I live and work in the house medicine. You would think that those of us who have chosen this profession would actually know what dying looks like. Furthermore, one would hope that if the doctor could identify dying, he or she could share this with the patient and family (given that this is fairly significant medical information!). Continue reading
Ok, so the ER is not the place where you can usually find ER doctors jumping for joy, but certainly stranger things have happened there…so, why not? Continue reading
Her skin was smooth and unblemished. She had the legs of a dancer and wore a pair of well used running shoes. Her hair was delicately curled, a pale blonde hue. Her firm mounding breasts, which were pointing toward the ceiling, undulated under the pulsations of the Lucas Chest compression device (see this sample video). Continue reading
Many years ago when I was a “young” doctor, moonlighting in the ER of a tiny country town, I had an experience that challenged my training. You see, most “young”, “new” doctors often think their training and knowledge is superior to that of “old” doctors…which is often…malarkey! A wise and sage “old” doctor in this tiny country town taught me an important lesson on where and how one should die. Continue reading
Mom was just shy of 91, an independent living, driving, cooking, shopping, bridge playing, charming Southern gal. Raised on a South Georgia cotton farm, she was confident, well liked, with lots of friends. Continue reading
Throughout the course of my career I have probably been with hundreds of people as they transitioned into AND out of death. Although I am familiar with what this journey looks like, I have not yet been privy to the journey myself. Rarely though, I have had the pleasure of listening to someone who has journeyed back from death and arrived with a story to tell. Regardless of your position on the validity of near death experiences, take this one for what it’s worth to you-
If you are 15 years old and you are walking to school and are hit by a car and you are dying, this is an emergency.
If you are 85 years old and you are out doing your morning walk and are hit by a car and are dying, this is an emergency.
An unexpected dying at any age is an emergency.
In contrast, there are many people dying of advanced chronic and terminal illnesses whose dying should really NOT be an emergency. Yet these poor people come to the Emergency Department for help because they do not know two very important things: Continue reading
In an alternate universe, I would get on TV and as a public service announcement
I would say: “If you are very elderly or terminally Ill please don’t come to my ER To die, please instead choose to die in the safety and comfort of your own home.” Continue reading
I have been an ICU and ER nurse for 16 years and during this time I have seen very few, if any patients or family members that have been “prepared” to die. I have seen a lot of miracles that have kept people alive, but never have viewed a death as a miracle, until the case of “Mrs. Elizabeth”.
I am often described as a sassy, confident, lip-gloss wearing trauma nurse who does not mind “telling it like it is” or stating my opinion. When I am doing my job critical or not, I am very focused and serious and feel that I have to hold back my emotions to provide the best care for my patient. This said, my co-workers are shocked when I get upset over a patient or when I become gentle and sweet because I am moved by a patient experience. Continue reading