Do you hear me?

  1. 14
    November 16, 2013
    Written by Sabby_NC

    Do you hear me?

    Your vitals are good today.

    I am dying of a disease I never wanted.
    Never getting the chance of growing old and seeing my family make choices in their lives.
    Not going to get the chance of walking my daughter down the aisle.
    Not going to get the chance to hold my first Grandchild.

    Do you hear me?

    How is your pain score today?

    I have so much pain in my heart.
    I am leaving my spouse to manage things on her own, will she be safe?
    How will she manage financially?
    Who will hug her at night while drinking a warm drink by the fire?
    Comfort her when she is unwell?

    Do you hear me?

    Your heart sounds good.

    How can it be, my heart is hurting so much it is overwhelming me?
    I love this life I made with my wife, and now it is getting snatched away from me.
    My friends do not call or come around; they do not want to see me looking so sick and skeletal. They do not know what to say to me? Just call me is all I need, the silence in the room is deafening.
    I cry when no one is looking.

    Do you hear me?

    Have you moved your bowels today?

    My stomach is so upset, I feel sick to the pit of my stomach. Food makes me nauseated and most of the time I vomit.
    I am so weak I pee before I get to the commode; my dignity is in my boots.
    Loss of bodily function is something that you cannot imagine how it makes you feel, I now wear those paper/plastic pants that feel like a child again. I am totally stripped of my dignity.

    Do you hear me?

    What have you been able to do today?

    What can I do when I feel so weak I cannot even brush my own hair?
    I fall asleep during conversations, cannot concentrate for long and lose my train of thought.
    I say things that do not make sense, I see people from my past but in a weird way it is comforting to me.

    Do you hear me?

    How are you coping today?

    I am not; I am dying DO YOU HEAR ME? I no longer have control over the choices in my life.
    Why do you ask so many questions when all I want is for you to sit down and listen to me?
    I had a life, a sense of purpose. Ask me what I used to do while I can still express myself.
    There are things I have achieved in my life that just may be of interest if only you could take the time to sit and listen to me.
    Sometimes I like to know what is going on outside, is it sunny today, tell me what is important on the news. Could you read the front page of the paper to me?
    Sometimes just a kind touch or holding my hand and being quiet are appreciated as well.
    Treat me as a person; this is who I am and not a disease process. Please show me respect, dignity, compassion as for now, I am still alive.

    Do you hear me?
    sharpeimom, GrnTea, tnbutterfly, and 11 others like this.
  2. 13 Comments so far...

  3. 3
    Besutiful. Thank you!
    Esme12, NF_eyenurse, and Sabby_NC like this.
  4. 5
    This is beautiful, Sabby_NC. It captures the person who is facing their mortality in a loving, caring, compassionate and empathetic way. Your prose is a "must read" for any one of us in the "helping" healthcare profession. (I know that I need to read words like these sometimes.)

    Thank you. . .
    Esme12, aknottedyarn, Sabby_NC, and 2 others like this.
  5. 3
    Beautiful. Thanks for sharing, Sabby.
    Esme12, Sabby_NC, and herring_RN like this.
  6. 5
    Hard to "talk" given the lump in my throat and the tears in my eyes.......this hits a little too close to home. Magnificent post, Sabby!!
    Esme12, aknottedyarn, vintagemother, and 2 others like this.
  7. 4
    Sabby, my words cannot convey how much I appreciate you writing this. The art of nursing is being not just doing.

    You personify what a real nurse is, and how it feels to another when a nurse is doing nursing instead.

    Of course it made me cry. Thank you.
    herring_RN, efiebke, Sabby_NC, and 1 other like this.
  8. 7
    Quote from Sabby_NC
    November 16, 2013
    Written by Sabby_NC

    Do you hear me?

    Your vitals are good today.

    I am dying of a disease I never wanted.
    Never getting the chance of growing old and seeing my family make choices in their lives.
    Not going to get the chance of walking my daughter down the aisle.
    Not going to get the chance to hold my first Grandchild.

    Do you hear me?

    How is your pain score today?

    I have so much pain in my heart.
    I am leaving my spouse to manage things on her own, will she be safe?
    How will she manage financially?
    Who will hug her at night while drinking a warm drink by the fire?
    Comfort her when she is unwell?

    Do you hear me?

    Your heart sounds good.

    How can it be, my heart is hurting so much it is overwhelming me?
    I love this life I made with my wife, and now it is getting snatched away from me.
    My friends do not call or come around; they do not want to see me looking so sick and skeletal. They do not know what to say to me? Just call me is all I need, the silence in the room is deafening.
    I cry when no one is looking.

    Do you hear me?

    Have you moved your bowels today?

