Friday, July 04, 2008

On the Fourth

It's July 4th and I could hardly crawl out from under the covers. My body exhausted and my mind numb, it's been a long, long time since I had a week as horrific as the one that ends tomorrow.

With a major influx of wounded warriors with life changing injuries I was quickly overwhelmed within two days. On the third work day I learned my WIA patient had catastrophic brain damage and would not recover. I spent my entire shift completing the tests necessary to determine brain death and assisting the grieving family any way I could. Toward the end of the shift decisions had been made and my patient was taken off all life supporting measures and died with family at the bedside. Their grief tore at my heart and I cried with and for them.

The fourth and final day wasn't much better and I am grateful now to have time off. Today I had no plans on this special holiday of our independence. I had several offers but in the end couldn't bring myself to leave the quiet comfort of my home. Sometimes the sorrow that arises from doing this job can be devastating; even if you're only on the sidelines.


ed said...

Your description is so vivid ..and heartbreaking. I wish you strength. When I read/hear of the incredible darkness faced by you and others every day I wonder how you do it. The fact that you are there, giving what is best in humanity, is a force of light and good. I hope it helps you to know that.


Earl said...

Find the quiet corner, dim the lights, put the blues on, or some classical gems for healing. But don't stay alone too long, a bit of brightness and real smiles of love and life are needed to help healing. There isn't enough healing inside you to cover yourself, too. Do take care and remember we are watching and caring about you and your good work.