Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My little rant

Everyday we walk through those EMS doors into the ER hoping for a good shift. We put up our walls to protect ourselves from the evil, sadness, shocking emotions and event we witness within our department. However, sometimes our walls that we built to keep us detached are not strong enough. All of us have the patients that we will always remember. For me I remember the ones that I could not help, or the ones that remind me how fragile life really is.
Today, I received a letter in the mail. It was from a child that I had taken care a few years back. Every year, on the same date, he sends me a little gift and note. I keep all of them tuck away where I do not see them and I cannot be reminded of that night I first encountered him. He and his family do not mean any harm. They are just sending their thanks and letting me know that I had made a change in their lives. Now, with that said, I became a nurse because I wanted to be able to make a change people’s lives. I did not know then, that making a helping someone would ever be painful.
So here is the story. Child is on vacation with father and they are driving to the child’s birthday party. It was a very dark, rainy night with thunderstorm warnings and tornados watches out. Drunk driver came across and struck the vehicle that the child and father were in. Father died instantly on impact and his body pinned the child down in the car. It took over 3 hours to get this child out. He then came to me. He had many injuries and his closest family was three states away. I took care of him, and when he would fall asleep, he would wake up in screaming. There was nothing that I could do to comfort him, but sit with him, hold him, and pray he did not ask about his father. His family that was driving in wanted to be the ones to tell, which I understand, but hell the boy already knew. He would tell me over and over what happened and finally, he just asked for the truth, which I was could not tell him. A few of us nurses ended up staying with him for the day while his family was on the way up. I felt guilty leaving him because I would hope that in the same situation someone would try to comfort my child. We had switch from acting as a nurse and now was acting as a protective mothers. As nurses, we tend to band together to protect our patients, especially children. The child had four older brothers, who are the ones that came to get him. For some reason the child had bonded with me and I to him. So every year he now sends me a thank you thinking of you letter.
Many ask why it bothers me so much. Shouldn’t I be happy that I did make a difference in someone’s life? So here is the back-story. I had two children who were killed by a drunk driver at the age of 6months and 3 years on my older son’s birthday. The night this child came in was the anniversary of their death and was the same age my child would have been if he was alive. It also did not help that he had the same name as my older son.
Here’s the point. Many people go through, read our medical blogs, and wonder how we can be so cold and find humor in everything. Our jokes and laughing are a way that we protect ourselves from everything that we see and hear. Moreover, there are times that our patient’s stories and situations break though our protective walls.

1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry for your loss, I am also a bereaved mother, my son died 9-28-03.