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No Rest for the Wicked

Feel my pain. Ramblings of an ICU Nurse





August 2nd, 2011

Just another day?

One year ago today, a light was snuffed out. She was young, vibrant, creative, and loving.

She was my friend.

She was moderately ill from birth. A congenital heart defect limited her activity. She was brilliant, but had a hard time expressing herself on some levels. I came across a quote by Helen Keller today.

Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there's a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.

I love you, Paige.

May 8th, 2011

Today is possibly the most horrible day since Alex has died. I am dreading Mass this morning, because I am sure the Priest will incorporate mothers day into the message. I am dreading my phone ringing. I am afraid of how I will react when my 7 year old wakes up. My husband said that I 'have to celebrate for Ian'. I had my twin get something for my mother and deliver it to her.

What if I don't *want* to celebrate this stupid holiday? I want it to be OVER. It highlights my failure to protect my now-dead son. I hate today. I want to banish this holiday from the calendar.

I don't want to 'do it for Ian'. I want my Alex back NOW. I want the stupid asshole that killed him to have to stand in front of me and my .44 magnum. I want him to tell me why he wasn't watching the road. I want my baby back.

I just want him back.

April 8th, 2011

Happy Birthday, my Son

Today would have been Alex's 18th birthday.


Mom misses you. The world is without color and music since we have been deprived of you. My life is upside down.

I cannot remember the good times yet. I can only see you dead in the emergency room. I see you in your casket. I see my life as a barren wasteland and completely useless. I applied for a desk job and was hired yesterday. The ICU and ER are
Too much for me. Every patient is you. I have to go to 'chair' nursing because my heart won't take working with the
Injured or critically ill anymore.

If I could trade places with you, i would do it this very moment. As it is, it will be a struggle to keep myself alive without you here.

Happy Birthday, my beautiful boy.


March 28th, 2011

The grave

Alex's headstone was placed.

I went to his grave today. Hysterical does not even begin to describe it. There is NOTHING quite like walking down a row of headstones and all of a sudden seeing your child's name jump out at you.

I brought a little rag rug with me, and sat there for a while. I am so flipped out at this point that I cannot even imagine wanting to live through this

March 4th, 2011

The worst day of my life

On February 18, 2011, my 17-year-old son Alexander was killed.

He was hit by a tow truck while trying to cross at an intersection as a pedestrian, and was killed nearly instantly. He never regained consciousness after the accident.

My heart has been ripped from me. I dream about breastfeeding him all those years ago, and wake up having a panic attack. I remember crying as he went to kindergarten on the bus for the first time;cheering for him when he played hockey. I remember the discussion we had when he told me he was gay. I remember telling him later that his diversity did not matter to me; and that he was the best son anyone could ever have. That was about a week before he was killed. Two weeks ago today, my life essentially ended.

How does one survive this? I have lost my brother and my father in the last 3 years. This is exponentially more painful. My life has become one long panic attack. I cannot work, I can barely eat. My 7-year-old is terrified of his own shadow now. My husband is destroyed.

August 6th, 2010

(no subject)

What a week.

I just got home from that funeral. I cannot even believe that she is gone. It seems like yesterday that I met she and her partner. Oddly, I met them 14 years ago, and a week later showed up with a group of mutual friends to unpack their new house.

I know. Who meets someone on a Saturday and shows
up the following Friday to help them move? Lol!

Anyway, it was a terrific friendship. I hope she knows how much I appreciated and respected her. I am deeply saddened at her passing. We wore matching outfits out to a club one night like 13 years ago. I can still hear her giggle

I spoke for about 2 minutes (badly) at her funeral. I wish I had been less flipped out and had time to prepare and do her justice. More regrets. Joy.

Rest easy, girly. See you on the other side.

August 3rd, 2010

A good friend died today. She was young, beautiful, and had a wonderful partner that loved her more than life itself. It was a complete shock. She was torn from us without a moments notice.

