Have you cried? - page 2

He is only 40 years old. He went to the dentist and coded. They did CPR. Sometimes that's not a good thing. He is now in a permanent vegetative state. He has a trach. His secretions are so thick... Read More

  1. by   P_RN
    I worked orthopaedics where most admissions were elective, some orthopaedic trauma and some overflow med/surg.

    One day we got a transfer from ICU.....they needed their bed STAT....and this young man, G**** had been made DNR and was not expected to live very much longer. He had been in a MVA rollover in which the passenger was killed. Just to look at him was to tear up and cry. We cried every day, every treatment. He was only 20.

    He had a trach with a t-collar, a foley, a gj tube for feedings, bilateral tib/fib and femur fractures and a left humerus fx. I forget the name of the suction device, but it was built into the trach collar.

    We had to learn as we went along. Sometimes 6 mo to a year would go by without a trach patient on the floor. Like we usually said ".......at least on ortho they don't die."

    Everyone learned well, we learned how to use the new (then it was new) dual lumen feeding tube, and the new (then it was new) suction catheter. Foleys we knew

    Months went by and G**** stayed the same, he didn't die over night, but he didn't wake up either. He just looked around you all know how.......

    One day it was my luck to have him and that day G**** extubated himself.....OH NO! The doctor came and said leave it out.....hmmmmm.

    Well on ortho when you get someone up in a chair....you let them sit at the desk "so you can watch them" so that's where G**** was one day.

    G**** would look around vacantly, day after day.

    One day I put him at the nurse's station and sat down to chart. I absently said G**** tell Dr. ______ what you like to eat.....(he loved pudding......)

    And G**** looked at Dr. _____ and

    said......"My name's not G**** it's L** and I HATE PUDDING!"

    We cried.
  2. by   Teshiee
    That is a real touching story. :-)
  3. by   KRVRN
    We had a set of parents one time that had tried for years to get pregnant. They were in their late 30's and were really nice people. They had finally gotten pregnant with twins through one of the infertility procedures. Unfortunately she delivered by c-section at 24 weeks. I forget the details as to why they had to be delivered. Something happened during the c-section and she ultimately had to have an emergency hysterectomy. In the next few days, one twin, and then the other developed a grade 4 brain bleed (the worst kind). They were both taken off the vent and let go. The parents were left with no children and no hope of having children of their own. Life just isn't fair sometimes to good people. MOST of us cried over that. Very sad.
  4. by   thisnurse
    PRN-what a wonderful story!

    if you put yourself in the patients place, sometimes you cant help but cry. i think thats one of the attributes of a great nurse.
  5. by   rdhdnrs
    Good stories. I also think that when we lose the ability to grieve with our patients, we may become too hardened. Of course, we can't totally let go to the point that we can't take care of them, but our patients should have the feeling that we really care. I have cried several times on L&D, and probably will again, but if I become so involved that I cannot function in my role, I will ask to be reassigned.
  6. by   kaycee
    I've been in this profession for 27yrs now and when I stop crying with my patients it will be time for me to leave. The tears keep coming so I guess it's not time.
  7. by   zumalong
    I think this is what makes us nurses. If you can't cry anymore find another position. I worked on a neuro unit for 10 years. There is a type of brain injury called Locked in syndrome. It is damage to the pons. If this is what your patient has--he may very well be trying to communicate with you.

    If a patient is locked in they have all their cognitive functions but no muscular control. The only way of communicating is with their eyes. We had a patient with this. We ended up using upward eye gaze with one blink for yes and downward with 2 eye blinks for no. It was very frustrating for the nursing staff but even more so for this patient. we did not realize he was 'conscious' until he had been on our floor for several weeks. No one had heard of this syndrome before. If this is what your patient has please try and see if he can communicate.

