Sunday, June 9, 2013

Note to Self: His mercies are new every morning...

Right now I am supposed to be reading “Ladies and Gentlemen, to the Gas Chamber” and every time I switch my browser to my school's page I just can't seem to get up the mental fortitude to go there. I keep thinking about the week that I had... four very long twelve hour shifts in a row. Lots of homework and lectures and tests and papers in between. Death. I am tired.

I have been a nurse in the ICU for four years now come this July. I still remember when I started this blog as  a new grad about three years ago. It doesn't feel like it has been that long but the weariness in me reminds that it has. 

I thought yesterday was going to be a good night. It has been a really rough week and my stress levels have been physically impacting me and I feel at my wits end. I needed it to be a good night. It started off with a perfectly wonderful conversation with my patient's family members about the perils of quitting smoking. We laughed over the crazy things we would all do during our peak addiction days just to get a cigarette. Laughing over things only an ex-smoker would be able to laugh about. It was nice to connect with the family, you could see that despite the severity of the situation... there was an ease. A trust that they felt things were moving in the right direction and knowing that their loved one was in very good hands. It was nice and despite my exhaustion I was thankful. 

Then not an hour into the shift I hear his wife yell out, "He's bleeding!" and immediately the flood gates open. Ruptured esophageal varices that eventually found its way out of his mouth and nose with force. The next four hours were a furry of attempting to get the bleeding under control with massive transfusions of blood products and a procedure to clip the bleed in his GI tract. His poor family was ushered out to the waiting room and I felt horrible. 

No, this is not a good night. Not for me... and definitely not for them. What is so difficult sometimes is knowing that despite how hard you work and all that we do to save lives... sometimes it fails.
Sometimes people die of lung cancer, probably from the 40 years of smoking a pack a day.
Sometimes people die from a GI bleed from years of binge drinking and a failing liver as a result. 
Sometimes death is peaceful and wonderfully fitting.... and sometimes it is not.

This week it was not. 

So for now, I just don't have it in me to read "Ladies and Gentlemen, to the Gas Chamber" or anything else that talks about death and sadness. Right now, I will stop and say a prayer for that family and I will spend some time here and I might also need to give these girls a call... their smiling faces and silly laughs always make the world a little better. 

Maybe tomorrow will be brighter and the world will feel a little less heavy and burdened...


  1. Sending you love and peace this week. xoxoxo

  2. I cannot even imagine how hard working in an ICU can be. Thank God for new mercies each morning ;)

  3. Thanks for doing what some can't even imagine ever doing. You make a difference.

    ~ Dad

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