Sunday, October 29, 2006

3 cheers for PICU!!!

I would like to extol the virtues of the Pediatric ICU and all who staff them. Why? Because in PICU, your patients aren't combative, they're cranky. Because in PICU, turning and positioning requires 2 hands, not a team of people. Because body fluids are kind of cute when they come out of little behinds, or noses, or whereever.

I've been in this PICU for, hmmm, let us see, 18.25 hours now. My patient is a teen who made the bad mistake of mixing booze, driving and bad weather to her permanent and everlasting sorrow. And the sorrow of her mom, siblings, cousin and young baby. It's been a slog, and I'm emotionally drained. I felt so bad for her mom, then when I found out she had a little baby-home, crying for Mama, I thought I was going to lose it. They chose to donate so that someday, this little one will at least know that his Mama saved 7 other lives. That all sounds so trite to me right now, because I'm exhausted and all I can think about is my little, wee one growing up without me. We(by we I mean the nurses) were sitting around, catching our breath for a few minutes and we started telling each other about "our worst" stories-the worst dead child story, etc. It was getting to be the wee hours and I was too creeped out for that shit. Finally, somebody told a story about her son's toilet training adventures and we were laughing again and THAT is why I like PICU-because nothing will get you out of your own shit like a good poop story.


Mama Mia said...

Worst dead child stories suck. I never can stand them. Of course, in a peds emerg we see them all but sharing them for entertainment has never been my thing. Good on the nurse with the toilet trainer - she brought you back to reality. Sorry you had to do this.

Susan Palwick said...

The last line of this post is a classic: you need to put it on a t-shirt! :-)

More seriously: Yes, I'm sorry you had to do this -- but thank you for doing it.

Judy said...

A successful organ recovery saves so many lives, but it must be very draining to deal with the reality of the one who is leaving this life. Knowing that they are dead whether or not their family chooses to donate the organs must be what makes your job possible. I'm not sure I could do it, but I'm glad there are people who can.