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Emotionally draining day at work.

kutzi17
Posts: 17
Joined: Apr 2018

A little back ground, I was diagnosed with RCC middle of May this year, had a partial lap nephrectomy April. I am an ER nurse. I went back to work 4 weeks ago and was put on light duty. Yesterday was my first day having my own patients again. My first patient came in shortly after 0700 and it was a cardiac arrest. A young men. We didn't know much about the patient as the patient was already unresponsive when the EMS got to his house. We took off his shirt and I immediately noticed his abdominal scar, same as mine. As we were working on him, his wife arrived. The patient was a kidney cancer patient who had a partial nephrectomy one week after I had mine. We were the same age. He had a DVT post surgery but was treated and was fine. He was doing well until the day before when he started to have abdominal pain. I was speechless and became immobile. I became numb. I was afraid, very afraid. I am looking at a man, same age as me, same situation, only I'm standing next to him helping to revive him. It could have been me. The first hour of my 12 hour shift drained me, it drained me mentally and emotionally. I'm used to seeing patient expire and all but this one was too close to home. I had to be assisted outside the resuscitation room. I try not to think about it but it is just too much. The fact that I started to do CPR on him upon arrival didn't help me at all, as I immediately started to feel pain on the side of my surgery. That pain lasted all day long. Sorry if the story bores you, I just needed to vent it out.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 3180
Joined: Jan 2010

kutzi,

 

----when the shock wears off, you can joke about this.

Hopefully much sooner.

 

 

icemantoo

paintergrl's picture
paintergrl
Posts: 47
Joined: May 2018

That sounds very traumatic! I'm so sorry that happened. I can see why you reacted the way you did. 

Retcenturion's picture
Retcenturion
Posts: 240
Joined: Mar 2017

Your still healing, both mentally and physically. As an ER nurse I'm assuming you've seen a lot of ugly, it's the nature of the beast. You had no control of how the situation happened and it could happen again with another patient. Is a crisis counselor available to talk to. We had anonymous access 24 hrs and were encouraged to call. In your job talking things out with someone helps.I have great admiration for trauma personnel they are a special people. Sending positive thoughts today.

Gtngbtr58 @aol.com's picture
Gtngbtr58 @aol.com
Posts: 204
Joined: Oct 2017

Really too close for comfort.  It probably will get better-every first is scary after surgery-good and bad-June

EBFRCC
Posts: 23
Joined: Jun 2018

Sorry that you had to face that in your first full day. Keep breathing and take time out to just meditate (literally or figuratively) on the fact you are here and surviving. Stay strong.

Wehavenotimeatall
Posts: 472
Joined: Aug 2017

how horrific for both you and the patient 

had they had  cardio issues before

Rcc

Dvt

Cardiac arrest

my god

i hope you have gathered 

you are still very fragile so take it easy

Annie

 

 

kutzi17
Posts: 17
Joined: Apr 2018

For all the encouraging words. It really means a lot. I'm lucky that my co-workers have been really supportive of me. I've been doing this ER thing for 20 years, 15 years of which were trauma so I've seen some nasty stuff but nothing prepared me for this. Again, thank you and may we all have a better tomorrow.

JoeyZ's picture
JoeyZ
Posts: 191
Joined: Mar 2018

Yes, by all means take it easy on yourself, Kutzi. Maybe that was your epiphany, or your life flashing before your eyes, or SOMETHING - Some kind of an awakening? I don't know. I'm just glad you're ok and hope tomorrow is indeed better. We all have some dark days that are hard to get through. Take care.

CRashster's picture
CRashster
Posts: 226
Joined: Mar 2017

your feelings are valid. You’ve been through a lot and more even more. I think we all have a version of PTSD and it’s catching up to you. People pay so much attention to the physical aspects of all this, but few talk about the emotional. I hope you’re doing better today.

a_oaklee
Posts: 414
Joined: Nov 2013

I think you are forever changed by being diagnosed with cancer.  As a fellow health care worker I believe you will be having these types of thoughts and occurances fairly regularly.  It might be beneficial to speak with someone about your feelings.  Remember these are public pages.  Take care of yourself.  

kutzi17
Posts: 17
Joined: Apr 2018

Luckily, my week has gone for the better. Not too hectic week in the ER and was able to clear my head after a couple days off. Thank you for the uplifting words. I agree that most people tend to focus on the physical aspect. It is only half the battle. I often tell my wife that the psychological effect and trauma of this disease is worse than the disease itself. Have a great weekend guys.

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