I See The Light ... Lift Me Up.

Before I begin my nursing story, I need to give a little background. While I was still in the stages of taking pre-requisites for the nursing program, my mother died. She had cancer and was bedridden for a long while before she died. She developed a stage IV pressure ulcer, which caused her to become septic. With the sepsis came uncontrollable shaking and the doctor prescribed Thorazine to be given regularly around the clock. My stepsister, who was a nurse, gave it as prescribed. Nurses Announcements Archive Article

I See The Light ... Lift Me Up.

My mother also received high doses of narcotics in these end stages to keep her comfortable. As a result, she had been unresponsive for two days. I was sharing the night shift with my stepsister who gave the thorazine at 2 a.m. and told me that she would stay up while I took a nap and then we would switch.

At 3 a.m. I woke up when my mother suddenly sat up in bed and quite lucidly asked for a cigarette. I looked at my stepsister and asked if she should be awake to which Kathy, shock evident on her face, simply shook her head "no".

My mother told me that she was dreaming of "better places" and asked why she couldn't just go there. She remained completely awake, without shaking, without pain, until around 9 a.m. when she found excuses for each of her six children to leave the house and then she closed her eyes and died.

Four years later, I was a nurse and the first shift that I was off orientation happened to be the first night shift (11pm-7am) I ever worked. I had been oriented to ICU, but was floated to the telemetry unit that night.

In report, the nurse was telling me about a patient who was end-stage for some type of cancer. I no longer remember what type of cancer she had.

The nurse told me that the patient would likely not live through my shift. She said that for palliative care she was receiving 10mg of morphine every few hours, which had kept her quite sedate for the nurse's entire shift.

In fact, the nurse said the patient had been completely unresponsive for her. She reported that while the patient was unresponsive, she gave the morphine based on the patient's respiratory pattern, rate, blood pressure, etc.

When report was finished, I went into the room to assess my patient. I put a small nightlight on by the door that cast an eerie illumination across the room. As I approached the bed, my patient said in a soft, sing-songy voice, "I see the light."

I was scared to death that my patient was speaking and I felt nervous just being on my own. I shakily mumbled a quiet, "Hmmm?"

Again, she said in the same sing-songy voice, "I see the light."

Fear was rising quickly in me. My mind raced with thoughts back to when my mother was dying. I said nothing and walked to the patient putting on my stethoscope to do my assessment.

As I leaned over my patient in the bed, she said in the same high, floaty voice, "Lift me up". Her eyes were closed and she barely looked alive! I remember taking off my stethoscope and looking around the room to see if anyone was there to witness what I was about to say.

With nobody around, I mustered up the courage I needed. Again she said, "Lift me up..." With my heart pounding, I leaned over the patient and quietly said, "To the Lord?"

Suddenly the patient opened her eyes and said in a strong, completely normal voice, "No! I want to sit up in bed!" I laughed until I cried!

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1st off sorry about your mother. But that was too cute with the lady.

Gave me chills...

Specializes in Nursing, Midwifery, Public Health.

Interesting! Thanks