Monday, November 22, 2010


I'm back, as I'm sure you all have been waiting with bated breath for me... 

Trying to come up with a song to represent that past few days has been difficult.  Tonight I will be working my 5th night out of the past 6, so all I've really done is sleep, eat, work, repeat.  

We've had some really sick people on the floor lately, both young and old.  Sometimes they're full codes, meaning that we do pretty much anything and everything to keep them alive if their heart of respiratory systems fail.  Sometimes they're DNR or DNI - DNR means don't do anything, no drugs, no CPR, no intubation, just let them die without all of that additional trauma.  DNI means that we can use the drugs and CPR, but that if it comes down to the patient needing to be intubated, we have to stop.  

Now that I'm talking about this, I'll pick the song of the past few days/week that represents work as Celine Dion's, "Goodbye's (The Saddest Word)."

We had one young person (won't say if it was a young man or young woman) who was in a vegetative state, and yet they were a full code and had coded multiple times in the past.  We had an older patient who was really struggling as of late and who had really appeared to live a happy and fulfilled life and you could tell in their face that he didn't want us to be doing what we were to him.  Full code.  I think sometimes the hardest decision for a person and/or their family to make is when to say that enough is enough.  Of these two examples, the first wasn't living a life that was at all meaningful and they hadn't gotten to live much of their life prior to their illness.  The other one had lived a happy life and  now it seemed like a good time to end if they coded.  

We all need to learn when enough is enough.  Think about your mother, father, brother, sister, spouse, grandparent.  If they've lived a life that they are satisfied, with few regrets (lets be real, everyone is always going to have at least one regret), how do you want what could be their last moments spent?  Do you want someone pounding on their chest and yelling?  Or do you want a family member to be able to sit at the side of their bed holding their hand?  I'm not saying that everyone needs to go out to a lawyer and sign a DNR, I'm saying that everyone needs to have a conversation with their loved ones about what they want if that sort of situation ever arose.

That's a really debbie downer post... sorry!

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