Monday, December 31, 2007

Return trip

I was on call last night, just third call but there was a donor in progress so that put me to run referals so that the next day's 1st call could go and do OR fresh in the morning. Just as my head hit the pillow, my boss called me. She needed me to go see on old man across the city in a hospital about 50 min away. I pulled my body out of bed, I was so tired, and threw on a sweatshirt and scrub bottoms and jumped in my car and prepared myself with my ipod for the long drive. Once I arrived, I did my business. The pt wasn't brain dead, we would just follow. I left and thought, looong drive home and when I am almost home, my boss calls me again. Same hospital is calling in another referal. I scream WHAT?! into the phone and exit the next exit. I'm told to turn around and go see him, the nurse says he is brain dead and absent reflexes... oh wow, another 40 min back. I drive back feeling dejavu in my return trip, get out of my car and paste a smile on my face as I walk back in the ICU. I was just here, they could have called me then but they didn't. I walk back in smiling and the charge RN notices and apologizes and says she is sorry, and thank you for still smiling. I shrug, its my job... I can't be mad. Its what I do and I know they are busy... I can forgive it once. So I sit down to look at the chart and talk to the nurse. So they pt is brain dead I say, she says yes. I go through all the reflexes with her. Cough? No. Gag? no Corneals? no. Is he breathing on his own? No. Flexing? No. I chart all this but something tells me to go see first hand. Usually I dont do this, as there are 10 family members in the room, two in wheel chairs and its just cruel to ask them to leave sometimes. But I needed to know for sure and something in her affect tells me to double check. Once family is gone, I head in with the nurse in tow. I start with corneals. Yes they are there. I sigh... ok next. He has a STRONG gag and cough and continues to cough after I suction. Ok. He postures when I suction. Big sigh... ok. He isn't brain dead and I educate the RN on the nuero assessment which I feel should be something she is capable of doing correctly in an ICU? Correct me if I am wrong here. I talk over the plan, leave a note and head back home, praying I will make it back to my bed. 3 hrs later after I am originally called, I am back asleep. Little do I know the same ICU calls in another referal! My boss tells them, forget it. We have had someone there twice already tongiht, someone will come by in the morning first thing. Thank god because I would've had to go postal on them, and no smile this time.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I saw this in the hospital restroom, hanging on the wall...

The Invitation
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for lovefor your dreamfor the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your ownwithout moving to hide itor fade it
or fix it.I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayaland not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithlessand therefore trustworthy.I
want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not prettyevery day.
And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,“Yes.”
It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have
.I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despairweary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will standin the centre of the fire
with meand not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains youfrom the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keepin the empty moments.

Friday, December 28, 2007


Some quotes that are my favorites and that I use on a daily basis while doing this job:

"Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. " Newt

"Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Of all that is good, sublimity is supreme. Succeeding is the coming together of all that is beautiful. Furtherance is the agreement of all that is just. Perseverance is the foundation of all actions. " Lao Tzu

"When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on". ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

"When people show anger and malice , listen for truth in the message, ignoring the way it was said"

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hospital from Hell

Well, I started this blog and then quit. But I think I will continue it for myself, and I really dont care much who reads it, but its a good way for me to log what has happened and something for me to look back on, not to mention the therpeutic part to it.

This am I was back on call after having 8 days off over Christmas. Last night I read a man's blog, about receiving a set of lungs from a 17 year old girl. I had been sitting there griping to myself about going back to work and it set me strait really fast. I thought "hey you, most people dont have jobs like you do, most people sit at desks all day, do the computer, sell insurance, but look what you get to do the next 7 days on call, you get to make a real difference for someone, for many people, and that is so priceless in many ways." I thought, ok priorities strait, I'm ready to go back to work tomorrow. I woke up cheary and ready to go, and got a page around 8 from a local trauma center who had an older lady who met brain death criteria and was told the doctor will be in shortly to do an apnea exam to declare her. Her daughter wants her to be a donor.

I drove to the hospital, thinking what an amazing family. Here they are right after Christmas, and they are thinking of others at this horrible time. I was honored to be going to help them. I arrived, was told that the doctor wasn't there yet. Dealt with some unruly RTs who were upset about having to work, a nurse who moved about .00005 mph... and doctors who wouldn't come into delcare the patient brain dead so that we could procede. I spent the next 4 hours, trying to get someone, anyone into to do THEIR JOB, but no one would. No one would support the patient either and her blood pressure fell because of the DI. So in the end, I had to tell this family "I'm sorry but your mother can't be a donor because the doctors wont come in". I felt sick, there was nothing I could do and it pissed me off that this hospital let it happen. The charge RN, the Hosp admin RN, no one would do anything. The doc took 3 hours just to call back, making this family wait this whole time. It so sad that this was denied them. I hope to never be a patient there ever, but no I will eventually have to go back as a coordinator...

So I am sitting at the office, upset that someone today wont have the opportunity to receive what this family had to give because of tis hospital staff. I want to say that I hope one day they are in that position and someone does that to them, but I would never wish that on anyone, would never wish that anyone was denied that life saving gift that that family so unselfishly had to offer. My discust with this hospital is pretty deep right now. I need to get back in the ring and take it out on my instructor when I get back to class soon. :)