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Thursday, March 17, 2005
Last week was a very bad week. Started off with 60 patients from Friday's take alone. The team handled it pretty well actually, and I got most, if not all the jobs that needed to be done, done.
Over the week, we lost 7 patients, from our usual list of about 25 patients. 2 were expected. 5 were not. They were getting better, in fact. Then towards the end of the week, we just lost them. One by one. They are just names. Yet when we go round the wards, I take blood from them, talk to them, I form a connection with them. When they suddenly deteriorate, it is so disheartening. You can never prepare for death, can you?
On friday's ward round, we had this lady with worsening heart failure, and she's not getting better. She's such a lovely lady. I almost cried when we had to explain to her and her family that she is not getting better, and would in fact benefit from palliation. She calmly accepted what we have to say, and asked to go home to die. Monday came (yest), we had to tell her that it is not advisable for her to leave the hospital yet, as her renal function is going downhill. She cried, and it was so heart-wrenching for us, for me. She doesn't deserve this.
There are other small events which break my heart. Other times, I can just stand back objectively, and nod at what they seem to be going through. After that, I can just go home and forget all about it, doing other things, all the while, bluffing ourselves that we can imagine what they are going through, when we actually can't. We never will, unless we go through it ourselves. This time, I can't. I'm there. I'm doing shadows, and people usually doss it off, but I'm not. And it's costing me.
This is so taxing, so tiring, so draining. This is so sad. Maybe this is why people say that you shouldn't be too involved with your patients, take too much of a personal interest for their well-being, coz it's bad for yourself. I can't help it. Or I'm not used to barracading my emotions from patients, but when you interact with them day in and day out, you just can't. Or guess I'm just weak.
I feel like breaking down. Tears threaten to slip out, unnoticed at night.
I am tired.