Saturday, March 30, 2013
A sad, mentally tough night at work last night.
My patient was a man who essentially had no medical history, had gone to the doctor for a sore throat, was given antibiotics and after two doses, had an anaphylactic reaction and went into cardiac arrest. His airway was so swollen that they were unable to get an artificial airway until an emergency trach was done in the ER. He was without a heartbeat and an airway for close to 30 minutes. He was revived, but with high probability of anoxic (lack of oxygen) brain injury.
The family was, justifiably, in shock, but also very hopeful, as he was now getting oxygen, had a heartbeat, LOOKED like their husband/father/brother.
Even though the intensivist and neurologist both explained a grim prognosis, the family just couldn’t process it.
And that made my job even harder.
I didn’t want to take away their hope. But I also wanted to be honest. It was a fine line and I did the best I could.
I took care of the patient AND the family with all my might, always thinking, “life is just not fair” and blinking back tears on many occasions.
The heartfelt hugs I got from the family members as I left my shift made me feel as though I helped this family in one small way.
You never know what life will bring you.
And this is why it is SO important to live your life with no regret. To do the things you dream of. To say “I love you” to family and loved ones often.