Thursday, July 29, 2010

2 Years out

June marked my 2 year anniversary working as an ICU RN. I love what I do.

I am just about ready to go back to school. I would like to start next fall for my masters. If I could get this out of the way, then whenever I am ready I can teach.

The one thing about nursing, that RN allows you to do almost anything. I have so many choices. My 10 years+ of research experience lends me some rather unique opportunities as well. I am so very happy where I am at, it will be a while before I am ready to do anything different on a full-time basis.

As with any job, there are things that are not so fun, but over all it suites me perfectly.
That 05:00 alarm is at the top of the "Bleh" list!

Will Euthanasia ever be Allowed

Not to go all Kevorkian on you, but I have to ask if the right to end one's life by choice, or the life of a family member with some horrible life-ending disease will ever be allowed.
I and my family currently have the responsibility to care for my now severely demented mother. It is a time, emotional and financial responsibility.
Recently, she was in the hospital and upon her return home, this event has proved to be a tipping point of sorts.
She is no longer her; meaning, she has no recollection of how to be her or who she is/was.

As I sat and held her the night she got home, she cried and cried because she did not know where she was. She did not know how the bruises got on her hands. These were from the IV's she kept pulling out. She is in a constant state of fear and unknowing, a constant state of unconnectedness. She cannot care for herself even in the most basic of ways.

How is this living? How is this not suffering? Believe me, I don't want bad things to happen, but I would give anything for "her," her consciousness to come down, observe herself and talk to me.
Would she want to continue on like this?
How would she feel about our upcoming decision of having to have her be in a skilled nursing environment? She cannot live with one of us, she would be dangerous to herself and to the household.
What would she say?

Working in the ICU, I see many people watch in anguish and pain as their loved one approaches the end of their life.
Why do we currently feel like we have to allow people to come to their end, slowly, painfully and without dignity?
I guess really, the question is why are we so afraid of death?
What would the people say who are lying in the bed, if given the opportunity and ability to answer one last question: "If you can end it all right now, do you want to?"

I think this is a question our society will come to face, very, very soon.