a vent, and followed his wishes to remain a full code. But she knew that was not what she wanted for herself. So, she wrote a Living Will, had it... Read More
- 1Sep 22, '08 by Valerie SalvaThanks for expressing so well what so many of us go through as nurses. If only family members could know the suffering their selfishness causes. So many times, I have suctioned trachs and performed tube feedings and so on on pts who just need to be allowed to go.
I feel disgusted when I have to do these things for a pt who I know would not want it.
Thanks for understanding, as only another nurse can.
- 1Sep 22, '08 by nurse2btracyYOU did not fail this patient, her DAUGHTER/CHILD did. My father passed away in June from cancer and had a DNR. He was in so much pain at the end and it would have been inhumane to fight the DNR. Her child was SELFISH. While you feel you failed this patient, you were only doing your job.
God Bless and good luck
- 2Sep 23, '08 by oceanstar08I understand how you felt, with my grandmother dying...my mother tried to override her sister and I on the DNR. Thankfully, I knew what this would do and would not bend on the matter. I was able to explain later, as she was more open to discussing this. I felt for her too, she just loved her mother and wasn't ready to let go. I suppose that is what the daughter of your lady was thinking too.
- 2Sep 23, '08 by cyndiangel13Wow...I wish this story could be posted in a place where family members could read and understand BEFORE they may be faced with a situation like this. As a student, I have had a few lectures about DNRs, family involvment/intervening. It is an ethical dilemma in which I hope if/when I am faced with it, I have the grace and understanding to accept and continue on with my nursing duties to the best of my ability. It is sad that as nurses we are obligated to care for and respect our patients but are forced to work against our better judgment or against the stated will of our patients based on the fear of legal repercussion. God bless and keep you!!!
- 2Sep 24, '08 by p2o8i can not begin to feel your pain, not to mention hers. it is sad that even when a person goes to the extent of making their own decisions about their life and their wants that there are those among us who still believe it is their decision. they are selfish people. god bless you for talking to her and letting her know it is ok. i wish for the daughter that no one to ever take away her right to choose.
- 6Sep 25, '08 by Sister Fox1. you are a born writer with an inherent talent for story-telling. use it and get stuff published. i'm a published author and i know talent when i see it.
2. very moving and sensitively told story, novel presentation but - oy vey! - what a gut wrencher. tears not far away all through and like many others, i've been in that situation myself a time or two. but you put so much more depth to it. thank you and very well done!
3. i had to intervene in my mother's care some years ago when she had a mild/moderate stroke. a few years previously she'd had a sigmoidcolectomy for cancer but being in her late 70s, i told the family not to worry about recurrences as she probably wouldn't live long enough for them to happen!
after her stroke she was admitted to a small stroke unit, a site that had been a little cottage hospital. my brother rang me (i lived 250 miles away) to tell me mum was upset and terribly scared because they were going to do a colonoscopy the next day. (i'm the baby of 5 children but they've all aways looked to me for guidance in such matters.)
i rang the unit and spoke with the doctor who explained that they needed to find out if she had any recurrence but couldn't explain exactly what it was they planned to do if they found any! so i cancelled the procedure and advised them that if they proceeded, i would be filing charges for assault!
two days later i visited the hospital and found she'd had a couple more small strokes so now was somewhat aphasic. my sister and i arranged for her to be immediately moved into a private nursing home run by a friend of mine where they accepted my instructions for dnr and no treatment if/when she got a chest infection. she died from yet another stroke about 2 weeks later but at least she died in peace and comfort with two of her daughters beside her.
i'll always remember my brother's somewhat bemused reaction to my cancelling the colonoscopy which was "oh, i didn't know you could do that"!!
- 2Sep 25, '08 by RyanSofieHow tragic. I am going to keep copies of this...with my Five Wishes and hopefully in the event my loved ones decide to dissent my wishes this will illustrate the suffering caused when one is unable/unwilling to let go and let God...