Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Watching your patient die in front of you is a mindnumbing experience. A million thoughts go through your head as you watch them in their last moments.

You replay the entire time you've ever known them and cared for them over and over again, and you wonder if there was anything you could have done differently to prolong their life. You scrutinize and obsess over every single moment and every minute action that took place. You look for mistakes. You look for alternative procedures that may have made a difference. You look for treatments that were overlooked. You stand there in a flood of thoughts and rememberence and replays.

And then, they're gone.

Most of the time, you realize that you did the best you could. But still, you go over their case over and over again. You do this because even though they've passed, the weight of that person's life sits on your shoulders like a thousand tons. It's strange to me to think that this total stranger trusted their life to me. And I wonder if I failed them.

But sometimes, it was just their time.