my love of nursing is gone...husband died of medical mistake - page 2
well, i am unable to figure out what to do with my life. i am almost 50 yrs old, have worked as a paramedic and/or rn since 1978, (although not currently licensed) and need to think about returning... Read More
May 17, '07After you finish your counselling, and when you feel ready, may I suggest nursing education. You have the perfect motivation to start at the beginning with new nurses and the face to put on the tragedy of negligence and error. What an impact you can make on future nurses...plus, you don't have to be in the clinical setting right away.
May 20, '07well, i am unable to figure out what to do with my life. i am almost 50 yrs old, have worked as a paramedic and/or rn since 1978, (although not currently licensed) and need to think about returning to work. my husband died of a medical mistake, leaving me to raise my kids-they are now almost 12 and 13 yrs old. i just finished litigation (which was almost worse than his death) and will need a new career. i let my rn license lapse as i have no trust of the medical system any more--it is now driven by hmo's, bonuses for ceos and md's that forgot the hippocratic oath--do no harm, and nurses who, for whatever reason, did not do their jobs when my husband's condition was getting worse.i always thought i would be the rn who would never get burnout...but now i can't walk into a health care facility without hyperventilating and shaking.. i don't trust md or any other health care professional now...so any suggestions has to a new career for a former well educated, former compassionate rn?Last edit by rn/writer on May 29, '07 : Reason: Edited quote per OP's request.
May 29, '07I appreciate everyones comments regarding my husbands death from medical negligence. Everyones's caring had reminded me why I became an RN many years ago. It also made me realize how angry I still am...it has been difficult because I could not discuss his death with anyone--I could not afford counseling, and was unable to use my health insurance to pay for it (I was in litigation with my HMO, yet still had the HMO as it was the only insurance I could afford--and I still have the HMO!!!) and I didn't want my mental health records to become part of the litigation. I tried the only 2 grief groups (I live in a rural area) and one was religious based that disagreed with my beliefs and the other was clickish and the average age was over 70. But now, I still can't discuss it as part of the litigation agreement. Let's hide mistakes instead of discussing them to prevent them from happening again is the mentality of the current health care system. I have an appointment with a counselor next week---I hope she works out as there is only 2 in a 60 mile radius. Sorry. my mistrust of the system is showing again....
On the flip side, even though my RN license expired 2 1/2 yrs ago, is all I have to do is complete 30 hrs of CEU to reinstate. I have 7 yrs from expiration date to reinstate. I don't feel ready for that yet but this site has helped me in that it has allowed me to get my feet wet in nursing again...thanks to everyone.....
*****Remember in death, remember life, be an organ donor....
May 31, '07awsmom8, Truly, my prayers and thoughts are with you. I feel such sadness from knowing (although not literally) what you are going through. The loss of a loved one, especially a spouse is devastating in itself...due to tragic errors, I'm sure it must make the experience almost unbearable. I am glad you've found this site...it can be a lifesaver. There are many compassionate people here plus the wealth of knowledge and information is awesome!
I encourage you to go through with the counselling...it will be hard, but let your heart and your feelings guide you. Your children are your salvation now, I know they must be a great comfort to you and you to them.
Also, may I gently suggest, perhaps, that you start journalling? It doesn't have to be anything formal. It feels good to get your feelings out, and as you are especially bound by privacy clauses, this might be a good outlet for your grief. Just start as if you were writing to your spouse, perhaps, or maybe to the people involved in your husbands care....express your anger and grief at what happenned. Or start, simply by just writing down what your feelings at the moment are...go from there. I always like to end up by noting the things I have to be grateful for...children, my health, the blue sky, etc. Somehow that helps me to put things in perspective and I can't help but to feel a little better.
I know nothing, really, is going to make this 'go away'....just suggestions to help you 'deal' with it, to get through it. And, the counsellor will be able to give you that one on one support you need, from another human being.
Take care of you, your career will fall into place as you move to a better place in your life. I'm glad you've looked at re-instating your license....there are many, many options that do not involve direct patient care. I like the teaching idea, that sounds great.
Blessings to you....:kiss
Jun 2, '07I am very very sorry to hear of your loss. You are clear about your intention not to stay in nursing - but would you consider teaching???
Thank-You for sharing your personal experiences with us strangers on the board.
Jul 14, '07I would like to update you on what's going on in my life... renewed my RN license...pretty scary...after being expired for 2 1/2 yrs. and not taking any CEU's for 4 1/2 yrs all I had to do was 30 hrs. of CEU's. It is better to let license lapse vs inactive as you don't need to make up the CEU's for the yrs lapsed. CA BON assessed a a $35 "late fee" in addition to renewal fees and it arrived a few days later. I came to the realization that I am going to have to return to nursing as I don't know what else to do to be able to support my kids. I just need to find a job that has minimal connect with hospitals and MD's. Any suggestions?? All the home health agencies I talked with (I live in a rural area) all required me to be on 24 hr call--I can't leave the kids at home alone if I get called out, esp. at night.
I just returned from 4 weeks of camp nursing and it was fun. Got to work with another RN who was easy to work with. However, when it came to working with the doc it was a different story...it made me realize that I will not ever be able to trust them...her knowledge, esp. in an emergency was just not there. It didn't help foster any confidence in working with MD's.
I have had my first few "happy days" since my husband died. I finally realized how cluttered the house was and even had the energy to clean out a few closets.