    Otherwise keep talking to him. Take care.
  8. by   burger914
    Hi thisnurse,
    You have me crying. I know that helpless feelng all to well. My sister passed away this summer at 41y/o. It was a big shock to us even though she was in the hospital for 3 of the longest weeks of my life. She was intubated and sedated the whole time and was out like a light almost the whole time except the day the moved her to Beth Isreal Hospital via the helicopter. The day she got there she was awake. When she saw me,she started crying and it tore my heart to pieces. I still break down everytime I think of the fear and helplessness in her eyes. The doctors say she passed away from end stage cardiomyopathy. I do not know alot about cardiology,but she was never on any heart medications and it just confuses me. She has four teenage children and I do not want to sound like a terrible person, but I feel that it is a blessing that she passed. the doctor said she coded and was out quite awhile and most likey she suffered serious brain damage. I could not imagine the children having to deal with the things you are describing with that poor man. I know that the children would rather have her here, even that way, but I know she is in a better place. Yes, even the seasoned critical care nurses who deal with death often cried along with us and it made me feel really good that the cared too.
    Sorry so long
  9. by   NICU_Nurse
    Boy, can I relate to this thread. I have always been a very emotional person, very in touch with what I'm feeling, whether it be anger or sadness or joy. The past few weeks I've been taking care of this preemie- a little boy who is just an angel, for lack of more fitting description. He had RDS and was seriously ill when he was born, and has recovered beautifully. He is now a healthy little doll and as soon as I come to the crib in the morning he smiles up at me and melts my heart. He likes to be held, and will fall asleep fitfully while I cradle him against my chest and rock gently. His hair is soft as silk and his skin is perfect in every way, and I can't help but marvel at the beauty of this child every time I see him, the way his fingers curl against his cheek or the way he sighs after being fed, content and full. His mother has not called or come to see him AT ALL since he was born, nor has any other member of his family. I just found out that he was being put up for adoption. Another nurse on the unit walked up to me yesterday and made a comment as to why I was always coddling this child every time she came to visit us, and I told her that I don't know how much love he'll get when he leaves the hospital. I don't know what kind of family he'll end up with, or what he'll go through later in life that will shape or scar him. All I know is while he's here, I can show him what love and affection is, and damn it, that's what I'm going to do. I got so choked up, I had to excuse myself to the restroom and just cried and cried. It is our ability to relate and respond to the human condition that makes us vulnerable, but it is also what makes us special. That's my opinion, anyway.
  10. by   Furball
    Giving a child up for adoption is incredibly painful. It's funny how women are put down for abortions and adoption.

    Maybe the mother is afraid of becoming attached to the child...was she planning on adoption previously?

    I'm sorry but the comments about the mom giving the child up seemed rather judgemental.
  11. by   Furball
    Originally posted by Furball
    Giving a child up for adoption is incredibly painful. It's funny how women are put down for abortions and adoption.

    Maybe the mother is afraid of becoming attached to the child...was she planning on adoption previously?

    I'm sorry but the comments about the mom giving the child up seemed rather judgemental.
    PS Kristie you sound like a great nurse...thanks for taking such good care of this special chilld.
  12. by   NICU_Nurse
    I wasn't being judgemental at all, to clarify. The child is being put up for adoption by the state, not the parents. The mother has six children, all of whom have been taken away from her for various acts of neglect or physical abuse. She is currently incarcerated and apparently has no interest in being a mother. All of these things, however, are beside the point of my previous post, which had nothing to do with criticizing the mother (which, by the way, I would never do- I am in full support of adoption AND abortion, should the biological mom choose either) and which had everything to do with hoping this child has a chance for a future filled with love and tenderness. I have no control over what happens to him when he is discharged from our facility, but I can affect his interactions while I am present in his life.

    His mother has not called or come to see him AT ALL since he was born, nor has any other member of his family. I just found out that he was being put up for adoption.

    I don't think this is enough information for you to consider these comments judgemental or not. I simply stated the facts- this child has had no familial contact since the day he was born. Period. I could have included more information, but because this was not the focus of my post, I chose not to. I would always be happy to elaborate, but I personally prefer to be questioned before being scorned for no reason.

    Thanks. ;>)
    Last edit by NICU_Nurse on Feb 11, '02
  13. by   micro
    I agree with the disagreement.......I don't go into work with the intent to be wooshy, gooshy all over my patients, but I believe in holistic nursing.........I don't even like to cry with my patients, but sometimes the tears just come. IT IS PART OF NURSING. I HAVE EVEN SAW DR.'s get a bit tearry.

    What I maybe can discern from what NASDAQ said is the following.........we must "attempt" to stay detached from our patients so that the emotional aspect does not overwhelm our care.........and I have seen as am sure all here have the following.....the heart wrenching+very physical+high acuity care patients are given all the time to the same nurses and this can take its toll on the nurse.......a break away can be helpful.....

    but in ending.........I will state.......the day I stop seeing the human behind the eyes of my patients will be time to enter another field.....