Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

I stayed at the station 'cause I was doing a "20-20" salbutamol on an asthmatic patient earlier this morning...the loud whirr of the nebulizer was put to the back of my concerns as I tried to get some sleep slumped on my crossed arms on one of the tables.

...I had just started a light light dream about a cellphone message when suddenly i hear rapid footfalls down the corridor, people were running, everyone was in a rush, "Doctor, doctor! My husband won't wake up!!" cried the panicky woman.

The patient was a stout man, 5'9", about 90 lbs, was cold and clammy, and unresponsive when he came in. There was no sign of a pulse, nor a rise and fall of the signs of life. His pupils were fixed in a wild, empty stare...the cold blue lifelessness had already started to form, it was creeping up from his neck to his face, and his nails and toes had already taken on the lifeless hue.

He had died ("expired") before he got to the hospital. Resuscitation didn't work.

His wife didn't know what happened to him. She had no idea what he had been through the last two years he was abroad for inkling as to what medicines he was taking, what he did there, and all that. Apparently, he had just arrived for the holidays three hours before she saw him just turn rigid in bed, with his eyes wild. And then he was gone.

Two years, two long years of being apart, and now this...a final goodbye on Christmas Eve pa.

It's very unlucky, really. A weird, twisted way to experience loss. To finally have the time to share something (i.e. Christmas) with what (who) you wanted and then have him wrenched away so brutally away from you, I pity the poor woman.

But I did not show it.

I ordered what was supposed to be done and did the medical side of the situation, instead of holding her hand, or crying with them.

For some reason, although it was unfortunate that it happened, I felt that there was probably a big reason for something that's happened, or a bigger cause.  I did my work methodically and as impersonally as I could manage.

I felt detached.

And then, it was over.

What a way to welcome Christmas eve.


  1. I always try to look for positives, bt it's difficult in this case. I guess it is good that she at least got to see her husband before he died and it's good she didn't have to make arrangements to ship his body home from wherever he had been working.

    Whew! Not a merry Christmas!

  2. PS - You needed to stay detached since you still had things to take care of.

  3. Sorry to hear about that.

    I still do hope you have a happy Christmas Doc! =)

  4. WOW. That's heartbreaking.
    I agree that for every single event in people's lives that happen, there is a reason. But this one, I can just imagine how painful it must be.Ö

    Merry Christmas Sonia.
    Have a good one today.

  5. Hi all...merry christmas!
    @RicAdeMus: It was very unfortunate, yes. She kept saying, "We haven't even talked...".
    @engel: Thanks Engel, I did have a good one... It's always best to best to "keep separate lives", and you shouldn't let one affect the other.
    @r u s s: I reckon that's the worst thing thatg that could happen to anyone...losing someone they love unexpectedly..over the holidays pa.



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