Monday, April 26, 2010

Brenda - Day One

©Karen A J Rinehart

"EMS, Fire Rescue respond to 1327 N Roosevelt. Female having difficulty breathing", said the dispatcher as the pagers went off. This is a common thing for me to hear because I work as an EMT-I and those sounds are what I'm used to hearing. However, when it is a family member or a friend, those words are some of the most difficult that I hear. Even though I knew this call was going to be paged, it still made my heart sink.

My sister hadn't been feeling well for over a month. My husband and I tried to get her to go to the doctor but she always had an excuse. She had back pain, indigestion, shortness of breath and loss of appetite for almost a month. Finally one Sunday evening, she called me, "Karen, I'm going to call an ambulance and go to the hospital. I can hardly breathe." I told her I would be right there.

Upon arrival at ER, I walked into her room and asked it the doctor had been in. They had taken her blood sugar and it was high and had x-rayed her back and legs and she would be getting the results shortly. While we talking, the doctor finally came in and told her, "You have pneumonia. We will be admitting you." She was a little nervous because she'd never had to stay in the hospital before.

Her roommate and I rode in the elevator up to her room and I stayed with her while they asked her questions, got vitals, talked to her about a living will, DNR and helped her to change clothes. She didn't know exactly what a DNR was or a living will so I explained them to her. At one point I did ask her if she wanted to be resuscitated if it came to that. The look on her face broke my heart as she answered, "Yes." I told her that I would see to her wishes. They were still completing these things when I told her, "I'm going home and will be up here to have breakfast with you in the morning." I hugged her bye and left.

1 comment:

  1. Karen, my heart is aching for you at this moment (again, still) yet the ache is not as dull as it has been, for I feel that just by writing this, posting this for all the world to read, your feelings are finding a much needed escape. Telling YOUR story is as important as telling Brenda's story.

    Again, I'm proud of you myfriend..HUGs!