Thanks to all of you that helped me realize how angry I still am at the health care field. Your words of wisdom and encouragement has started to set me back on track. I am still unable to afford counseling-- I still have the HMO I was in litigation with and do not want to use them for any medical/psych services. But I have really tried to improve my outlook on life, esp. after I realized how it was affecting the kids. Thanks again to all of you...x
Jul 14, '07I have thought about you frequently although I didn't post before.... am glad you were able to get some work but you don't say what county you're in. LA County has some Public Health Nurses that work M-F and are not credentialed PHN's.You can check online. They work in the TB clinics and such. These are nurse/protocol driven clinics, little to no contact with MD's. Good luck whatever you do.
Jul 17, '07Perhaps I'm being very naive here, but I can't imagine that there's not a soul in the world who wouldn't understand your going to grief counseling. I wish you could put your fear of the HMO and your attending counseling aside and get some much-needed assistance in dealing with all of this. There is the doctor/patient confidentiality unless, again, I am just being extremely naive. Your case has been settled; if you check with your attorneys, I'm sure there's no going back on any settlement that was reached.
If you can't do so for yourself, it sounds like it's vital for your children that you do so. This is the 21st century; there is no longer a stigma on dealing with one's mental health in most intelligent peoples' minds.
Please take care of yourself!!
Jul 26, '07Quote from rn/writerThis post is very meaningful to me for different reasons concerning the loss of my mother and the people that failed her during that process. Thank you to the OP for sharing her situation (and hope, since that is what prompts posts such as this) and to you for your thoughtful and kind response.I am so sorry that you have suffered the loss of your husband under such tragic circumstances. No words can convey the sense of horror I feel on your behalf. That his death might have been prevented only intensifies the shock and sadness.
You have brought up several extremely important issues that are now affecting your life, and I have to believe that your expression of them means you are open to the input of caring others.
The first thing I hear--beyond just raw and simple pain--is rage at the injustice of what happened to you and your family. Not just loss, but unnecessary loss. So understandable and yet, after a time, a stumbling block to living the rest of your life.
Your husband is gone. Tragically so. But to keep your focus on that to the exclusion of other parts of life is to lose YOU as well as him. Nothing can bring him back, and that's a sad and lonely thought. But YOU are still here and you have young kids who need the only parent they have left.
Please, find a counselor you can trust and let someone help you to get past (not get over) the trauma of the last few years. Not only did you go through your husband's loss, you also had to relive it repeatedly during the course of the legal procedings. Lawsuits, while often necessary, keep you reopening the wounds time and again and do not permit you to progress to the point of healing. Maybe now that the legal matters have been resolved, you will find some peace in this area. (Were you satisfied with the outcome?)
You have received a serious blow to your level of trust in the medical profession. While understandable, this is not a healthy place in which to remain. What if you or your kids need some kind of medical care? Will you be able to trust enough to get help?
Your perspective is skewed right now, with your perception distorted by the medical personnel who failed you and your family. This makes sense, but it's not an accurate picture. Your heart can see only what was taken from you and the ones who took it. In truth, those who dropped the ball represent only a small percentage of the medical world. Your head might have a suspicion that this is true, but your heart isn't ready to accept that yet.
Your kids need to be able to trust the world around them enough to function in it. Being paralyzed with fear or rage is not a good way to live. Bad things happen to good people, but good things happen as well. You won't be able to partake of and enjoy those positive things if every experience is filtered through a warped lens.
Your husband's life was tragically lost. Please fight to save yours, for your own sake and for your children's.
This is the hardest thing you will ever do. It will be worth it.
Feel free to PM me by clicking on my name and selecting private message from the drop down menu.
I'm so glad you found this site.
Jul 28, '07I'm burning with curiosity to know the details of what happened to your husband. Can you update it as a "situation" that happened to someone else? I'm really glad you were able to find a lawyer to take on this case. That is the most difficult aspect of these tragedies. My Mom recently passed away and the facility performed 12 minutes of ACLS and put her on a ventilator despite her having an advance directive in her chart specifically stating she did not want that under any circumstances.
My family tried for over 5 days to remove her from the ventilator, give her comfort measures and let her die with some dignity. It was a horrible thing to see and by day 5 my father threatened to call the police to intervene. My Mom was basically brain dead, having seizures and they continued to give her tube feeds and restraints.
My love of nursing is still stronger than ever. I hope, when I am able to obtain my license here in TN I can continue to be an advocate for my patients . There was nothing we could really do for my Mom. That is the worst feeling of all. I don't know who to blame, I think her MD screwed up BIG TIME in his admit orders by not noting that she was a DNR, lot's of mistakes and foul ups in her medical records.
When you say this was an HMO, I'm also wondering if it wasn't KP ? They release a lot of settlement information to the State website so interesting that you are "gagged" but they are not. Now you are in a tough spot in having to remain with them for your health care, most likely that of your children. That's got to be equally disturbing for you. Keep us updated. You are a wonderfully strong woman and I am sorry this happened to you and your family.
Jul 28, '07I agree with the OP that she guards her privacy especially with a confidentiality clause in place. Let's not push her for details.
To the original poster - thanks for the update and take care.
Jul 28, '07Please take very good care of your children's Mother. Get yourself into some counseling or therapy to help you heal. I am so sorry for all that happened to you. It sounds like you have had to face the trauma of losing your husband and then be brutalized ongoingly with litigation and the system. It is horrible. At some point you may be able to give some meaning to what happened and become a patient advocate or spearhead some laws that may help people in your position....I don't know...but it is possible to turn something so tragic into a gift for others. Just a thought....