    My stomach is so upset, I feel sick to the pit of my stomach. Food makes me nauseated and most of the time I vomit.
    I am so weak I pee before I get to the commode; my dignity is in my boots.
    Loss of bodily function is something that you cannot imagine how it makes you feel, I now wear those paper/plastic pants that feel like a child again. I am totally stripped of my dignity.

    Do you hear me?

    What have you been able to do today?

    What can I do when I feel so weak I cannot even brush my own hair?
    I fall asleep during conversations, cannot concentrate for long and lose my train of thought.
    I say things that do not make sense, I see people from my past but in a weird way it is comforting to me.

    Do you hear me?

    How are you coping today?

    I am not; I am dying DO YOU HEAR ME? I no longer have control over the choices in my life.
    Why do you ask so many questions when all I want is for you to sit down and listen to me?
    I had a life, a sense of purpose. Ask me what I used to do while I can still express myself.
    There are things I have achieved in my life that just may be of interest if only you could take the time to sit and listen to me.
    Sometimes I like to know what is going on outside, is it sunny today, tell me what is important on the news. Could you read the front page of the paper to me?
    Sometimes just a kind touch or holding my hand and being quiet are appreciated as well.
    Treat me as a person; this is who I am and not a disease process. Please show me respect, dignity, compassion as for now, I am still alive.

    Do you hear me?
    Thank you....as the tears pour down my face for this is close to home for me.....You voiced what I feel every time I leave the doctors office. I am not dying...at least I hope not...but no hears me or sees me anymore. They don't KNOW who I am or who I was. I have developed a bad habit of telling anyone who will listen that I am not who they see. I was hard working and self sufficient that wouldn't go to the mail box without mascara...now I can't always brush my hair.

    I was pretty, slender, self-confident, smart, efficient, and a the best nurse you will ever meet. Now I'm Jabba the hut with a sunburn in wheelchair, ugly hair, no makeup, who can't shower and leave the house in the same day....it's just too hard.

    I see the rolled eyes and hear the whispered comments...the inner voice doubting my prowess as a nurse. The half smile when I say I was a flight nurse....like "Oh yeah I'll bet she was..look at her"

    While I have lost the ability to walk, my body has betrayed me and denied my family of the mother and wife they deserve...I haven't lost my mind or my feelings.

    Thank you for putting it into words.
    GrnTea, herring_RN, tnbutterfly, and 4 others like this.
  9. 5
    That was very good Sabby, I think it really captures what it is like to be terminally ill.
    herring_RN, aknottedyarn, efiebke, and 2 others like this.
  10. 5
    This reminds me so much of my friend's husband, who died six months ago of stomach CA. He went from 6'3" and 220lb to about 100 when he died. He died surrounded by his family and friends. He was a good father and friend, and he made sure that his wife and kids would be provided for after his death.

    Thank you for this. It is beautiful.
    herring_RN, Esme12, aknottedyarn, and 2 others like this.
  11. 6
    As hospice this also made an impression on me but then I also went to see my mom in the lock-down Alzheimers/Dementia unit and I am always deeply saddened to see all these folks wandering around, unable to communicate with much more than a "word salad". I look at them and wonder, who are you? What did you do for a living? Were you married? Have any kids or grandkids?

    Every time I go, someone fools me. I think they are family visiting but they are not. Yesterday a nicely dressed and coifed lady - in her 60's I think - was sitting at the table, purse in her lap, with another person obviously someone who lives there. She was talking kindly to her, no word salad, smiled at me, seemed more cognizant than everyone else. But .. . realized later she was a resident.

    A very handsome man in his maybe early 60's came up and started talking to my mom - he made more sense but also rambled off into word salad. It is pretty amazing to watch my mom and another person "talk" . . they nod like they understand each other and I sometimes think maybe this truly is another language I just don't understand. He's so young and normal-looking . . . what happened to him??

    Many of the more demented/confused (?) folks - there is a certain look to them. My mom is one of these. However, she still flirted with the man mentioned above and he smiled at her and said "why don't I burn this place down and get us out of here?" and my mom smiled and laughed. Then he went on to talk in word salad language.

    There were times my mom made sense - when I walked in she knew me, started crying and said "That's my Daughter, Spidey's mom". Sometimes she would be babbling to me and say the word "Jail" and sometimes she would ask about "the baby".

    This place has high school kids volunteering - this time the student asked me about my mom. She wears a sweatshirt sometimes that has a restaurant name on it and under that is a drawing of two young boys, the older one with his arm around the younger on, from behind looking off at a tractor with dad driving. She was wondering if my mom ever owned a restaurant - yes, she did. And the two boys are my sons - it is a drawing she did of them. She was an artist - a quite good one at that.
    Yes, it is heartbreaking to not see or hear these folks for who they really are.
    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Nov 18, '13
    herring_RN, tnbutterfly, Esme12, and 3 others like this.


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