Thursday, September 18, 2008

Holding Each Other Up.

What a beautiful day.
The sun was out, it wasn't too hot, and we got into some people.
What a beautiful day.

The above image is a painting by Susan Seddon Boulet, and I believe it's entitled "Isis and Osiris," a myth I've loved since I was a child.
It ties into healing; how Isis loves her brother so much that she hunts down his body parts and puts him back together. The image of her cradling him in her wings is a very powerful one- he seems to float in this peaceful space even though he was just recently utterly destroyed. It's what love can do: make us whole.

Today was amazing: we had good news; we had bad news. One woman in our clinical group described the honor she had in spending what she knew (and her patient knew) were the last moments/hours in his life together. She was there with the patient and the chaplain, and was able to be a part of an in-depth conversation about death/dying and fear, and ways to live even in death. She teared up as she described this experience, and wondered how the hell one walks out of the room, into the beeping, the lights, the rush of the rest of the floor- so *alive* and bustling- while still keeping it together.
I don't have an answer for her, except that I don't keep it together all the time.
Her story made my heart ache, and even now, even when I should be going to bed, my thoughts are with my classmate, because I have no idea how the hell I'd deal with that situation either. How beautiful to be a part of someone's death, to be wanted in one of the most intimate lonely times in our lives, yet to feel so helpless-
As our new clinical instructor said, "You can't just say 'I know how you feel,' because, well, you haven't died."
Good point.
Speaking of, someone who I thought *was* going to die is alive and well and back on my floor. A patient I had 4 weeks in a row, I was ecstatic to see her doing so incredibly well, better than I've ever seen. She received a new organ, and it shows. We were able to talk today about her favorite pesto recipe- I swear that sometimes, patients just need to be reminded about life outside the hospital, and they often instantly perk up or become a bit "better" just by thinking about not being sick.
I had an ecstatic day. I learned a lot, worked with one of my favorite nurses (a guy who totally rocks), really helped out the patient that I had- I actually *felt* like a patient advocate, AND I got to see a rockstar ICU nurse/CCRN whom I adore in the ICU. Which I buzzed through for a moment to see if she was there.
Stellar. Day.

I also got to hang out in radiology/ultrasound for a bit, and saw a kidney, about 6 hours post-transplant, that was functional. It made me overjoyed for my patient, and it was an excellent learning experience as I asked the resident to teach me how to read what was on the screen. Awesome.

Okay, not much, and everything, and I'm exhausted. 12 hours tomorrow too.
This quarter is a bit easier, but I can't tell if it's a time thing or just the fact that we're used to school.

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