Friday, August 21, 2015

It's been a tough week.  I'm still not feeling good.  So tired.  Some tough patients too. 

One young woman, twenty-six I think, with three small kids, the youngest two months old.  Diagnosed with gastric cancer.

An older women came to us yesterday, an inpatient, with a query bowel perforation.  It was a gastric perforation.  She was transferred to the U but died before they could operate.  Her husband was in shock.

A very young woman with lymphoma, a ten month old baby and an obvious pregnancy, denying she was pregnant.  Too much stress I'm thinking, leading directly to denial.

My very sick patient from two weeks ago died after only four days.  His wife was in shock when they left us for the U.

On the upside I have a new heckler.  When I first started working at the cancer clinic I had a patient who heckled me.  He heckled me while I started his IV and he continued from the waiting room as I started IVs for other patients.  He was my heckler for 3.5 years.  We became friends and I would make cake for him when he came in for scans.  Sadly he died in March.  But today I had a patient who heckled me in front at the reception desk.  It's was all about diarrhea, something only nurses would find funny.  She gave me a hard time and made me laugh.  I needed a patient like that today. 

It's cold outside, snow in the mountains today.  I have my jammies on and I'm going to bed early. 


  1. I know I have said it before but your patients are so blessed to have you. I know your job weighs on you but you make a difference.

  2. It must be beyond difficult to work with so many sick patients, but you have such a grace about you when you describe your work with them and the people themselves. You're so caring. I know that if I were sick, I would hope my caregivers would be like you. I hope you are able to get some downtime and replenish yourself.

  3. A fellow blogger (TellingSecrets) works in hospice care and wrote this prayer. I hope it helps.

    May the passion you have for life fire the compassion you have for others.

    May you know that when you do small things with great love you change lives.

    May the blessings you receive mean more than the hours you work.

    May you remember to keep both feet on the ground while tending to those who have one foot in heaven.

    May you be grateful that your daily encounter with death and dying brings you a deeper appreciation of life and living.

    May you never lose sight of the fact that it’s not the length but the depth of life that really matters.

    May your work be grounded in the knowledge that grief is the emotional, physical and spiritual price you pay for the priceless gift of love, and that the only cure for grief is grieving.

    May you know that while no one may build a monument in your name, the way you make your mark in this life is by erasing the frown on someone’s brow.

    And, may you start each day remembering the last words spoken by Steve Jobs before he died: “Oh wow! Oh wow! Oh wow!”


  4. I can see why you are tired. Still, you make a difference in these people's lives. How wonderful that must be, for them and for you. I am a bit in awe of you right now. You know how when people meet servicemen and women and they thank them for their service? I want to thank you for your service to the sick and the dying. I lost my mother this year after a very long illness and lots of suffering. The kindness of the nurses, aides, and technicians made her so happy in her final years. She truly loved and appreciated them all. The world seemed less bleak.