Thursday, April 13th, 2017

One Patient-Who Lay Dying

January 22, 2011 by  
Filed under CNA Training

Sometimes the behavior of a family member is so clouded by pain and shock of defeat, we must be bold to practice outside of the box.

My patient was ejected from his car after hitting black ice. The prognosis for any recovery was a hair-breath above zero. We knew he would never walk on this earth.

The family was large and streamed in and out of the room. All were polite and respectful. The woman duly provided explanations and “stability” for large families and the crowd of visitors.

The periphery, I have observed. She keeps her emotions under control, only occasionally use. It almost seemed that he was “hosting” the “event.” But his slow movements latent pain had refused to treat.

Having worked in the ICU for ten years, I knew there was nothing that was humanly possible to change its course. He knew in his heart – the heart that beats for many years in unison with the woman – were arrested and warms the body that would be great, and the soul that joined and gave life to happen.

Family and friends were “out there” my wife, but they seemed to feel the need to just below simmer so obvious. And when people are attracted felt a growing need for him. He began to seek my approval for leave to someone else inside I told him that this would be the last. There was, we had to do. The final visitors to give to others who had gathered in the waiting room knows that the visits would now be closed.

I drove the woman in the room. I restructured the lines of mechanical life support and pull gently on the man on one side of the bed. I let along the rail.

She looked at me with total surprise. It was as if I had told him that I could give him transportation back to the previous day, when her husband was home and alive and this place has never existed. Her tears rolled down his cheeks. She cried and cried when I helped her down beside him.

I assured him it would not be disturbed by anyone, for any reason. She could not leave the room when she was ready and could be as long as she needed. I would like to avoid any disruption.

I covered with a blanket and put chairs against the bed as a reminder to her that the fence was down. I gave him the call bell and closed the door and the curtains behind me.

A few weeks later I received a letter from her. She found it difficult to describe the torrent of emotions that enveloped as she was with her husband this afternoon to end his life. But she said the opportunity to fully embrace gave him solace and peace, which would be warm for the rest of his life.