Saturday, May 2, 2009

Saturday in CinCity...Knock on Wood Edition


The past 48hrs have been spent mainly in the company of three families. Two of young men who, though they believe themselves to be Supermen, in fact are not faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive or able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. One boy was going to rehab and one was going home. My third family was comprised of the descendants of a 78yr old grandfather. A guy's guy who loved to play cards with his buddies and go fishing. He'd had to leave his own home recently and moved in with one of his grandsons, but "was always doing something. You'd never see Gramps sittin' still for too long. He liked to go."

He was playing poker two afternoons ago when he developed some slurred speech and left sided weakness. He was diagnosed with an ischemic stroke of the right middle cerebral artery, given an injection of a powerful clot-busting drug without effect and sent to us. In the course of treatment for this gentleman he suffered what is called a "hemorrhagic conversion" and had a large bleed arise from the original point of damage to eventually flood and encompass the entire right side of his brain. This family made the decision to withdraw aggressive medical treatment and to provide comfort care for Gramps.

It may be luck of the draw or the whimsies of the gods, guardian angels or a fate predetermined for us in the beginning of time, but every story has its own ending. In these cases I can't disagree with the denouement. Despite the sadness I am relieved that two young men will get a second chance at living and that this funeral will not be a parent burying a child. And, for today, that's enough.

13 comments:

  1. Yes. We can get around that. I hope you get a chance to rest and play among the healthy and cussed.

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  2. Though this situation is so sad, at least grandpa was active and happy till the end. What a blessing amidst the sorrow.

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  3. Our sadness at the death of a person who has lived a full life is more empathy for the survivors. Their loss, is an emptiness for future moments that they will never have. Memories are the balm that will, over time, soothe the pain, trickling into the void to fill it with poignant smiles.
    The place for good people and good memories is in our hearts. For those who don't know what to say when faced with another's loss, ask for a memory to be revisited and shared.

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  4. This is a blessing. None of us are getting out of here alive, but better later than sooner :-).

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  5. How do you survive? My sister was a hospice nurse for a couple of years, taking up the job after my mother spent her last few weeks using the hospice to rest from everyone loving her and willing to beat the cancer. My sister stayed a few years but has moved to the area of fertility treatment and I always wonder about (and admire) the strength you guys must find deep in your souls to survive this challenging life path.

    Rest well this weekend, if the timetable allows for it.

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  6. Damn!

    I thought I was gonna get out of this alive. Actually, I thought anyone I loved was gonna get out of this alive OR I'd get to be dead before I was bereaved. Wrong again...

    Damn!

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  7. I agree with Southern Drawl wholeheartedly.

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  8. And the unsung heroes of these situations are people like you. Your last two sentences say it all.

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  9. hey---you really need a day off, preferably on a beach with the drinks of your choice. I am so thankful for people like you-- who do what you do so well--blessings c

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  10. It's so hard to lose a young patient, and I'm glad you didn't. Somehow, it's easier when these things follow a natural progression, isn't it?

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  11. I find reading your posts are hugely humbling, every second of every day there are huge emotional human stories unfolding and the plebs amongst us get not to think about it. The thing is.. we should. Thank you for writing so honestly and beautifully.

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  12. I just don't know how you do it. But I sure am grateful that you do--both your work and your blog.

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  13. I've been thinking about you a lot this past week. My husband's 73 year old mother was in a bad car accident last Wednesday & was air-lifted to Charlotte (she lives in Lincolnton NC). She's been in the Carolinas Medical Center NUICU ever since. She had no injuries other than to her head - surgery to remove (relieve?) blood clots behind her left ear was successful. On Sunday she woke up & recognized us - & started talking about how it was the other driver's fault LOL. We were so relieved - we didn't know how much there was still there. We loved each & every other one of her nurses - bless 'em all!

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Hey, thanks for your thoughts and your time:>)