Sunday, September 29, 2013

bring in the mother

It's one of those days when a patient codes repeatedly, and the other patients nearby decide to try to follow. Pressors are flying, crash carts are rolling, and alarms are going off. We've been severely understaffed, and our patients have been even sicker than usual. So sick that we've been triaging filters... who needs one the most? Take from sick to give to the sicker.

As we were coding her for the third time, her grown son came in. He held her hand, he whimpered "Mom... mom... come back... mom...." Then her mother was brought in in a wheelchair. Her face broke my heart. She kept saying, "oh my baby, my baby."

There was a moment when I felt that I, too, was back in a hospital room, the doctors telling me they could do nothing else. They took her body away, they took me away to OR, and I awoke crying out, "Oh my baby, my baby..."

They never had to tell us to stop. We couldn't get her back the fourth time. She was finally gone.

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