No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to keep from getting emotionally involved with my patients.
Happened again today and last week. Last week a little boy we'd taken care of died (he had progressive cancer that spread throughout his body; he was only four years old), and today we got a girl in our unit who has multiple medical problems.
Tegan Brooke Green is six years old; she was born with spina bifida, vision problems, and has severe scoliosis. She was admitted to the PICU because of worsening respiratory problems (caused in part by her spine curvature; it's compromising her lungs).
She's stabilized now; however she's on a ventilator, and the doctors have given her paralytic drugs to keep her knocked out, to keep her from yanking out the tubes.
We are trying to be positive regarding Tegan Brooke's prognosis; yet like so many of the kids here, her problems are severe, out of our hands. It is up to God if a child lives or dies; we try to help them through their injury/accident/illness, but those who are terminally or chronically ill will never really have a complete break from their situation.
I don't know how many times I've wished for a child to recover from severe burns, injuries or illness without incident or wish that a child who had no hope whatsoever would mercifully die so they wouldn't have to suffer any longer.
I've spent more time lately talking to bereaved parents about their children dying or telling parents that things don't look encouraging for their child.
All we can do at the present time is keep them comfortable, free from as much pain as possible, or keep their vital signs in check; if something goes wrong, we can do our best to change things, pray that the child improves or comes out of the crisis intact.
Well, the tones are sounding off again. Wonder who's crashing this time; I tell you life in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit is NEVER dull even for a moment!
~Written by Kerry Weaver, RN.