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Diary of a Trauma Nurse
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About Me

My name is Cory. I am a mom, a wife, a NaNa, and a critical care nurse that lives in Nashville, TN. I have found my calling in ER/Trauma/ICU. Each day I find myself experiencing life changing events and hope that by reading my posts, you will experience and feel some of what I do. If you read nothing else, please take time to read "The Hardest Question Ever Asked". It's my very first posting. And if for some reason you think you see your story don't. It's not about you or anyone you know. =)


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Kathys Lifes Journey

Thursday, December 07, 2006


It's been awhile since I've posted and had a minute (which is rare) so I thought I would jot down some thoughts.

As most of you may or may not know I have a 19 year old son and a 14 year old daughter and although I'm thankful for them, they can and do try my patience. (That's really an understatement). =) Anyway, my daughter recently chose to make some choices on her own that she knew would make me want to choke her and I did want to, but I didn't do it. I figure if she's made it this far, we can work things out somehow. But anyway, back to what I was I was sitting there thinking about the various ways I could torture her and make her life as miserable as she sometimes makes mine I remembered another patient that I had one evening in the Trauma Unit.........

It was a 17 year old boy that had been in a car accident that afternoon. He wasn't expected to live because of his massive internal injuries including an aortic arch injury and a massive bleed in his brain. We were trying to get ahold of the parents. We were keeping him hanging on with an epi drip at a rate that was higher than what I've seen patients come flying in from the OR on. (Can't die in the O.R....... looks bad they say.) Sigh....

Anyway, the parents finally arrived and although the parents were undoubtedly in shock, I spoke to the mother alone a few hours later as she sat at her son's bedside holding his hand. "He was always so headstrong and wanted to do things his own way......." she said. I verbalized my understanding from what I too go through as a mother but making sure not to take from her grief and need to talk. She continued....... "we had a fight over something stupid and I can't even remember what it was about. When he yelled at me and told me he was leaving the house after I told him he couldn't go anywhere, I was so angry at his disrespect I told him to leave and to never come back." I didn't know what to say to her as she sat there having just been told that her son was "brain dead".

My thoughts were "thank you God that my children are home safe and please always make me realize that the things I say to my children whether in anger or not, could be the last things they hear." Now some of you may lay in judgment of what I did and I really don't care but I convinced the mother that even when people are unconscious (I didn't emphasize the fact that he was in fact brain dead, I said "unconscious") they can still hear what is going on around them. I have had many patients tell me what went on while they were totally unconscious. So, with that, I left her to tell her son everything she wanted to tell him. She hugged me and thanked me for letting her know that she did in fact have an opportunity to apoligize and tell him how much she loved him.

When I got home, I again thanked God for my children being safe and asleep in their beds. When I woke later in the day, they looked at me as if I was crazy but I hugged them both several times and told them how much I love them.

Always treat one another as if it's the last time you will ever see them.

CoryTraumaRN posted today at 12:43 AM

Hi Cory, it's Kathy, from myspace. I'm so glad you posted, it's been forever. I love your stories, mostly because they're true, and I always come away learning something. As a 41 year-old grandmother of 3, you can bet I understand the frustration of our youngsters making the wrong "grown-up" decisions when they aren't really emotionally grown-up.
Yet another one that tapped on the ticker. I summed it all up pretty well with the other note I wrote so I will just say one thing and you of all people will know what it means. "If tomorrow never comes"........ I think I let you know that enough times that I don't need to say it. Keep up God's work. Kevin
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