Over twelve years ago I met a wonderful patient. She was a DNR patient with less than one month to live. She was filled with intense pleasure to care of something that she believed in which was human beings no matter their race or where they came from.
She was 69years old in the hospital. I was lucky to be one of her nurse.But she was more like a mother and a sister to me. We had a lot in common such as we are funny, serious and compliance to all plans. I took excellent care of her for atleast two weeks.
I came to work everyday because of her. I didn’t see any family members come to visit her.She had cervical metastatic cancer that had spread everywhere and amputation of her right leg.
She was on tube feeding and IV fluid D545NS at 50ml/hr and Glucerna 1.5 at 55ml/hr flush with 10ml of water Q6hours. She got her medications as scheduled, linen changed every day to keep her comfortable. Turn and reposition Q2hours and prn for pressure redistribution and to provide comfort. She ask questions and jokes a lot ,she has accepted her situation and ready for whatever the consequence is. She said to me one day, “I am ready but I don’t think that my family are ready for me to go”.Well they will surely get over it.I replied, please don’t say that you’re not going anywhere.
She had advance Directive and a copy of the advance Directive was in her chart.It stated do not resuscitate, no cpr and no medication.
Her Last day: I came in early as usual at 06am to resume work at 07am.I went to her room to say hello.She looked at me and smiled how are the kids.I replied they are fine.
At 07am,I clocked in, did my assessment, document and started my 09am medications. At 0930am I came to her room to give her ,her morning medications. She refused her medications. I called the doctor, the doctor replied ,ok made sure that you document her refusal and the reasons why she refused. I went back to the patient and told her that I have called and notified the doctor that she refused her medications. She didn’t say anything.
Rather she said grab your seat and come closer.I brought my seat closer to her and she whispered, I think that it is TODAY.I have called my children and told all of them.I replied no it is not. She ignored my response and said cleaned up and tidy up the room.( Patient room in the hospital)I have called my children and they are all flying in.So I asked where do they live ?. She replied Connecticut, and Washington. They are doctors, lawyers and business people. They will not be nice to you.But don’t worry make sure that you have enough TISSUE PAPERS, ICE WATERS and enough CHAIRS so that they have nothing to complain about you.
So I went and informed the Charge nurse.I asked the Charge how do she know that it is today.She was not sure.I have never PRAYED like this before but I went to the bathroom, cried and prayed to God that she should not die after getting the room ready per her request. I also notified the doctor about what she said.At about 2pm,her families started to arrive, one family at a time.I looked at them with shock and lots of goosebumps. They were upper middle class families, but didn’t care about their mother.All the supplied including juice were available for them.They wanted only ice water and tissues. Mrs XYM had these class of people but suffered aloneness. America,America sweet ,great ,and bitter country.
At 3:30pm she was still alive, I went to bide her farewell and asked if her family needed more water or tissue, she was no longer responding and her family were all crying at that time.They thanked me for taking care of her. I went home feeling exhausted after a terrible long eight hour shift .I came to work the next day and was told that she passed on by about 5pm on that day.May her gentle soul continued to rest in perfect peace.