Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Plea

I have a sneaking suspicion that there is no such thing as a coincidence. I was assigned to opthamology today. So it just so happened that I anesthetized the patient that I examined yesterday. Today, however, she was much more anxious.

After finding a very small vein to administer the anesthetic drugs, I continued with my preparations for inducing anesthesia. Then with tears in her eyes, the patient gasped a choked plea, "I don't want to die."

I reassured her, that I would take care of her and that I would be by her side the entire time. She seemed more calm.

I applied the oxygen mask to her face, asked her to breath deeply and began to administer the drugs. Again I told her that she would be OK. She quietly said, "I love you," and lost consiousness.

Later, in the PACU (post anesthesia care unit aka recovery room), I greeted her and told her that she was out of surgery. She asked with disbelief, "I fell asleep?"
"Yes", I replied, "The operation went well and and it's all over, you're doing just fine."

She then just held my hand for a while.


SeaSpray said...

Oh Sandman... I am brushing tears from my watering eyes after reading this post.

It strikes a chord within me which I mentioned in my post when I said I was afraid to have the reconstructive surgery because I am considered high risk.

Basically..somehow..despite all the other surgeries... I became afraid of dying. I know I am not a good candidate for open surgery. i was 33 with my last c-section. I am 54 now and this surgery would be 3 hrs vs c-sect time frame, etc., etc.

Now..I do have a strong faith in God and believe when it's your time it's your time.

How many times have you seen patients that were expected to die pull through and patients that weren't expected at all to die.. die? I believe it was their time.

And yet..I have resisted.

I am glad I have and am hopeful this time my ureter is staying open and as I said..I will know for sure in October.

So..I cried when I read of your interaction with this woman and can imagine her fear...which I do believe is opposite of faith.

I do like what Sid Schwab said once when he wrote something like ...a patient is never safer than in the oR when everything is being monitored and staff is around them. I am sure he was more articulate but that is the gist. It did comfort me to learn that.
But I understood.

You were terrific with her. Your patients are blessed to have such a thoughtful DR at their side. :)

Unknown said...

Again Seaspray, you flatter me, thanks.

SnowLite said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chrysalis said...

Popping in to let you know I've put you in my reader.

Sad no new post after The King of Swing. :(

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