Showing posts with label Death. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Death. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

David Vetter - The Boy in the Bubble

This is David Vetter and he is well known as The Boy in the Bubble. You would see here in this picture his innocence and his youth... but all of that is slowly going to fade away...

You see David was born with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) meaning he has no immune system. The common cold could kill him and therefore he must continue to live in a sterile germ-free environment, a bubble free of germs.

David was a happy and kind boy but as he matured and grew his emotions became more mature for a young boy. He wasn't a teenager yet but he was already becoming to have these dark moods and he wanted to be alone because he felt that he had no where else to go... he was going to die... there was no need to continue on living...

He was trapped in a cage as he saw his childhood friends and family members growing up and leaving him to explore the world and live their own lives. David was actually built a space suit so that he could explore the world around him. But he was always terrified to leave his bubble because if he was exposed even a tiny bit with a leak in his space suit he could die.

My heart was totally crushed as this young boy faced so much hardship but he remained strong and made it up to the age of 12. But sadly even though his doctors tried to save him, he still died after a bone marrow transplantation. The operation was a success but they weren't able to detect that the bone marrow harbored inactive viruses that caused a tumor which in turn caused massive hemorrhaging in David's intestines...

Seeing David suffer for so long emotionally for so long was heart wrenching... I am thankful that with our technology today 90% of newborns with SCID are successfully treated and doesn't have to live a life in isolation.

When David died, it was the first and last time that his mother was able to touch him...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Stench of Death

I could not be mistaken. I know that smell very well and I know that life must have just been taken from some poor creature.

When I was at our living room I sensed this strong pungent smell and I wanted to get rid of it immediately. I asked my father if he smelled but he said no.

Was I hallucinating? Was I the only one who smelled death in the air? I knew that it must be a rat or something but then why don't they smell it? This must be an omen I thought... a bad one.

I feared the most for my family and my safety because if this was an omen... well you get the point.

But a few days later the smell was gone and I was right as my father discovered the carcass of a dead rat (probably killed by Missy the Doggie).

After that happening, I started to fear death as I still don't want to die. Not yet. We're this close to fulfilling my mom's dreams so not yet...

I used to want to die before when I didn't have any dreams at all. But now that I have some purpose in my life, I don't want to die yet until I have the sense of fulfillment that my life was actually worthwhile. I still want to know my potentials...

Photo Credits:XIII: Death by *SilentReaper

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Death of My Patient

I actually didn't know how to feel when my patient died. It was a sort of mixed emotions that were so strong that I wanted to run away somewhere far. I was so helpless as I watched my patient die. Like I know that sooner or later he was going to die. He had the classic clinical signs of shock like cold clammy skin, he was diaphoretic, his pupils were dilated, and he had consistently low blood pressure. Imagine, I had to re-check if I had the right BP taking because his BP was 40/20 mmHg and this was the first time I've ever encountered this low BP. I was at first excited and happy even that I was experiencing so many new procedures that a normal student nurse could encounter in a medical ward. I was able to assist in inserting a catheter, a nasogastric tube, and I was able to insert an IV fluid as a side-drip. On that same day I was able to observe the insertion of an endotracheal tube and I was able to compress an ambu bag (bag-valve-mask). I have also observed suctioning procedures and even nasogastric tube feeding. My patient was transferred from the medical ward into an (intensive care unit) ICU and of course my partner and I had to go with him. If I didn't have a partner at that time I wonder if I would have survived. we monitored his vital signs every hour, we monitored his O2 Saturation, his ECG, his infusion pump, and he even had a ventilation machine since he was already in coma.

I had a gut feeling that he would die. I just knew it. He had 3 consecutive cardiac arrests and the ward would constantly have to call a cold blue. It was just like in the movies where nurses would inject epinephrine or atropine so that his heart would start beating again. But I just wondered why they never used the defibrilator to revive the patient, they just used the standard CPR. On the third arrest the doctor finally announced the patient dead. I was still deflating and inflating the ambu bag valve mask like crazy because I didn't know whether to continue or just stop. The family of the patient already started crying and their mother called her other children saying that their father had died.

It was weird, I was at first doing procedures to save his life... and then a few hours later I had to remove the tubes and connections that where keeping him alive...

But somehow I don't feel pity for him. Death may be scary and all but he saw it coming. My patient was an alcoholic, drinking too much everyday. I can already imagine him going home late at night drunk and very violent. When you're drunk you become to do stupid things and this has been proven by so many people already. He drun k himslelf to death. That is all that I can say. He had drank so much alcohol that the veins in his liver grew larger until they finally bursted. He had an upper GI bleeding and he literally vomited blood (hematemesis). He went into coma and I guess he died from the bleeding.

Here is a lesson to all alcoholics out there. You just don't kill yourself from drinking. You destroy your family and you become a menace to society when alcohol reaches your brain and you start being stupid. Domestic violence and some crimes happen when people are drunk. Stop drinking!

I don't know why people love to kill themselves. I also had another patient who said that he will stop smoking for a while because he has difficulty breathing and he has blood tinged phlegm. Stop for a while? Why not stop totally? He has been smoking for 30 years (started at age 12) and he hasn't learned that it does nothing good? He's not only killing himself too. His family and the people around him are the ones who are twice affected by his smoking.

Bad vices gets you no where. They may at least make you feel good (as some people say - I wonder how and why) but the outcomes aren't that good. My point? Nothing is gained from smoking and drinking. So too our dragons and drunkards out there have pity on your loved ones. They suffer more than you do.