It's nearly the end of March. I cannot believe it. I swear each year flies by faster than the last. The hospital continues to be at max capacity. I don't recall it ever being like this before & that is even with all the people complaining of chest pain via ambulance are diverted to the bigger cardiac type hospitals. I have heard a rumor though that our hospital is going to start focusing on increasing their cardiac procedures - as obviously the need for it is great. I wish we would open up a cardiac only floor. I would love to work in that specific area. Maybe my wish will come true one day.
Speaking of cardiology, I had a patient last week who had multiple things wrong with him - the main one being that his cancer had spread all throughout his body. His blood pressure sat in the 150-160 range systolically and the doctors seemed comfortable with those results. The last morning I had him, his blood pressure rose to the 180's systolically. It was nearly 4 am & I questioned whether this result could be delayed by say an hour - before calling the doctor. I mean it wasn't like his blood pressure was normally 110 or 120 & jumped up to 180. It was 160 to 180...not a huge increase. So as I sat there & debated with myself whether to call & wake up the cardiologist...the phone rang. I answered the phone & guess who....the cardiologist...calling me out of the blue...lol. He was asking me what the first name of this patient was - the same one that had the higher blood pressure. I laughed to myself & thought "how weird is this right now???" I gave him the answer & said "By the way - while I have you on the phone, his blood pressure is this..." He said that was fine, leave it alone. I hung up the phone wondering...seriously...what are the chances of this ever happening at 4 am?
This week was going well...I worked Sat & Sun nights. It was pretty uneventful. Well - until Monday morning. A co-worker & I were waiting to get our yearly PPD shots. The reason we were waiting was because a code blue had been called about 10 minutes earlier & whoever was doing the PPD shots - ran to the code. So we waited & eventually I could tell by the looks on other co-workers leaving the floor that the code was not a success. Another co-worker quickly updated us on who had coded & although she wasn't my patient at the time - I did have her as a patient back in December. I didn't write about it at the time as it was right before Christmas & very sad. She was in her early 30's who came to the hospital because she had trouble swallowing. They initially thought it was pneumonia...only to find out it was 3 or 4 large tumors on her esophagus. Basically she had stage 4 cancer...that is the worst stage there is. She was married and had 3 children at home. Her room was decorated with a Christmas tree & presents back then since she would be spending Christmas in the hospital.
Fast forward approx 3 months & she is the one that they called a code on. As I was processing all of this information, her sister was being led by the ICU nurse to the waiting room and I heard her crying on the cell phone to her mother while saying "She's gone, Mom, she's gone." I keep hearing those words over & over. I came home & couldn't stop replaying those words in my head. I felt miserable. I tried to sleep...took 1 Tylenol PM. I had a sore throat, headache, still not sleepy. So I took 1 Sominex and layed down again. I could not sleep. I ended up calling off from work - because I can't go in with no sleep in over 24 hours & then work another 12 hours. I was tired, but couldn't sleep. Eventually I did fall asleep around 5 pm until 11 pm. I ate, watched tv & went back to sleep & woke up at 7 am.
I feel better today. I'm getting some things accomplished, but still think about that family who lost someone at such a young age. I don't know why it's affecting me - I usually am so good at keeping everything at work. Maybe I'm just more sensitive at the moment. I don't know.
It's just a major reminder that life isn't fair and you have to make the best of it while you still can.
On a good note - I have tickets to see Tim McGraw on May 11th. I cannot wait! I'm also seeing Lifehouse on April 16th. Soooo looking forward to getting out & hearing some good music.
I hope everyone is having a good week!