Nursing your own family

  1. Ok , This week is one I am glad is gone. And one I hope I never hope to repeat. It started Monday when my oldest son called me at work to tell me that his aunt, ( my ex-sister-in-law) had just had an accident with a kid on a go kart .
    Well, it ended up that the kid 13 yr old female was riding a go kart on a residential street with no helmet, no harness and now no roll bar cage. ( The older sibling torched it off the day before)
    The kid went through a stop sign behind some hedges an under the suv that the aunt was driving. Well tragic to say the girl died of multiple traumas. Although, it was stated that the kid died at the hospital, after talking to various witnesses and the aunt, I am convinced she died immediately. The death was not only tragic of a child but it was one that was gruesome, to say the least.
    The aunt had a 12 year old girl with her and her 7 year old son. Both of which heard and saw all the events. The kids so far appear to be holding up.
    The aunt however, is very depressed, withdrawn and very difficult to deal with. She personally knew the family members of this child and all our kids played together. The aunt and the parents of this kid went to school together as well. Weird...
    Anyway, although I have ICU and now trauma experience, I have always been able to stay at a comfortable distance from my patients and families. I think over the years, I still care and am empathetic. I have learned to keep a hard shell to guard my own feelings.
    Psch nursing has not been my strong or favored part of nursing.
    Anyway, I could use some suggestions here. Even though I am an ex relative. I have managed to maintain a civil relationship with the ex relatives. I still feel the need to jump and help when needed. What do you tell some one who has killed a child. Even though it was not their fault. What are the steps this aunt should take in continuing a normal life that doesnot have the daily reminder that she took a life. She has the added complication of no health insurance and stated to me " THAT GOD THING YOU DO, DOESNOT WORK FOR ME" . I am willing to drive and take part in any couseling needed to help these people get over a traggedy. I have tried to make her see that even though this kid is gone, she unfortunately was the one who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was schedualed to be at the same place on that street but change plans at the last minute.
    Even though, this doesnot help now, apparently this kid and the sibblings had been doing this for some time and were informed by neighbors . ANd the mother was also telephoned about this risky behavior by neighbors. This was turely an avoidable event.
    But, this knowledge doesnot bring the teenager back, and it will not take away how the
    family feels and how the aunt now feels.
    If anyone can give me some good advice, please let me know here or privately.
  2. Visit ma kettle profile page

    About ma kettle

    Joined: Mar '02; Posts: 78; Likes: 3
    critical care R.N.


  3. by   NurseDennie
    I can't even imagine what to do. I guess pray for some kind of peace for both families. What a horrible thing.


  4. by   Brownms46
    I think the best you can do or anyone for that matter, is understanding, and a listening ear. As you doesn't matter how avoidable this terrible accident can't and won't make dealing with it any easier. This relative will always think about what could have, or should have been done differently. And anyone who doesn't believe in God...IMHO...will have a long road to healing from this. I'm just of the thinking...that it will take more than time to heal this wound. I'm sure you're aware that something like this can totally and utterly break a person's spirit.

    I believe your prayer and faith, and those of others...can bring strength to them ...whether they believe or not. Everyone must take the path to healing no matter what from...on their own terms, and in their own time. But not letting them go from your thoughts...and constant encouragement...will hopefully reap the reward of them being able to deal with has happen, at least to some degree. There is no way...that they will ever totally be free from the memory of this horror...but maybe they will be able to cope on a day to day basis.

    God bless you for wanting to help....and just being there...sometimes is all that is needed...
  5. by   ma kettle
    Thank you,

    Update, this aunt now feels she needs to touch base with the mother of the victim. I am hesitant to think that this will actually have a turn for the good. In theory, it is what you should do for healing of both parties. However, I also understand the funeral on Friday was a overal tense and had alot of family fighting and fingerpointing and blame. I also understand that the family of the victum has been telling all who will listen that the aunt (person who killed the girl ) was high from smoking when she hit the girl. I pointed out that these comments are probably better left alone. Most people know this is not true, ant that the aunt feels a sense of guilt for even driving on that road in the first place. I really believe the family of the girl and the aunt all need space and time to allow the initial shock filled emotions resolve.
    The grand parents on both sides had been family friends for over 40+ years. I am hoping that this remains and that the wisdom of the elders inthese families calms, and redirects these emotional felt feelings to more positive avenues.
    But all I theory and wishful thinking on my part. I just pray I am given the grace and knowledge to say and do the right thing. Please pray for healing
    thanks again for your support and prayers
  6. by   sunnygirl272
    I canonly imagine what the funeral was 16yr old cousin was killed in August..they were on their way to pick up football uniforms. chick that was driving was like 24 and let her 16 yo b/f..(!!!!) drive...was driving with excessive speed on a curvy dirt roa. the somersaulted off the road...jared was the only fatality and the only unbelted...(there were 5 in the suv total..) comminuted skull Fx w/ brain stem maceration.. the funeral was terrible... not only because the expert that was called in wasunable to really repair the dmage and my uncle needed in his heart to have open casket..very small town, very well-liked kid... very tragic death... histrionic mother of child who had been VERY physically abusive to all 3 of her kids...and the girl and guy were there..they didn't go public w/ their relationship untilafter the funeral . my uncle is furious, the boy who was driving is working at the cemetary where jared is buried, and the G/F goes and hangs out w/ him while he works,.... anyway, i'm sorry if i just detracted from Sandy Mowry's issue...but the posts just brought all the pain back...sorry.....- melinda
  7. by   Brownms46
    Sandy Mowry

