Friday, December 15, 2006

Friday 15 December, 2006

I had a visit from the Snow Queen yesterday!



She came all the way from Paris, France.

The weather is more springlike today (for the past week actually), than winter. With Christmas just 10 days away, I'm reminded of Christmas 1977. I was on call. At 1600 I was called in to give anesthesia to a 5 year old boy who the surgeon was going to perform a tracheotmy on. The boy had acute epiglottitis.

When I left my house it was 65°F. and pouring rain. This weather was the norm for that Christmas season.

The boy came to the OR sitting up on the gurney, hunched over and sucking air with extreme difficulty. The boy had been in the ED since early morning and the surgeon "sat on" him until now (1600 --- 1700 by the time he arrived in the OR). As it turned out...this was a poor decision on his part.

I did an inhalation induction while BR was sitting up, using halothane and 100% oxygen. As he fell asleep I eased him to a supine position and quickly (10-15 seconds) intubated (put a breathing tube in the windpipe) him.

The tracheotomy proceeded without misadventure. I had the boy breathing spontaneously throughout the procedure. At the termination of the procedure he was transported to thw ICU.

WHERE HE NEVER WOKE UP, AND DIED A FEW HOURS LATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post: Brain swelling from prolonged elevated CO2 levels due to waiting too long to do trach. causing brainstem herniation.
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Spring-like Christmases bring me much consternation.
**********
My D's brother died suddenly of a heart attack at age 40. His father was devasted, and never really recovered emotionally from it.
As we grow older, we come to accept our own impending demise. But the death of one's child is the deepest grief a parent can ever experience.
***********
Question for today:
What is the best possible attitude toward death?

9 Comments:

Anonymous Brian said...

I am going to preface this by saying that I do not have any children, and that no one I have been close to has died. That said, if my wife dies before me, I know that I will be shattered.

As for your question today; acceptance that everything dies, and that to live in the moment is worth all the struggles.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Catch said...

I have friends who just lost a 5 year old boy a few months ago to cancer. My heart aches for them this Christmas season..losing a child has got to be the worst thing you ever have to go through.

I think as we age we look at death differently than when we were younger. And this world can be such a scary place anymore my Mother always says shes glad she on her way out instead of on her way in...lol.

In a world where your not allowed to smoke, but its perfectly legal to kill an unborn baby...you gotta ask yourself where are we headed?

I dont know Rel, Im certainly not ready to go yet, but I dont suppose anyone ever is...I would just cling to my faith in God and hope for better things ahead.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Parisparfait said...

OK, this is getting annoying. This is the third time I've tried to leave a comment, but Blogger won't allow it. Will try again later.

10:40 AM  
Anonymous PAB said...

Total acceptance and trust in our Lord--We are right where we are suppose to be in life, it has been all planned out. The sadness, grief and lonliness are all part of the mortal world. One day this will be no more!!! AMEN----

10:50 AM  
Blogger Churlita said...

I've been orphaned since I was 10. In general, I have always tried to appreciate the people I have in my life while I have them, because I never know how long they'll be around. I am not as philosophical when it comes to my children.

My youngest daughter had bacterial meningitis when she was 5 and almost died. I can't honestly say that I would have fully recovered if she hadn't made it.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found you through Pea...hmmm...question of the day??
I think it has caused me pause to think.
I would have to say, Pay it no mind! Until it comes your way. All you can do is take each breath God gives you and enjoy it. Worrying about death will only rob you of life.
My husbands parents lost their firstborn at the age of 18 she was in a car accident. The family was devastated and never the same again. The natural order of things is disrupted when a parent survives a child.
Such loss and heartache followed for many,many years.
xo

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Rel, profound post and question!

My nephew died just after my birthday this year from melanoma. He was only in his early 30s and left a three-year-old. We were devastated but I feel for my brother and sister-in-law who are facing their first Christmas without him. He was a lovely young man and absolutely wonderful to his mother.

The best possible attitude towards death? Live as if there is no tomorrow and treat others as you would have them treat you.

Great post, Rel.

Robyn

7:23 PM  
Blogger Rowan said...

How sad to read about that little boy - I can't imagine anything worse than losing one of my children. Death is just moving on to the next stage as the wheel turns, none of us know for certain what awaits us but everything in nature affirms that some new adventure will follow when we move on to the Summerlands.

1:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dear rel...I can imagine this is something you will never forget. It's hard when an adult dies but when it's a child, I don't know, it just seems so much more heartbreaking. The saddest part is knowing that this little boy's death could have been prevented. The best possible attitude toward death? I guess for me it would be to just accept it, it's part of the cycle of life but I just wish it didn't happen to ones so young. My dad was 48 when cancer claimed him, now I'm older than he was and I realize I'm not ready to die.

9:00 AM  

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