Friday, February 27, 2009

In Times like these....

These past 2 weeks have been busy. "Busy crazy" as I call it. I returned from a week away and scrambled to catch up. Surprisingly, despite the busy-ness of it all, I have been very focused. More so than in the longest time. My first week back, I was on call. That means from 6 or 8 p.m. I carry a pager and respond when it goes off. The first day I had it, it went off at 2:30 a.m. I called in to find out that the staff were in the middle of a code (complete with CPR) and that the family member was on their way up to the ward. I made it there is 30 minutes instead of the usual hour. I guess it is partly due to the lack of traffic on the usually crowded highways...

Then when I was there supporting the family member, I was paged by another unit saying that a patient had died and that the family would like an Anglican minister to come and pray. At 4 in the morning, it was unlikely that I would find anyone as I think we mostly have office numbers as contact. So I went and prayed with them even though I am not Anglican, then I went back upstairs to continue with family #1. I got home when I would normally be getting up and "slept in" going back to work for 10 a.m.

This week has been busy as well. Referals about patients who are depressed and want to die. They "want to go to sleep and not wake up" or they are just "tired of being sick". I have been watching some of my long-term patients (people I have known for many months, and in some cases, many years) decline. Loosing their physical function, or cognitive status -- not knowing where they are, when did they last talk to their family member (yesterday or 2 hours ago), or going into cardiac arrest.

Yesterday, I attended a code blue before I left that day. The patient's family was there and I knew them all pretty well. I actually cried when I left them. It is hard to see patients crash. It is hard to leave them while the story is still playing out...

This morning I was thinking about the patient who crashed before I left. They "aren't really religious". The family has church afilliations but they have not been active for a number of years due to working schedules and health status. And for some reason, the verse of a hymn that I learned as a child came to my head. This is what I have to offer them...

In times like these, we need a Savior.
In times like these,
we need an anchor.
Be very sure, Be very sure,

Your anchor holds and grips the solid Rock

My he
ad messes up and says "be very sure your anchor hold through the storms of life" which alludes to another hymn, "Will your anchor hold in the storms of life?"

That is what a lot of people need in their lives, is to know that when life's storms come, that they are strong enough to weather it, and won't crash into the sea of turmoil. But also to know that should they crash into the sea, that there is someone to help pull them out. A friend, a brother, a mom, a nurse, a doctor, ... a caring soul... who won't let them go down alone.

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