Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My deepest fear

I met my deepest fear today. Her name is Jackie.

She is mostly paralyzed from the neck down, but she can breathe on her own and has very limited mobility of her right arm.

She rarely gets out of bed, though she gets up to a wheelchair occasionally if she needs to go anywhere. No motorized wheelchair for her. She can't move her arm/hand well enough to control it.

She can't talk. She can nod yes or no.

She was in a freak traffic accident one day while driving home from work. It happened at low speeds on a residential street.

She suffered a traumatic brain injury and her spinal cord was shredded at C4-C5.

She knows everything that is going on around her and to her.

She can do nothing.

If that ever happens to me, I expect one of you to show up in my hospital room with a 1000 unit bolus of regular insulin.

22 comments:

ERnursey said...

In a heartbeat sister. Please tell me you'll return the favor.

Joeymom said...

If you ended up like that, I'd show up in your room with a whole array of communication devices designed for limited mobility, so you can start cussing me out.

I'd probably start here:
http://enablingdevices.com/catalog

codeblog said...

I will if you will.

GuitarGirlRN said...

Seriously. I'm in on the insulin pact, man. That or a really strong foam pillow for a few minutes.

Strings said...

heh... Dad actually made me promise to, if he's stuck in some sort of "asisted living" arrangement and unable to end things himself, end them for him. NOT a promise I want to keep...

may said...

maybe 20 mg of dialudid for me? i don't know. these things always make me sad, and i swear, no matter how many times i see it, i will never get used to it.

Azathoth100 said...

Definatly not anyway that anyone wants to live a life. Despite what some people say sometimes death is the preferable option. I hope if it ever comes to that I have at least someone in my life that will finish the job.

mielikki said...

I'm so with you on this one.

GeorgeH said...

My greatest fear too.

I'll do what I have to for a friend and they for me. If necessary, I can survive prison better than anyone can survive that.

NocturnalRN said...

I so agree! I have told my moms that if I was ever in a situation like this and she did not do something, I would haunt the hell out of her when I finally did go. What a sad patient!

Amy said...

I live and work among my deepest fear every day- scrambled chromosomes and Swiss-cheese brains. Fortunately, my and my kid's chromosomes are all in order, but you never know how and when you might end up with a Swiss-cheese brain. Just because you can save someone's body doesn't mean you can save their life.

CrankyProf said...

Count me in, if there's reciprocity.

Loving Annie said...

Monkeygirl,
I will if you will.

Tha just made me ache for her. How horrible.

ER Tech Dude said...

I'm with you on this one.

Ereshkigal said...

Thanks so much for posting this. I'm with you guys on this one. I know my mom's wishes are that if her brain is gone, she's gone, but we never considered anything like this, where the brain is functional but you're unable to communicate. I'm going to ask her the first chance I get.

Just a reminder to everyone to set someone up in an advance health care directive who will speak for you when things like this happen. My mom has chosen my uncle, but both my sister and I know what her wishes are. Mom's reason for choosing my uncle? We all know that whoever has to make the choice is going to end up being hit with a lot of anger by the others. My uncle is willing to deal with it so that my sister and I will be able to rely on each other.

Eric, AKA The Pragmatic Caregiver said...

My vote is for fentanyl before the insulin. Just once, I'd like to experience what those who inhabit the ER and skulk around the pharmacy see in opiates, without having to worry about the sequelae.

E

Ben said...

Maybe Heroin? Pure, make it a double. Shaken, not stirred.

They say it's the best high you can get. I wanna leave seeing nice butterfly.

Mom's a retired nurse, so she asked me(student paramedic), I asked her, and both my older clones asked both of us.

pixie.dust said...

Ditto. Eeep.

DW said...

I'm in, a room with a view and he last thing you see is a twinkle on the horizon.
If you couldn't do it that way for me, use your best judgement, just don't get caught. I have no preferance as to method, just don't let the cats get me.

Mother Jones RN said...

Amen, girl.

Anonymous said...

I think that those of us who actually have to work with you would enjoy just a few minutes of you not being able to speak, then I could hook you up!

Nurse K said...

Make it Humalog and we're on. Regular takes too long to work, and I'd probably change my mind and hitcha with 50 boluses of D50 out of guilt.