Ambs

Sleeping is underrated!
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On Friday, a long-time patient of ours passed away. She leaves behind her husband of 50+ years who is also a patient of ours. This couple--like many other patients and patient couples--are very dear and very close to me and my co-workers. I was absolutely heartbroken and saddened by the news of her passing. I can't imagine the next time he'll come in to our clinic without her; I don't know how we'll be able to take it.

I've lost a patient before, one whom I was very close to. He was like my Maurie -- from Tuesdays with Maurie.

Medicine hurts -- losing a patient, hearing that one of your dearest patients is not going to make it, or learning that one of your patients has just been diagnosed with something severe, is a tremendous, heart-wrenching struggle for me.

One can pray for the patient's family, understand that the patient's suffering has ended, and simply accept death and dying.

It's still very hard, though.
 
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Ambs

Sleeping is underrated!
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gujuDoc said:
This might be a nice question to post in the allopathic forum cuz they may have some good responses. I say this because when I was at a forum recently, in which all the med school deans came out, there were some U of Florida 4th year med students. Anyhow, in the question and answer period with them they addressed this very question by telling us that there were different services at their med school to help get them through these kind of things. But they were saying that they were teaching them to let it out by writing poetry or keeping a journal or something. I don't remember now, what all they had said but it is something definitely worth posing to the actual med students on this board.
Thank you, that's a good idea.

I keep a journal, which does actually help a lot.
 

MedicineBird

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Ambs said:
On Friday, a long-time patient of ours passed away. She leaves behind her husband of 50+ years who is also a patient of ours. This couple--like many other patients and patient couples--are very dear and very close to me and my co-workers. I was absolutely heartbroken and saddened by the news of her passing. I can't imagine the next time he'll come in to our clinic without her; I don't know how we'll be able to take it.

I've lost a patient before, one whom I was very close to. He was like my Maurie -- from Tuesdays with Maurie.

Medicine hurts -- losing a patient, hearing that one of your dearest patients is not going to make it, or learning that one of your patients has just been diagnosed with something severe, is a tremendous, heart-wrenching struggle for me.

One can pray for the patient's family, understand that the patient's suffering has ended, and simply accept death and dying.

It's still very hard, though.

I find that it helps to consider the joys and relief in death. Mourn for the sadness of those left behind but rejoice in the patient's release from a troubled possibly painful or undignified existence.
 

Paws

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I will try and write an honest and thoughtful comment, but we have exams tomorrow so I feel a little fried.

One of the things I like about medicine as a profession, is that it allows us to see and experience the real fabric of life. The coming into this world and the going out of it, and all the stuff that happens to us in between. I took a Native American religions course recently, and we learned about the "Great Mysterious" which is really another way of looking at the world we can't see - God, or whatever you want to call it. But more like, a realm we can't see but which is all around us.

That's where we come from and it's also where we go, according to this tradtion. So, elderly people and little babies are really pretty close to this realm, one having just come from it and the other getting close to going there.

So, as for patients who die, I feel that we are all on this journey together and that we as medical people, can be a witness to this part of the process. Just as one day we hope (or at least I do), that others will be part of this process for us. We aren't here to stop the process (if it is meant to be) but to do our best to help the patient in their adjustment to their situation. I mean, aside from the actual medicine part of course. But being a good witness to another's experience is an important and healing experience for both people and helps us all through these stages.

:)

Does this make sense? I am a little tired but it is what I feel when people I meet in the hospital or clinical settings, die. And I think about it for myself as well.