    I agree with all you have said...and will pray for the best for all concerned including you. I feel in someway you have been personally affected by this tragic accident also,....but how could you not be. This was an awful thing to happen to people you know....let alone to have a family member involved. I pray for grace for you in this as you will need all the stength you can muster before all is said and done. May God Bless and keep you as you become the strength that will surely be needed in the days to come..

    sunnygirl272...unfortuantely....there have been too many horrible things happening..that shouldn't have had to happen. I'm sooo very sorry to hear of your painful lost.. I pray for strength for you and yours also.. Take care of you take care of others..
  8. by   NRSKarenRN
    Will keep your aunt in my prayers.

    Found this on an internet search:

    What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

    From article:
    How Can Someone Get Help?

    Because of the longtime link between battlefield service and PTSD, many veteran hospitals are well staffed to handle these problems. If you are a veteran, you can contact your local VA Hospital or Veterans Center or call the VA Health Benefits Service Center toll free at 1-877-222-VETS!

    Others should begin with their primary care physician who may be able to recommend a mental health practitioner. You may also want to r ask friends if they know of any mental health providers whom they recommend. Other steps to find appropriate treatment include:

    If you work for a large company o organization, call the Human Resources or Personnel office to find out if they provide mental health services or make referrals.

    If you are a member of an Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), call to find out if mental health services are available.

    Call the National Center for Victims of Crime's toll-free information and referral service at 1-800-FYI-CALL. This is a comprehensive database of more than 6,700 community services agencies throughout the country that directly support victims of crime.

    Contact a local hospital directly and ask about mental health clinics, or staff psychiatrists.

    Contact the psychiatry department of a local medical school, or the psychology department of a local university.

    Contact a professional society or consumer-advocate association. These include the Sidran Foundation (410-825-8888) , Anxiety Disorders Association of America (212-543-5355); American Psychological Association (800-964-2000); NAMI (800-950-6264) and the National Institute of Mental Health (Toll-Free: 1-88-88-ANXIETY or 301-443-4513).
  9. by   nightingale
    My prayers are with you and the families Sandy.


  10. by   boggle
    What a sad experience for all of you.

    I was just going to bring up the post traumatic stress issue, and am so glad SKaren noted the link.

    I hope you or another professional in contact with your ex-sister-in-law will bring up the subject of this problem, and encourage her to seek some help SOON for herself, and for the children in the car with her!.

    Many counties have very low cost community mental health centers that can offer immediate help. There is often alternative funding for uninsured children too.

    The idea of post traumatic stress is pretty well accepted by the general public now. It doesn't seem to have the negative stigma that other mental health issues do. If anything, it is often viewed as problem affecting "heros" and survivors.

    I hope this helps.
  11. by   ma kettle
    As always I knew I could count you all to pull together the wonderful resources and prayers. THANKS< from the bottom of my heart. It was interesting a nurse I work with in a trauma unit in Pittsburgh shared his near death experience with me. He was on a motorcycle and a drunk driver hit him. The car (drunk driver tipped over the car and died at the seene. But he was knocked off the bike and lost his lower left leg. He was lying on the pavement an looked up and saw a man standing over him. He said the man reached his hand out then shook his head "no". There was a white cloud like light behind this man. Then John, (the nurse) started to out reach his hand and as the man shook his head no, he said all he did was lie his back on the pavement, and the next thing he knew he woke up in a hospital bed trying to pull out the endotube from his mouth. He stated this was weeks later. John stated that when he woke up he wanted
    to know where Joe so and so went, the nurse caring for him stated "oh, that was the guy in the car that hit you, he died at the seen." Now, I am a christian but I always love hearing stories of the spirit leaving our now bodies for another place. I like hearing from many people that they have nearly died and how peaceful that feeling that comes over you, and that it
    is a REAL THING. Positive reienforcement for me.
    The sister in law has good days and bad days. I have a minister that I work with. He came to my aid this week. He drove to this aunts house and had a mock funeral in her back field. I believe this is helping the aunt to place the killed girl to rest and allow her to start the grieving process. I hope. She willnot ride in a car. We all have been getting groceries and taking the kids here and there. So Iam not sure what the next step should be but I guess giving it time and prayer will eventually guide the way.
    Sunnygirl I am sorry to hear of your experience. I am sorry to bring up healing wounds. My prayers are with you too.
    But I do have to wonder why we are placed in positions that may mean killing someone. Even in a accident situation.????
    Sandy Mowry