Weary

The worst thing about being a doctor is taking away hope with your words.

You can see it die. If you’re not numbed by repetition, you can feel it, too.

One of my patients had been hit by a car, and he was in the ICU barely hanging onto life. The pressure in his head was so high that it interfered with our ability to manage his other medical problems; everything we did had to be balanced against the intracranial pressure. Our hands were basically tied. We did everything. But he kept on deteriorating.

Today I told his sister that his kidneys had finally failed, joining his liver and his heart. I could see in her eyes that that was the moment she knew he was gone.

He only lasted eight more hours.

Sometimes you fight and you fight and you fight and you fight……

And you still lose.

Here I stand, spent and empty, with nothing more to struggle against. All I can do is watch his sister grieve.

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Published in: on November 9, 2011 at 6:06 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Grief and loss should never be mitigated, especially when it comes so fast and sudden.

    However, I truly to not think you lose in cases like this. Like any other profession that provides very basic, lifesaving service, you are stepping above the normal will and ability of your fellow human beings. Had you not been there, the hope that many cling to in times of trial would have never even been born. In this case, you lost the fight. It is easy to dwell on the fact, and god knows I’ve done the same in my dissimilar line of work. The downfall to being a caregiver is that you care, and caring leaves you vulnerable to pain and heartbreak.

    It would be nice to be able to say that the lives you save could balance out the bad experiences, but we all know that will never be true. Each case has a real person involved. No case is unique.

    The important thing is that you are there.

  2. *hug*


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