I just got finished reading this post at The Wait and the Wonder. (Spoiler alert at the end.) And I'm already fried from 36 hours on triage and a grueling holiday call period last week. I think it really started 2 weeks ago, when I had to deal with some serious crazy family dynamics. Think: lovely, peripheral family, divorced spouse, over protective big brother and a crazy daughter. Now, I almost never say that someone's grief is dysfuntional. Get angry, scream at me, fall out on the floor and pull your hair out, whatever-I understand. But this girl was UPSET. She spent most of the 12 hours I was onsite IN BED with her mother. In the hospital bed with the patient, her mother, who was brain dead and intubated. I can only imagine what the funeral was like. Anyway, she did not consent, even though her mother had indicated on her license that she wanted to be an organ donor. And in my state, that's first person consent, all legal-like, if we chose to pursue, which we did not. She said, "if my mother knew how it would upset me, she would have changed her mind." Mmmm. I think that when you finally meet your mom in heaven, you might have some 'splainin' to do.
Did a case on Turkey Day. Which went great, except that I'm still craving a real Thanksgiving Dinner and if anyone wants to come and cook me a belated one, I'm all for it. Love Monkey and the Teenager did make a to-die-for corn bread pudding with cranberry sauce a la Alton Brown that was amazing. And sweet potatoe pie. But I'm still craving some turkey and gravy. Oh, well, at least I'm off for Christmas, so I'll quit bitching.
This weekend I get to be the person sending the coordinators hither and yon. I was all psyched, thinking that I'd still get to go to the office party, all cool-like, what with wearing my Bluetooth and all, and just triage while boogying down. Unfortunately, the case that was in progress hit several snags, not the least of which was a) no one at the hospital wanted to do the actual pronouncement and b) I had no recovering surgeon. While we did manage to cross those bridges, by the time I got done with all the phone tag it was too late and I was too pooped to party. I heard the food was mediocre and the booze watered down, but still.
Two more no consents this weekend. One woman who died actually had a mom who was an organ donor and told her husband that she never wanted that done to her. So, wishes known, no consent. A young girl also died today, her mom didn't want her cut up, no consent.
I feel like I may be becoming too desensitized to dead people. We were watching CSI Thursday night, the one where the dead people talk, and Grissom is teaching a class of(I guess) new CSI's and I realized that I have been around a lot of dead people. I asked Love Monkey, (also a nurse) "How many dead people have you been around?" He thought for a moment. "I don't know, several dozen." Take my word for it, when you start hanging around with corpses, you realize that they have as much to do with the living person as a tin can has to its contents.
So, (and here's the spoiler) I read about Jackson's death from biliary atresia and I just think: why don't people donate? I just want to say to people, look-your body is going to turn into a puddle of goop whether you like it or not. Embalmed-still goop, just later rather than sooner. I realize it's a gruesome thought no one wants to think about, but it's still true. So please, please donate your organs. Don't let the gift go to the grave.