Apr 8, 2010

April 7, 2010

Nothing about yesterday seemed to be real. It didn't seem to be right.

I had a patient, a very young patient, who made a choice. A choice to have a baby. She went against medical advice, got pregnant, had her baby, and nine months later I stood in her room.

The pictures of her three beautiful, perfect daughters hung on the wall. There was a slideshow running on the computer in the room, pictures of family vacations and dinners and birthday parties. She was an absolutely stunning woman. And yet, she looked nothing like those pictures now.

She laid paralyzed to decrease her body's need for oxygen. Her lungs had failed her, her heart was nearly failed, her kidneys had failed her, her liver was beginning to fail her. Her mother and husband sat in the room, grieving the loss they knew would come. I don't know if they knew it would come so soon. I didn't know if it would, but I had a feeling.

Her heart rate started to drop, her blood pressure bottomed out, and suddenly I was pushed against the wall...watching as if I wasn't really there, but more just dreaming it.

I watched 13 other people pour into the room. The nurses ran in and out, grabbing supplies, while the doctors watched silently. They would quietly say out another drug to push, another method to try, but then the resident on the case walked over to the mother and husband and simply hugged them as they began to sob.

The room was relatively quiet - just the sound of the Ambu-bag breathing for the patient in the hands of the respiratory therapist and the alarms dinging in the background alerting everyone that something wasn't right in that room.

For education purposes I should have paid attention to see what epinephrine and atropine did to the patient's heart rate, or how well her tissues were oxygenating. But I watched instead the slideshow - still running. Three little girls who were losing their mother. And I looked outside the door to see every medical and pharmacy student peering through to see what was happening. All I wanted to do was to walk out and cry. Perhaps one of those students should have been in the room in my place.

I watched a husband lose his wife and a mother lose her daughter. I saw grief overtake one and anger the other. I saw every nurse on the floor shed a tear for this family. And those pictures rotated on and on.

The world isn't supposed to be this way. It was never meant to be this way. I think that God's fury boiled over yesterday, indignant at the suffering of His children. I think His anger is stewing against sinfulness.

I sat outside the room with the nurse, listening to her talk through her grief. Then the husband came out, and she gave him a hug. Then he looked at me and said "Can I hug you too? You were with her today."

So I hugged him and could only whisper "I'm so sorry."

I could write about our Hope. But this family doesn't share in that Hope. So instead I just feel a heaviness.

The world was never meant to be this way.

No comments:

Post a Comment