Wednesday, October 11, 2006
When You Least Expect ItWe were on opposite sides of her, me gently patting with one hand and very slowly syringing milk into her NG tube with the other. Her mother wrapping her tighter to stop busy limbs from flailing. Hoping for sleep.
It'd been a horrible day for them, a catastrophic diagnosis revealed, and little time to take it all in.
They always say it: "I don't know how you do your job."
I smiled gently. "There are good days and bad days. Mostly you just try to make things better, a little bit at a time. Even when I know I can't fix what's wrong, the main problem, I can usually help with the rest."
I paused, unsure whether to make the point or not. Patronising? Maybe, but it felt right. "Maybe that's something to think about, when you go home with her. Nobody knows how to make her better, but doing the little things will make a big difference to her, to the way she feels."
Next day I was astonished to discover the baby had died suddenly later that evening, only hours after I'd been with her. No-one had expected it.
Hindsight isn't always a wonderful thing. I wish I hadn't talked about the family going home.
Posted by PaedsRN at 7:20 PM