My patient with the low potassium had a seizure yesterday right at the end of my shift, and a code was called. It was my first code to experience, and it was scary. I ran to the room because I knew they would need me there, as her nurse. The alarm was blaring. People were everywhere. I was being asked all kinds of questions. Someone yelled to me, “She needs Ativan now!” Her sister was crying and yelling.
Thankfully the patient never stopped breathing, and she slowly recovered. She hasn’t been the same since. She is either sleeping or confused and agitated now. But while all the commotion was going on, I realized that I cared for this woman and her sister, who I have taken care of for the last two weeks, and she could die at any time. It made me very sad.
Today I took care of her again, along with two other patients, none of whom will probably recover. One of them reminded me so much of David’s dear aunt, who is at the end of a fight with pancreatic cancer, that it was hard to look at her at times. I chose this path, and I know it will be hard. I think that I can handle it; I hope I can. I hope I can also retain my softness and compassion. It’s a fine line.
I’m so glad it’s the weekend. I’m ready for some distraction.