Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Losing Another Lovable Patient....

I cried. Again. For the record, i've cried five times throughout my 2 years and 10 months in my nursing career. For patients who have passed on that is. Firstly, there was my Miew Miew. Loe Miew Wah was a single 70+-year-old, chinese elderly woman. If i'm not wrong, she went for a heart operation by Christie Tan. Yup. She was referred to us from TTSH. I still remember her, pre-op. She was very nice and sweet. But the longer she stayed, the more grumpy she got. And she did not get any better, she deteriorated. And died. At Bed 8. I miss teasing her. And i miss holding her hand. Because of her, i wanna buy a Miu Miu wallet to remind me of her. :)

Secondly, there was Joyce. She was my age, a 23-year-old, chinese girl. She had Bentall procedure done by the collaboration of Shankar and Maung. Sigh. She bled alot. They had to open resuscitate her in our ICU a couple of times. What i was told was that, she was the one who wants the operation done. Her parents advised her not to go for it. However, she told her parents that she wants to take care of them when they get old. So only after the operation, she will be able to do that. That really touched the bottom of my heart. I was swallowing back my tears once i heard that. She did not make it. She had TONS of visitors mourning around her in Bed 7. Her father was shouting "You cannot go just yet Joyce! You promised to take care of us!!" I couldn't look. I covered my ears and headed straight to the restroom before my tears could gush out. Funny how easily i empathise with her. It's because i saw her waking up and obeying Charmaine's commands. And we both have something in common. Heart problem. Guess that's the reason i really feel for her.

Thirdly, a 40+-year-old, malay woman. I could not recall her name because i was back from rest day and i only saw her that day. She had CABG done by Kofidis. Post-extubation, she wasn't herself. Confused and dazed out all the way. Her death was EXTREMELY unexpected. CPR was done on her for one FULL hour. But she did not survive. I said last prayers for her in her ear cos no other fellow muslim colleagues were on duty that day and her family weren't there at the time she died. Tears rolled down my cheeks after i said last prayers for her. I do not want my mother to die like this. It's too sudden.

Fourthly, Roman Bin Aman, a 60+year-old, malay elderly man. The wife spoke to me, he was newly diagnosed with diabetes. The wife also has diabetes. Gosh. Pak cik Roman had ankle amputation on left leg and BKA done on right leg. By that snobbish, newly promoted, Raj. I think. But technically he was Kofidis patient but referred to Raj. I burned a cd for him. Just some nasyid songs for him to hear. He wasn't responding until one day, we were all surprised that he was smiling and trying to talk(oh! he has trachy by the way). But a week or two later, he was back to not responding to us again. That's when i know he was not getting well anymore. He was going. I was there when he died at Bed 7. Same thing. Rushed to the restroom before i burst out crying. Interesting fact. A few days after his death, as my dad said his name out loud from the newspaper obituary section, he said he went to the mosque with him before and that he was a distant relative of ours. Hmm.... Why was i burning a cd especially for him again? What a coincidence i realised alil too late. Ina lillahi wa ina ilayhi raajioon. He looked peaceful at the time of his death.

And last but not least, the fifth time. It happened just now. Rahmat Bin Abdul Rashid, a 41-year-old, 130kg malay man. Ca colon. He had some vascular surgery done by snobbish Raj. Post-extubation, he kept asking for water but they just had to control his fluid intake. And then he turned bad and they re-intubated him back again. He turned bad, had trachy done and all. And then miraculously, he got better. That was when we knew he was cool and fun to tease and play along with. He said thank you to me when i helped to prop him up so i teased him to blanja me as he had a $50 note in a plastic bag, pinned to his gown. You know what he said? He said to take this $50 note and buy whatever drink i want and then return the change back to him later. :) Told him i was just kidding and i told him to use that $50 to take taxi home after he got better. But he never did. I was grief-stricken when he was dying. He was gasping and his mouth was frothy, with his tongue jutting out. Couldn't control my tears again. Those happy times.... I shall remember and reminisce every time i pass by bed 3. I'll miss you always Rahmat. :'(

Here are two photos of my Miew Miew with us....

Glitter Words


  1. It happens when you begin to work there long enough. Its really a pity to see good people passing on. But think of it as their time is up and God wants them by his side instead.And they are free from pain, hopefully. I still have a few patients who I get attached to in cticu, has passed on and I still think of them. Its only natural to feel for them. And the best part of it all, we learn about life and appreciate what we have.

  2. Yes. Life is too short. We should live it to the fullest. That's what i'm trying to do.

  3. I cried with Joyce too, since she is a brave person to decide for herself for the benefit of her parents. But her body can't make it. This is nursing is all about. Witnessing how life starts and in how it ends(where we are most exposed to, in our ward). And in return, making out what' s best for our patient, but not only that, also to other people we know aside from hospital setting. Our profession doesn't stop in working area only. We can use it even to our loved ones or relatives.

  4. Empathy is essential in nursing. But i shouldn't be shedding tears in the ward, i need to be stronger than i am today.