Monday, March 03, 2008

My Body's Aching And My Time Is At Hand

Now: I'm throwing stuff; kicking a chair. It's childish. I want to shout, to scream... but I won't. Not done, y'know? Fair doesn't come into it. I know this. The violence don't help; not really

5 minutes ago: We stand outside; shell shocked. Some of us are crying, maybe just a little. We've seen it before, knew it was coming. I want to hug him, tell him it ain't his fault...

5 minutes ago: It's all gone very quiet. I'm walking around in a circle; I can feel people looking at me. I can't hear the noise of the department for the blood pounding in my ears. I need some air...

5 minutes ago: We tell them; they knew. She told them what was coming, but now they've seen it, and the grief is real. Hot, angry, real.

5 minutes ago: I can't think of anything else to do. I've used all the drugs, my finger is in her chest, the act repeated opposite me; her lungs feel warm, but it's not helping.

5 minutes ago: They've all stayed. Usually the Paramedics and Techs get on; they've got other things to do; not tonight; not for her. They're all still here, pitching in, wanting to help. If desire was all it took... one last trick, maybe? I ask for the knife...

5 minutes ago: It's in; tube in, but I can't quite tie it. I'm coming apart a little, my voice cracking. We're not winning. I look up and se it mirrored in their faces.

5 minutes ago: I'm fighting; there's vomit everywhere, and we're slipping off the chest. I can't see the monitor properly, the lines aren't going. I'm trying to pass the tube, but the angle keeps eluding me. They know what I need, and we press on...

5 minutes ago: They're here. Already I know; she's been down too long, she's the wrong colour; too cold. Not coming back. But we always run the gauntlet. It would be an insult to her, to her family, to the Paramedics who've worked so fucking hard, just to get here. To be fair, like us, they already know, but none of us can accept it yet. We need hard proof, we doubting Toms, and so we go on my count...

5 minutes ago: I'm almost in. I hate putting lines in kids, but my SHO doesn't know how, or doesn't want to know. He doesn't want to learn as I learned, hard and cruel in the night. I guess, he doesn't have to, because I did. Then the call comes. Young, much younger than me, asthma, full arrest. Already our faces are ashen, prepared. I tape the cannula down. Mum has overheard them telling me, and suddenly her night doesn't seem so bad.

5 minutes ago: I'm at work. I actually feel pretty good about it. The department feels to be in a good mood. Let's see what the night has to offer...

7 comments:

Maggie said...

That is the most powerful thing I have read this year. I am so deeply glad that people like you are there to care, to help, to make a difference, and that you keep on doing it, even when there is nothing to be done.

Thank you.

SeaSpray said...

Thank God for doctors like you!

I agree...powerful post Dr Shroom.

DrShroom said...

Thanks. There is an interesting (sort of) dichotomy here. As a Doctor, the writing forms part of my therapeutic 'dealing' with what was, frankly a shitty experience. As blogger one has to find a way of sharing that is more than just saying a young asthmatic died, and it was shit. So, I try to take a (perhaps perverse) pride in my dramatic licence. So, I appreciate the feedback; both egos getting a massage, tho I am duty bound to say, I ain't anything special. It is perhaps sad that my two most recent compliments have been about the runnin of this resus, and the breaking of the bad news in the previous case.
Anyway,
Slainte

S

Kate said...

Yikes! I think that you are well overdue for some slow shifts.

Torsade said...

"If desire was all it took...." Well put. And in situations like this one, the collective desire of the room, sometimes the entire department, is sooooooo sooooo strong.... that you would think the patient would jump off the table, Lazarus-like.
That never happens, though.
Excellent post.

Chrysalis Angel said...

It is dramatic and traumatic. What a horrible shift.

Alice said...

Wow, great writing!