Monday, 23 January 2012

Baby Steps

When we, the nurses arrive at work, we line up at the nurses' station waiting to be allocated to a patient for the shift by the nurse in charge. The whole routine smacks of those long distant school days when we lined up waiting to be picked for the games teams, and last night, after handover I sort of just knew which patient I was going to be working with.
I was paired with a very poorly patient who was dying. Unconscious and sedated, the man was fading fast and I had to take a deep breath when I saw him with his wife and his son at his bedside as he could have been my brother albeit a slightly older version of him.
It had to come, I suppose, and it had to be coped with.
Luckily there was a lot to do, a lot to get busy with, and as I "got on with things" a warm natured Irish nurse who was going off duty  stopped briefly and reached over and squeezed my arm as I was introducing myself to the family..
She didn't say anything, she didn't have to.
Her touch was enough.
With it, she said clearly and with feeling " it's tough for you and I recognise that it is"
and do you know..... it helped.
The patient died not long into the shift.
... I think I looked after him and his family ok

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btw
Weight watchers weigh in this morning weight 15 stone 2 lbs
                                                          weight loss this week 2lbs
                                                          Total weight loss since 2nd Jan 12 lbs

39 comments:

  1. What can I say? Well done.... you were professional!

    12lbs - O-Wow! Envy Envy! Makes my 4lbs look almost trite!

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  2. You've lost twelve pounds? That's the size of a nice plump Christmas turkey. Did you eat the whole bird - parson's nose and all?

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  3. It's tough, but that's the shit life chucks up at you!

    12lbs? You're so close to that first stone. I can't get on the scales - back problems and all - but I've a feeling laying flat on my back for a few days has done me no favours!

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  4. John - my heart goes out to you - first of all for losing your brother and having to cope with this so soon afterwards - and also because people like you do such a wonderful job. Just imagine what comfort the man's family got from you there last night - take great comfort from that.

    Keep repeating the mantra 'Green grapes, green grapes.'

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  5. Nursing can be a tough job but only special people are equipped to cope with the ups and even more so the downs. What a fortunate family you helped. Well done regarding weight loss.

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  6. It isn't easy watching someonne die. Just as bad is having to tell the family when the death of a loved one was unexpected. As an Ammunition Technical Officer I had to tell parents of fallen bomb disposal colleagues that their sons had died in the course of their duties. Dreadful, truly dreadful. It is expected that the wife of the officer bearing the tragic news should be accompanied by his wife who would offer what solace she could to the female members of the bereaved family. My wife was only 19 the first time. If I as an experienced bomb disposal officer seven years her senipor found it traumatic, imagine how awful it must have been for her, especially knowing her husband did the same job.

    I admmire you John, you know that, and I admire all your kind. All those who sacrifice personal ambition or a life devoted to the acquisition of material wealth in favour of service to fellow human beings with all the attendant dedication, compassion and lack of sincere recognition it entails.

    I would never qualify for such an accolade but I think it fair to say, John, you are a Good Man.

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  7. I think maybe you helped more than others would because you understand what they were going through. It must have been tough on you though. Big hug. AJ

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  8. *hugs*
    And congratulations on your weight loss. You're doing great. ♥

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  9. I wish I could say that it gets easier. Best I can say though from my own experience is that you are that much better help to the family because of your experiences.

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  10. Sometimes a touch says so much. But what a difficult shift for you. Glad you got through that. Hug being sent!

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  11. The world is a better place with you around...

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  12. Well done for the weight loss, and well done for maintaining a professional state of being in what must have been quite an emotionally difficult experience. I have no doubt whatsoever that you did indeed 'do a good job'.x

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  13. That had to be extremely hard. Thank goodness for the kind nurse.
    And 12 pounds? That is fantastic.

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  14. Making people better must be wonderful; watching them die must be awful.

    Well done; twice.

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  15. baby steps is right John. Keep on keeping on.

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  16. 12 lbs! Way to go! Humma chucka! (a local expression)

    Good that you 'got through' the night, better that the family had you there with them. I suppose in a way you did make everybody 'better'.

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  17. Every first is tough to get through. For most of us, it's birthdays and holidays, not a re-do.
    Good job on the weight. I've managed three pounds since the first of the year. Like peeling a potato with my thumb nail.

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  18. I expect your gentle nature would be appreciated. Hugs

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  19. I'm sure your compassion will be remembered by the family John.

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  20. I echo Hippo's comments. Congrats on the weight loss. I've lost 4 lbs since 1 Jan. It's just so much easier for you guys!!!

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  21. You are the most lovely man.
    Jane x

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  22. Sometimes that's all it takes at a time like that.

    Wow John 12 lbs since Jan 2nd...good for you! I lost 6 lbs ...it wasn't quite a week since I had started and I'm sure mine was mostly water but the numbers make me happy! I think I'm going to like this Weight Watchers Online :) Keep up the good work!
    Maura :)

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  23. I admire your strength at your job. And congrats on the 12 lbs...I think I found it!
    Connie

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  24. That had to be so difficult, but being the nurse you are, you were there for the patient and his family when they needed a compassionate person to help them through this time.

    Hugs John.

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  25. I am sure that the man's family sensed your care and support during their difficult time. Something deeper than even you can understand or that anyone else that night could offer. In return you had the same happen when your nurse friend touched your arm.

    Congratulations on the 12lb.!

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  26. BTW, great success with WW. It is the best diet there is.
    Arleen

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  27. Sometimes it takes so little to make us feel better and I'm sure the family of the dead man are truly grateful for your care.

    12lbs is amazing, congratulations, it isn't easy.

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  28. Hugs to you, John. I remember the first time i saw someone who could have been my brother, only this man was walking, and my brother had died some time before, and i nearly drove off the road.

    Good on that nurse for giving you a squeeze and saying in that moment's touch more than a thousand words. I love those stalwart souls.

    I'm glad you could be there for the family and glad for your sake, he went early on in your shift. I can't help wondering if it helped with your grieving as well.

    Congrats on being so close to a stone lighter!

    megan

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  29. The power of touch, eh. So simple but so powerful.

    Congrats on the 12 pounds - good going!

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  30. I only hope if I'm dying in hospital I get someone as caring and sensitive as yourself to look after me, John. The worst thing must be dying and feeling that those around you are indifferent.

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  31. well done on the 12 lbs. I agree with the others you were professional, that's what you were trained to be.

    Gill in Canada

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  32. Hi hun xxxxx you are bliddy brilliant! we have mum living with us now, alzheimers and all! been a messy day, been a mop, disposable gloves and plastic pinny type of day, reminds me of when you told me of your dog's accident resembling the after affects of giving an elephant a soapy enema! it's been like that here today xxx

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  33. fq
    CHIN UP!!!
    Mabel's bowels are playing up!went skidding on my crocs all over the kitchen not 5 minutes ago!

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  34. Empathy is a wondrous quality and a particularly useful one in the nursing profession. It enables you to help ease other people's burdens, but unfortunately, it's a two-edged sword. It also allows you to feel their pain. You done good, John.

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  35. Little by little, one tiny step at a time...huge hugs. xx

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  36. How very hard that must have been for you. My darling mum died in hospital on xmas eve and me, my sister and brother had stayed at her bedside for a week before that, as she slipped away. We were all so very scared and I tell you, we just couldn't have done it without the wonderful support we had from the nurses. It meant more than I could ever say, and I'm sure your patient's family felt the same. Take care of yourself. xx

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  37. Just caught up on your blog John - shitty week at work.
    You have some good work colleagues - that's what counts xx
    Well done with the weight loss !
    Jane

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