Friday, August 04, 2006


Informing a family that a loved one is very sick or died used to be the toughest part of the job. The absolute worst is informing of a child's death. Obviously those times are terrible and nothing can prepare one for dealing with the emotions, which is probably why doctors have a high rate of alcohol and drug abuse. Thankfully, I have neither.

My saddest moment thus far...

An elderly woman was brought into the ER from home due to dehydration. She had a long-standing history of Alzheimer's dementia and received care from her elderly husband. They lived alone and it became quickly apparent that the woman was not dehydrated, but perfectly normal (in a demented way). The husband had a look on his face of fatigue. He had spent the last 5-7 years watching his wife deteriorate into an abusive shell of a woman. Apparently, the years had finally taken their tole and his call to 911 for dehydration was actually a cry for help. He had been trying to arrange for both of them to go to some assisted care facility in Penn. or South Carolina, where their daughters lived. Basically, he was trying to do this on his own, with no money, no family close by, and with a wife that needed constant care. I was amazed at how strong his love for her was. He was keeping his vow to take care of her in sickness and in health, and was being destroyed for it. Truly tragic.


Anonymous Jane said...

That is very sad, indeed. Also shows how one can become conditioned over time to take on unimaginative burdens.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is situations like that that rip my heart out.

7:45 PM  

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