October 29, 2008

Reflection: The hospital experience.

What was your overall feeling about your hospital/medical experience? Who was compassionate? Who was not? Who made you angry?
The care and attention of the staff at Evergreen Hospital was amazing. From the lady at the info desk who rushed us to the ER to the ER admitting lady and the ER staff that rushed off with Evan before they knew his name. The doctor in charge of and coordinating Evan's care was calm, kind and took command of the situation. Everyone listened and obeyed whatever he said. It was obvious that he was respected among his peers. During the middle or end of the attempt to save Evan's life, this doctor came to us and looked us in the eyes and told us that Evan had been without oxygen for a while and that even if he did survive he'd be brain damaged. Even if chances of survival were slim, this doctor still held out hope.
I really liked the girl who had been assigned to stand next to me and answer my questions and concerns. She was kind and attentive. Tymon nicknamed the two that were doing chest compressions for Evan: Tattoo Boy (he had a lot of tattoos up and down his arms) and 16-Year Old Girl (a pretty girl with long brown hair and a young face...probably in her early 20s). These two worked with precision and consistency and didn't miss a beat even when trading places.

The lady I didn't like was the pediatrician that came to the ER to help advise the doctor in charge. She talked to us twice. Once a few minutes after she arrived and she told us that things weren't looking good (now this language still leaves room for hope). The second time maybe 10 or so minutes later (it's hard to judge time in an emergency). She came to us and bluntly told us that they had been breathing for Evan and pumping his heart for 45 minutes and it was time to stop. Talk about a devestating blow! At some point I exclaimed that I didn't want them to stop. This woman was harsh and brash and rash and every other sh word that comes to mind. Why couldn't she have sugar coated it and said that they'd try for another few minutes and if he didn't respond then they'd stop? She told us and soon thereafter everyone stopped working. There was no warning here. Though I could see people swarmed around Evan, I didn't realize that they were doing all of the breathing for him. I could see the monitors and found out what various colors meant and what the numbers meant. I didn't know that Evan wasn't making any of those numbers on his own. I'm not sure knowing that would've helped soften the news, but the abrupt manner of the pediatrician certainly exacerbated it.

How did you feel about your own behavior? How did the doctors and nurses respond to you?
I felt fine about my behavior. I was calm and curious as to what everyone was doing. In the beginning, I even thought about taking a photo of everyone surrounding Evan for my blog. I decided against it because I didn't want to appear like I wasn't taking this seriously. The doctors and nurses were sympathetic and also heart broken that they couldn't help Evan. At the end, they told us to take all the time we needed with Evan. They gave us a phone and even made a phone call to Tymon's work for him. They brought us juice and crackers. We had 3 and a half hours with Evan's body before the coroner came to examine him and it was time to leave. On the way out I approached the "16 Year Old Girl" and gave her a hug and thanked her for working so diligently.

What were your feelings as you left the hospital? Were you warnd that there were hard times of grieving ahead? What support were you offered for those time?
We were heart broken to leave the hospital. My cousin took our boys and my friend took Jovana and Tymon and I left together. They gave us several sheets of paper. I still haven't looked at them. I think they gave some information on grief services. It's kind of a blur. I didn't want to be around anyone. I only wanted to cry and remember Evan with Tymon. We both actually had the thoughts to jump off the parking garage as we headed to our car. But, alas, that would only create more sorrow for our family and we've all had enough just with losing Evan.

2 Riveting COMMENTS:

  1. Just as a caveat, jumping off the garage was just a fleeting thought...neither of us actually considered doing it seriously. We were far from suicidal.

  2. You guys have a right to feel whatever it is you felt, in my mind. Just because the thought arises to kill yourself, that doesn't mean that you chose it, just like any temptation. Possibilities run through your mind when you are grieving. Well, in this case,you must have been more in shock, I don't know. But then thinking about other survivors keep you going, I'm sure. It is interesting too that the harsh lady was so far removed from the situation. Maybe it was a defense mechanism. In such an intense situation, maybe she had to be blunt so she wouldn't get too close to the situation. That for sure doesn't excuse her, though. I love you guys!


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