Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Long days in the ICU

There is a methodical approach to pronouncing someone as "Dead." This in itself isn't very difficult to do once you've done it more than a few times. Pondering on the existential or metaphysical meaning of being "dead" is more complex and doing so might take you to uncomfortable places. Still each of us can embrace its meaning depending on our religious or existential stance. However, by far the most uncomfortable and difficult part of all is standing in front of a grieving family and explaining how despite all efforts, you have failed at "saving" their love one. The family standing there expecting you to save them as if it's possible to turn back time-- like if you're some kind of god.

After breaking bones and inserting tubes in every hole you can imagine... You walk out from these rooms feeling defeated.

Then it happens that just when you're about to sit and ponder with hindsight how differently you could've managed the patient, you're interrupted by a loud intercom calling, "Code Blue, room XXX." Someone is about to pass into that bright light and you're being summoned to bring them back---for better or worse... I reckon it's better to remain occupied and physically exhausted than sitting down feeling sorry for yourself. I'm reminded of that box from two years ago...

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself
                          -DH Lawrence


Shafaq said...

Head regarding ICU raising my goose bumps, a bad life experience in ICU…

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