New Experience….and not a happy one

Along the lines of my last post…

My very good friend from the Emergency Department  took very ill very suddenly last week.

She has developed  Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome.  She was a fairly healthy woman.  Some chronic health problems, but nothing that kept her from holding down a full time job as an Emergency Department Nurse.

She was one of my first friends in the Emergency Department.  We couldn’t be more opposite.  I run and try to exercise all the time.  She enjoys hanging out, and playing computer games, going out with friends and in general, having a good time!  But for some reason we got along well.  We would make our schedules together so we would be on the same days at work…go out and hang at Panera.  She had a wonderful way about her.  Any time someone hurt me (like when a friend accidentally stole a love interest) she would loyally “hate” them with me…and she and her daughter who is also fantastic, took care of me after my surgery.  She allowed Teulu to live with her for 3 months.  I’m pretty sure she was sick of him after about 6 days.  But she never complained to me about it.  

He can be a bit much.  In December, when I ran my first race since surgery, She came out and cheered me on, which was a sight to see, since she was clearly really out of place, and kind of bored.  This is the stuff we do for people we care about.

Yesterday I was hanging out with her, so her daughter, who was at work, would feel peace of mind, and she had the audacity to have a seizure.

I had to step out of the room.  I was not there to respond.  I took her long term boyfriend out and spoke at length with him.  He is not medical and is just torn up by this.  I then called her daughter and updated.  After a few hours, her symptoms seemed worse, so our physician intubated her, and sent her by Helicopter to our Parent hospital, which has much greater capabilities than we do.

I’ve sent a lot of patient out by helicopter. I’ve gotten patients in by helicopter.  I never sent anyone out that I knew.

I drove down to the hospital today to visit and was almost not allowed in….once I was allowed in, I was able to talk to the Nurse, Nurse to Nurse, and suddenly all was OK.

My friend is sedated and intubated and pretty much comatose, so really there is nothing I can do for her except pray.

I have to say, it feels really strange to sit in a waiting room, waiting for permission to enter a patient care unit.  I felt strange having everyone kind of look at me sympathetically.

What is happening to her is horrific.  It is such a reminder to me that life is fleeting and short.  We need to care for our bodies as temples, as they are what sustain us and allow us to sustain others in times of need.  (ie in support not as in cannibilizism!)

So hug your loved ones tonight.  I’m in the uncomfortable position of being the last person to have spoken to her…I surely wish it had been her daughter.  But it could be worse.  She could have been alone at the time…



9 thoughts on “New Experience….and not a happy one

  1. Oh no. I’m so so sorry. Maybe she will beat the odds and come out of this.
    You are so right about life being short and precious. Every minute should be savored because we just never know what the next minute is going to bring.
    She has been so lucky to have you as a friend, and you have both supported each other so very much.
    I’ll keep her in my thoughts…..hoping for healing.

  2. I agree, there is something eerie and disturbing about seeing a loved one taken away by ambulance. Waiting in a hospital for news of someone you know is also hard, since it seems to reinforce your helplessness.

    I hope your friend will pull through. I realize with HUS things can go downhill in a short amount of time, but I also believe that sometimes miracles can happen. ((Hugs)) for you, for being there for your friend.

    • Thanks HG. I hope you are doing alright right now, I’ve been thinking of you as well… I have to admit, I had to do a lot of learning, and I’m still not convinced that this is all that is there.

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