Though I said it was a complete shock, I guess that is not really the case. She had a congenital disorder that caused her many troubles throughout her too-short life. It is estimated that 99% of people with this disorder are spontaneously aborted in the fetus stage. People who survive to adulthood with this disorder do not make old bones. She had a coarctation of the aorta, and had some dyspnea on exertion. Her condition rendered her sterile, so children were not an option. She had petit mal seizures that couldn't be completely controlled even with a strong cocktail of anti epileptic drugs.

She was a writer, a dreamer, and a quiet, introspective soul. She didn't always have a lot to say, but she was a terrific listener. Though we lived far apart during the last years of her life, I got to see her two months ago. She was as wonderful as always, and we had a great talk over coffee.

I will miss her. There is almost nothing I wouldn't give to have one more conversation over coffee with her.

November 14th, 2009

(no subject)

At what point will I stop gasping when I see an old guy in a store that vaguely reminds me of my dad? It is starting to piss me off.

October 18th, 2009

This is about a patient. If they bore you, skip it.

Sometimes we get a chance to make a difference in the life of a human being. Sometimes the difference only lasts a moment...

I do 2 days a month in a nursing home. I know....you are probably in shock if you know ANYTHING about me. I do hospital nursing. Most hospital nurses rarely step into a LTC facility, unless their grandmother is a patient. Even then, the hospital nurse has a deep desire to clean all of the carpets with something caustic to get the damn urine smell out. (it's true...they all smell like pee)

I started doing 2 days a month over there, because I realized I DO like to talk to my patients occasionally. So many of mine are tubed and vented....conversation is limited at that point. ;) So, I spend time with the Elders once every 15 days or so, and I have a damn good time with it.

We play balloon volleyball in our wheelchairs. We color, string beads, sing....etc. It's fun for them, it's fun for me. Sometimes I have to close someone's eyes and call the funeral home, but hey....the person was probably 97 with senile dementia. They probably led a full, decent life.

And then you meet that one patient that tears your heart into bits, stomps on the bits...then eats them and spits them back in your face.

She is quite old, she has senile dementia....and sometimes she thinks I am a Female Nazi guard when I arrive in her room. You see, "Anna" has a very distinctive tattoo on her arm. You know the one I mean....Numbers. Blue. Tattooed on her while she wondered how many days she had to live. While she wondered where her little girl was...they said they'd bring her back.

She screams, because she is somewhere in the past, when the Nazis invaded her home. She hears the doors being kicked in, and begs me to hide her. She talks about the walk to the train, and the actual train she rode to the death camp. She talks about being desperately cold, and hungry. I feed her cookies 10 times a shift, because I can't stand the idea that she thinks we are starving her. Sometimes I leave a pile of them on her night stand so she can have them whenever she wants. The CNA's yell at me halfheartedly for the crumbs in the bed. :) And she's a diabetic, too...so there! ;)

You will be sitting at the desk, doing some paperwork and hear a blood curdling scream come from her room. You RUN down there, and she is asleep, or staring at nothing. Sometimes she thinks you are coming in to kill her. Some of the nurses don't even move when she screams. They piss me off, mightily. I cannot ignore a human being in distress.

Sometimes, she knows you are a nurse. She begs you to stay with her. She tells you to hide her from the soldiers. Her Husband has already gone to the ovens, and her daughter needs her. She's only two....if she is still alive. Then she screams again, remembering that her daughter is NOT alive, because some bastards killed her. She lives this moment over and over again.

Sometimes she tells me she loves me. I always reply that I love her too. I hug her, kiss her forehead and tell her I am going to turn out the light, and that it is time for sleep. When I have time, I stroke her hair or hold her hand until she dozes off, then tiptoe out.

And I made a difference, for just a moment. Until the Nazis return and she screams again.

July 23rd, 2009

It's never going to end.

So....I actually have two fathers-in-law.

My one with the thyroid CA is my Hubby's stepfather.

My actual father in law was diagnosed with probable lung CA today. Surgery next week.

I'd like to introduce you to the end of my rope. I made a doctor's appointment tomorrow. I need Xanax, stat.

Oh, and BTW....final diagnosis on my sister. She DID have a damn stroke. Saw the neurologist today.
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