Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sad Day

If you're looking for a chipper, cheerful post, move along.  This is about my okay day turned sad.

Remember the elderly returning patient I was talking about that was going downhill?  Yeah.  She died tonight.  And just in a matter of minutes.  We'll call her P.  I went to deliver dinner to her and the nurse just came out and said she won't be eating; she's palliative.  Oh.  Okay.  I carried on.  I got a call for a new meal tray for a patient that transferred in from ER.  I consulted with her nurse and asked if she was lucid (knowing some elderly aren't) and if I could approach her about what she'd like for dinner.  She gave the O.K but warned that Bed 2 just passed and not to tell her yet as she didn't know.  "P?" I said.  "Yeah."  *sigh*  "Geez, okay," I said.  And this was just within a span of not even 30 minutes.  I was as cheerful as possible with Bed 1 while feeling horrible.. well, both for her (knowing what's just happened beside her) and Bed 2 (P.) having died alone.  No one should die alone.

I suspect her daughters were called while being diagnosed palliative because they were there when I delivered the tray to Bed 1.  They were crying their eyes out.  I had to drop off the tray, make sure she was situated and leave as soon as possible or I was going to cry, too.  I wanted to tell the daughters (that I'd come to know so well) that I was so sorry and offer my condolences... but I couldn't even look at them.

I'm sorry.  This post is a bit of babble, isn't it.  I will offer one last piece of information; I didn't know Bed 1 was elderly (hence the 'lucid' question, as not all elderly are).  I don't know what it was, just instinct kicked in.  I had to be in that room at that time for a reason.  I don't know what that reason is.  I could have just given Bed 1 a 'regular' tray.  Anyhoo....


Bix said...

Very sad and touching story. Thank you for sharing it.

hydra said...

I think people often 'choose' to die alone. Both my parents did. And my grandma, who lived with us. I was 15, woke with a funny instinct about her, crept downstairs at about 6am and there she was, looking very peaceful and about 20 years younger. Dad passed half an hour after my mum and sister, who had been at the hospital all day, had gone home. And Mum lived alone in Liverpool, I was in bed in London with the flu and my sister was on holiday. Mum hadn't even been ill. Sometimes I think it is having the living around them that keeps their spirit hanging on. Very, very sad though.

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