Afraid to go back to work

  1. 0
    My father just died last week from complications related to multiple myeloma. My mom and I were in the room and watched him pass away. I have to go back to work but I am afraid I won't handle it. His death was awful to watch. He started bleeding from his gums and we spent the last 4 hours suctioning him constantly. I see it all the time. I can't get it out of my head.
    Any advice on how I can handle this?

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  2. 15 Comments...

  3. 1
    i'm so sorry about your father's death. i worked in hematology for five years, so i have a very good picture of what you're describing.

    maybe you're not ready to go back to work. speak to your manager and tell her that you're not ready, you need another week to process it. and then find out about getting some counseling -- it may help to talk to someone about your feelings and emotions about your father's death. i've always found that journaling helped me. when my father died three years ago, i was left with my mother's care. there were times when i felt i didn't have time to grieve my father because my mother required so much of my attention. journaling helped me to get all of those feelings out in the open. for my friend kati, journaling doesn't help at all; what helped was counseling. she was with her mother when she died of cancer.

    i also talked to my primary care physician. part of my problem is that i was sleep deprived. you don't get much sleep when caring for an alzheimer's patient, and the sleep that i could have gotten i didn't because i couldn't shut my brain down. ambien helped. my friend kathy found that she needed antidepressants to cope after her husband's early death from liver failure. antidepressants enabled her to function, counseling and a grief group helped her recover. my sisters in law both needed xanax to cope with the aftermath of katrina . . . i'm not sure what will help you, but start with your physician and move on from there.

    i wish you the best of luck, and let us know how you're doing.
    imintrouble likes this.
  4. 0
    My husband has kind of said the same thing. "Maybe you should go see a doctor. I would say you're out in left field but you are out of the ballpark." He thinks with the way I'm acting I'm going to end up making a big mistake with someone if I go back. He keeps asking me if I'm alright and I don't feel anything but this uneasy feeling. If I cry it's only for a few seconds and I shut down again. I thought I should be crying all the time or yelling at god or something. And then the big wigs at work acted like it was going to be such a putout because I asked for 3 more days off. I don't want to be fired but I'm scared I may kill someone. Maybe not that drastic but with this job who knows.
  5. 1
    your husband knows you better than i do -- go to the doctor. take the time you need to get yourself together before you go back to work. and again, you have my sympathy. i hope it gets better for you soon.
    OCNRN63 likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from winnowill
    My husband has kind of said the same thing. "Maybe you should go see a doctor. I would say you're out in left field but you are out of the ballpark." He thinks with the way I'm acting I'm going to end up making a big mistake with someone if I go back. He keeps asking me if I'm alright and I don't feel anything but this uneasy feeling. If I cry it's only for a few seconds and I shut down again. I thought I should be crying all the time or yelling at god or something. And then the big wigs at work acted like it was going to be such a putout because I asked for 3 more days off. I don't want to be fired but I'm scared I may kill someone. Maybe not that drastic but with this job who knows.
    Have you been at your job long enough to qualify for FMLA? I would ask your primary care if they will fill your paperwork out for you. I wouldn't go back to work yet - too much risk. Definitely go see your Primary care and maybe even counseling would help.

    My grandma was terminal w cancer my junior year of nursing school and died about a week before fall term senior year started - I didn't have an issue with work they understood but I had an issue with a professor who was unsympathetic and like "it happened over summer"... I totally stressed myself out and didn't get time to process it all until after fall term while I was in the UK for study abroad...it's difficult to process and deal with

    Wishing you the best. For what it's worth - positive thoughts and prayers your way.
  7. 0
    first of all, please accept my deepest condolences on your lost. however, my concern is you therefore, you need to take care of yourself and if that means taking a break from everything so be it, your health and mental stability comes first. wishing you the very best in all of your future endeavors as i send you a hug from across the miles...aloha~
  8. 0
    I am so very very sorry for you loss. Please go and see someone to be able to process this. It does take time, and everyone is different on how much. Does the hospital you work for have a palliative care department? Please make an appointment to see someone there if you do. They offer a world of information on how to help you. Or a grief counselor. Again, my sympathies on your loss, be good to you, and give yourself time.
  9. 0
    I am so sorry you lost your dad ..period.

    Losing him in that difficult and painful situation is heart breaking.
    (Lost both of mine in bad situations... I know how it feels.. but it's not about me here)

    YOU NEED TIME OFF!! Every little old man lying in the bed became MY DAD ... it is too much for the strongest nurse to handle.
    Plain and simple. Arrange a leave through your doctor.. hopefully it is paid.

    If not , you still need to be off duty..your mental health is at stake here. Take a break.

    Please get some grief counseling... I wish I had. This is not time to tough it out yourself.

    feel free to PM me
  10. 0
    Thank you everyone. I ended up going back for 1 day and had an anxiety attack not even 2 hours into the shift. Told them I wasn't coming back in until at least friday. Have an appointment with my doctor tommarrow. So nope, couldn't handle it. I haven't been there long enough for FMLA. Not really worried about the no money part of it. It is covered.
  11. 0
    i am so sorry,
    my nephew died of a brain tumor at the childrens hospital i worked at. he had a second bmt that did not take, it go so hard going to work and seeing him in the end, even harder working one floor down from where he died. i never received counseling, i didn't get much support at work, guess nephews isn't close enough family to get funeral time off. since i didn't have the time available, i had to miss his wake, barely made it to the funeral.

    may i suggest seek counseling, talk with your manager, and employee assistence, take time to grieve.
    my first patient after the funeral was a newly diagnosised teen age boy, nephew was diagnosised as a teen. it was hard, you have to be prepared, therefore you must grieve and take the time for yourself.




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