Brain Barf

May contain traces of nuts.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

My sister, guest writing on my blog.

"My mom is dying of cancer WHAT can you do?"
I'll go tell the nurse.
Wait...wait...I AM the nurse.
I can't run and hide.
I have "RN" on my badge.
I am the one who is supposed to have the answers.
I'm finding that often, my answer is -I just don't know- With four years of schooling to back up this -I don't know-.
I can't change your moms diagnosis. What CAN I do?
What can I do for you, most importantly, what can I do for your mom?
I'll do everything I can, but you also have to tell me what you think I can do?
The true story is, because of her childrens age, she had things that she felt she had to be there for, so her struggle was prolonged for quite awhile.
But at the end stages, she didn't want her children to suffer any more than they already had.
Her wish, was to never die at a "hospital" (because hospitals are where people go to get better), but to die at home. But...should her children leave school for this?
When her children finally made it to her "hospital" room, she hadn't moved or talked for days.
When the time finally came that her husband and her three children were all in the same room with here, surrounding her "hospital" bed.
A mother, daughter and a wife.
Who had been incoherent and incontinent for three days, asked to get up and go to the bedside comode to urinate. Her children and husband wanted to do their part and show their love for her and proceeded to help her back to bed and in doing so came to the realization that their mother was not willing to die nor let go without THEIR permission.
As a nurse, not only having to work around IV lines, humans, human emotions and foley catheters, I found myself trying to figure out how to get my patient to bed without her losing physical contact with those she loved.
The patient/mother/wife did NOT want to go back to the hospital bed. But with pleading and begging of her family, she succumbed and laid back down.
I hope her children will never forget her last efforts. Her last energy and efforts she used for their benefit, because she held on for them.
When the family has no other safe outlet for their anger, grief, and pain it is often focused on the nurse/caregiver.
As the nurse. HONESTLY, I was very relieved knowing that if the "patient" survived my shift that I had two days off and she wouldn't be here in two more days.
I can't stop death, but I try to avoid it on my watch.
Death at times is a blessing, but I just don't want it to be on my shift and I don't think that's wrong. I know they're going to die on somebody's shift. Just save your "enough is enough" for the day shift.
In nursing school you are only taught how to keep people alive.
That's the truth folks. Like or leave it, it's still the human weakness truth.
And I'm one of those "humans" you may have read about.


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