When a patient is dying, am I expecting too much? - page 4

I had a family the other day that I really just felt bad about. The patient was only 50 and had cancer of the lungs. Two dgters and a few young grandchildren. You can just tell these people really... Read More

  1. by   Teacher Sue
    [QUOTE=leslie :-D;3659360]my goodness, cut shay a break, will ya???
    anyone who knows shay and her hx of posting, knows that she is a FINE hospice nurse.

    You are right, I don't know Shay, or her history. This is the only post I have read from her, and I do plan on looking for some of her previous posts to get to know her better. My response was to this post only, and my response was very strong. But when I read this post, I thought about how I would feel if someone were to talk about my family in this manner. Everyone deals with loss in a different way, but in this particular post, it seemed to me that the OP was very disdainful of both the patient and her family. I did not mean to offend.
  2. by   Koyaanisqatsi-RN
    How much time do you save writing dgter instead of "daughter"?

    It took me a few tries reading your post to figure out what the heck you were talking about. Just saying.
  3. by   justiceforjoy
    So, you see a tornado coming and try to warn your blind friend. You see it coming, so you tell the blind woman to start building her emergency shelter. She says okay, then goes out for coffee with her friends. The tornado edges closer, and closer, so you remind her again that there is a tornado coming... She goes out again for some errands. You tell her to get into the emergency shelter, she agrees to, but goes off and does something else. You're starting to get frustrated because she's just not listening to your caring advice. Bam! Tornado hits, and her house is completely destroyed. She looks at you and asks what the heck she does now!

    Yeah, of course you'd be frustrated. The fact of a death being involved isn't going to change your human reaction to becoming frustrated or confused that someone isn't trusting what you're saying.
  4. by   yetanotheramanda
    Quote from Koyaanisqatsi
    How much time do you save writing dgter instead of "daughter"?

    It took me a few tries reading your post to figure out what the heck you were talking about. Just saying.

  5. by   Tait
    I have a comments, and that is all.

    1. Everyone deals differently, and some don't deal at all. My father refused at the age of almost 50 to see his Alzheimer ridden mother one last time before she died. I, at a confused age of 20, did go. We both have our peace.

    2. People should live their lives putting more energy into communicating their love for each other, than worrying about how they will cram it all in at the end. I love my family and friends, and they will know it now, in the end and beyond.

    3. It takes a hell of a lot of acceptance, and passing through many stages of the grief process in order to plan for your own funeral arrangements.

    Last edit by Tait on Jun 4, '09 : Reason: Grammatical error.
  6. by   talaxandra
    I once received a dying patient from theatre (they opened her and everything had infarcted). She was sick when I left the room to greet the family, who were wlaking up the corridor, and dead when I opened the door to let them in. I was amazed that they couldn't tell she was dead. I let them sit with her, then came back a few minutes later, waited in the room a moment, and when the DIL said "It won't be much longer, will it?" paused a moment and said "I think she's just gone."

    My point is that lay people often have no idea - the son and daughter-in-law were in their forties but clearly hadn't been around death much and couldn't see it. So I;m not surprised that the daughters didn't get that when you said she was dying you meant "she's dying now, any minute, so if you want to be with her don't go away."

    That said, I'm really sorry you had this frustrating experience. I've read other posts of yours and have no doubt that your frustration wasn't visible to the family, that your care of them and the patient was thorough and compassionate, and I can relate to your reaction.
  7. by   JomoNurse
    i don't think people are in the right mindset when they're in such emotional distress such as one goes through when their close loved one in actively dying. compound this with living paycheck to paycheck and more than likely and uneducated background, you get something like what you just discribed. because YOU know better doesn't mean THEY know better.
  8. by   shocker29

    Your post was clearly a vent post. DO NOT feel bad for venting. Isn't that why we're here? You sound frustrated because you care! You just wanted this family to experience this death the way that they had said they wanted and you did your best to provide that for them. Sounds like between your expectations and their grieving/lack of understanding, that just didn't sink in this time.

    I think it is fairly reasonable to expect people to have been SOMEWHAT prepared (not yelling... just using caps for emphasis!), because that is the "responsible" thing to do. However, that being said, there are ALWAYS going to be some people that are going to let you down... that is one sure thing in life. Next time it doesn't seem like someone is "getting" it, just remind your self that this is one of THOSE situations and have a sit-down with that family and give them some gentle, extra-education... sometimes you just have to be gentle, but FRANK. And there is nothing wrong with that. You can only do what you can do....

    I was running a code up on the oncology floor one time (actually first-code that I really ran as a CCU nurse off of my unit). It was a lady who had cancer, but was not at the "end." She was in Vtach, so we were doing CPR and getting ready to shock and I look over and her husband is taking pictures in the corner with his camera. I am thinking, well... I don't thinking that my mind could muster a thought. I was amused, appalled, confused... whatever. However, he was polite and calm and quiet, so I didn't care what he did. Got her back and sent her to the unit. I decided that maybe he should have been upset or something... I mean he watched his wife "die" and be brutally resuscitated! Where was the emotion??? He definitely must have some "disturbed grieving processes" going on. (Is that a real nrsg dx?) After talking to him, I decided that he'd actually just been prepared for something like this...She'd been sick for awhile... I think he'd been kind of documenting her illness, albeit, a rather morbid scrapbook, I'm guessing. When I reported off on this lady, I told the other nurses that the husband was just a little bit "eccentric." People will just be people, what are ya gonna do?

    Take care, Shay