The Patient I Failed - page 5

by nerdtonurse?

373,001 Views | 321 Comments

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


  1. 6
    Nerdtonurse, you not only did a good job caring for this woman, you have also given her a voice through your writing. What a valuable gift you have given her, and at such cost to yourself! I pray that, on the day of my death, it will be as good a nurse as you who cares for me.
    Sneaky Chicken, MAtoBSN, june42, and 3 others like this.
  2. 4
    :heartbeatI know how you feel. I went through similar episode. My husband went thru surgery @ hospital, developed ARDS, was trached, developed renal failure,was dialized. this lasted from a Feb to ist of May. I refused for him to be coded, shocked, or CPR, but after his heart stopped they gave him epi/atropine, which of course resulted in heart restarting. He had feeding tube-replaced with Peg tube developed contractures,pressure ulcers from the slighest touch, had mrsa, diarrhea constantly. I finally made a decision
    to move him to patient room on floor. this was done , his o2 was connected to outlet of 10 liters. I did all of his care that night, slept with him, I held him and talked to him of our life together from when we met to now. I apologized to him for the agony I put him thru and the fact I let him go. I don't know if he comprehended but he died the next morning. I don't know if I helped or hindered my husband's care , but I live with guilt to this day and it's been 5 years. God bless you and you will be in my prayers.
  3. 2
    well described. i could imagine every scenario.
    frenchfroggyRN and nerdtonurse? like this.
  4. 2
    Very sad,I teared up. Why wasn't an ethics committee meeting held?I've known of more than 1 meeting held , in regards to family that won't accept the inevitable /pts. wishes.All the doctors can sign off if interventions are fruitless.The rest of the family still could sue too for hospital disregarding the living will.This would bother me forever.
    june42 and nerdtonurse? like this.
  5. 2
    This is such a sad story and a hard reality to deal with.
    Soozul and nerdtonurse? like this.
  6. 4
    I work in a PICU and this happens here also.
    I realize it's hard enough with an adult but even harder with a child.
    Thank you for expressing this so beautifully.
    I am having DNR tatooed on my butt!!
    DizzyLizzyNurse, catsibsix, Soozul, and 1 other like this.
  7. 0
    Dear Lord, please let the doctor that did not stand up for this patient know what this patient went through, and EXPERIENCE IT HIMSELF SOMEDAY. AMEN....
  8. 1
    Thank you nerdtonurse for for sharing this.

    It touched and brought up a few tears. Something we've all had to face at some point in our nursing careers or personal lives.
    nerdtonurse? likes this.
  9. 1
    I so wish that I could print this out, frame it, and hang it in every one of the rooms on our unit.
    nerdtonurse? likes this.
  10. 7
    It is difficult to let go, but sometimes it is what is best. recently my grandmother had to have emergency surgery for a perforated ulcer. she did fine with the surgery, but two nights later had a massive stroke that would have left her paralyzed and unable to eat, speak, or open her eyes. she would have died eventually with or without machines. because i am a nurse my aunt and uncle and mother all looked to me to help them make the decisions necessary when faced with these kind of circumstances. my uncle was passive, whatever everyone else wanted. my mother had decided nothing more should be done. my aunt wasn't quite ready to let go yet. it was decided that no cpr or defibrillation would be done, but if she needed to be on a vent that could be done short term. two days later she needed the vent. they did another ct that showed the true extent of the damage and that was when the MD gave us the news that nothing more could be done, she would die. fortunately that was all my aunt needed to let go, and only about 12 hourse after whe was placed on the vent she was taken off and allowed to pass on her own. it was what she would have wanted even though she did not have a living will made up, we knew. i tried to just be supportive and informative and allow my grandmothers children to make thier decisions without me really voicing mine. it was their decision not mine. but i am grateful that i felt they made the right decision for her and what she would have wanted. i don't think she would have wanted the vent, but it was only for a short time and it gave my aunt and all of us more time to prepare to let go.

    i think it is horrible that the daughter did not respect her mothers wishes. it was a selfish thing to do and i hope that her children do not do the same to her some day.
    DizzyLizzyNurse, TrishJK, RyanSofie, and 4 others like this.


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