Saturday, April 26, 2008
It's Not Just Morphine
I had a patient who became morbid at the ICU last night...err i mean early this morning because that was almost 2am. Female, in her late 70's, admitted as a case of acute myocardial infarction. To make matters worse, she too has an aortic aneurysm. She's like a ticking time bomb. Ready to explode - anytime.
She had another episode of epigastric pain early this morning. It could be the aneurysm or could be another episode of myocardial infarction. Either way, both could cause her demise. I requested for a repeat ECG and her heart rate were running like horses - way above normal. Could be due to pain. No, but no for there were new changes in her ecg. She was having runs of ventricular tachycardia. Vital signs were quite unstable. The defibrillator was prepared at her bedside. She was anxious. She was in pain. She actually bid me farewell. She's tired of the fight and she wanted to rest so she said.
From my previous duty at the ICU, i met her husband. Ive seen how he took care of her. Ive seen how he was so anxious and afraid for her. I havent seen him though the whole night. For his sake, i tried to encourage her. She cant go unless he's there beside her. She has to let him let go of her. I asked one of the relatives to call him wherever he was. Unknown to me, he was just outside, resting. Might have been tired from attending to his patient for quite some time now.
While waiting for him, I sedated my patient to alleviate her anxiety. She still was restless and in pain. So I gave her a small dose of morphine. Five minutes had past and yet the pain was persistent - she claimed. Then he came. He held her wrinkled, old hand. He touched and caressed the area where she pointed to be very painful. He kissed her forehead. He was whispering words to her that i couldnt hear. Must have been words to encourage her. She kept quiet. Ive seen how she transformed into a meek baby in the comfort of his arms. She then fell asleep. Her heart rate went back to normal. Her vital signs stabilized. I felt like crying. Maybe i was relieved that her condition stabilized or it could have been more to the sight in front of me. She's comfortable, asleep and no longer in pain. I dont think it's just morphine. It's more than morphine. It's him.
Ahhhh love. I have this soft spot for old couples who still show affection to each other. It might look odd to see old people kiss yet there's thing that i couldnt explain deep inside of me. Saw her very comfortable in his arms. Witnessed how he cared and stood for her in her sickness. All these, removed all my fears. Ive got a morphine in my pocket and i hope that it will stay with me until i grow old, sick and wrinkled.