I am fascinated by hearing patients’ perspectives. Their realities are so very different from mine while they are in the hospital. I need to keep hearing what it’s like for them, lest I take my position as RN for granted. Sometimes patients are just a “Pneumonia in room 5″ because it’s easier that way. But I think in my unit, patients who have been there awhile become our pet causes and we really do see them as people with feelings going through a huge life change. We do care about what happens to them, even the ones that are “difficult.” We realize that they’re difficult for a reason, and we are also acutely aware that we may very well be the same way if the shoes were on different feet. With that said, Jim writes:
I was hospitalized 02/03 with pneumonia in both lungs. After being hospitalized for two days I rapidly went “downhill” and was placed on a vent and put into a drug induced coma. I awoke 04/03 **unable to move** with all the tubes that go along with a prolonged vegitative state (PEG tube, central line (CVP), foley catheter, etc…) and still on the vent, I did not remember what happened to me or where I was.
I have spent my time since April first of this year in intense physical rehab, both in-patient and out-patient. The diagnosis is Gullian Barre, I have seen many specialists over the last several months. They have told me I will not recover any more function than I have now. I use a quad cane and a walker to get around and have to wear AFO’s bilateraly. I am only 28 and I have lost my chosen carreer because of this.
This is so hard to get used to. I imagine it is tough for medical professionals to see cases like mine and you can’t get wrapped up in the patient’s story because some are indeed too painful to dwell on, but please try to remember that we are people too, we have lives and families outside of the emergency room or ICU or wherever you may find us. We are not just the respiratory distress in bed five, or the broken leg in bed eight.
Well said. I’m wondering what AFO’s are, and what your chosen profession was? I’m also curious… you say that you “woke up” and didn’t remember what happened to you. When did you find out? My coworkers and I almost always try to re-orient the patient as they are “coming out” of sedation, but I think we don’t do it often enough. Or if we do it once as they’re groggy, we forget to do it again as they’re more awake. Thank you for your submission.