I haven't been motivated to write lately, especially after a certain shift that left me, well ....empty.
We had three codes that day. The first 2 were run of the mill, "it was just your time" type of code blue. This probably sounds horrible to non medical people, but it's a fact. I question the family's knowledge and decision when they want grandpa 'saved' at all costs regardless of the quality of life he will endure after the code. It's sad.
The last code was a pediatric one due to an accident at the house. Due to the nature of the circumstances, there was never any hope that the child would be resuscitated, but we tried. We tried everything we could think of to save that kid. All efforts were futile. The other nurse and I prepared the body for the parents to come into the room while the doctor went to talk with them. I was okay until I heard the unearthly wailing of both parents. I don't think I can truly describe the sound. I lost my composure and escaped into the break room bathroom and cried for a few minutes. I've never cried at work before. Once I got myself together, I had tons of paperwork to do and was interrupted occasionally because I had to cover my ears due to the wailing. I couldn't even finish everything that needed to be done because other patients, the ones that had such minor reasons, medical problems that should have been seen in a doctor's office or a clinic, continued to come out to complain about the wait or that they wanted food. I tried to explain that there had been several critical patients that tied up the doctor's time and they would be seen soon. They didn't like that or didn't care, one actually had the audacity to tell me that they were critical too. I looked at the reason for his visit - a complaint that he has had for over a year. I had three dead people in nearby rooms and this guy was giving me a hard time. I lost my capacity to tolerate stupid people for the rest of the day and counted the hours to go home.
I keep thinking about that mother, hoping she doesn't blame herself for her child's death. I can't even imagine going through that experience. I went home that night and hugged my children for a very, very long time.
My daughter noticed and asked, "Did you have a stressful day at work today, Mommy?"
"Yes baby, I did."