Monday, November 21, 2011

Reiki and Death in the OR


I finished my case and was walking to the front desk to double-check my assignment. The PACU RN was asking for help to take a piece of equipment off a pole. "I am making epinephrine drip for Dr. X. She has a patient in the OR with a blood pressure of fifty. You should go and help if you have the time."

I walked in, and saw a patient with a head at an acute angle, nasal cannula, BP 116/70, spontaneously ventilating but unresponsive.

Immediately, I felt the quiet of the body (patient was not in it, it was 'quiet') and the spirit of the patient communicating to me in my mind, 'I am trying to die!'. I felt that the patient had wanted to go, but family would not let them, and here in the isolation of the OR the patient was taking their chance.

This is not good, I thought to myself, and started helping my colleague Dr. X.

That blood pressure was from epinephrine push code dose. It fell. Successive doses were not getting response. We intubated, took the headboard off the bed (the patient was not on the table yet), put it under the back, and started chest compressions. I placed an arterial line in the groin but the blood looked venous and there was not pulse. It must have been arterial, and the patient in electromechanical dissociation. There was electricity going fine from the SA node through the heart, but it was not pumping blood forward. Dr. X placed it again, but with chest compressions we saw waveforms. 

At this time, I gave Reiki. The transition symbol. There wasn't much time, but I did. To make it easier on all involved. I did it with my mind as I participated in the Code Blue.

The crash cart came into the room. A scribe started recording the code. We called the family, they wore a special suit over their clothes, and saw in the door as the team explained what was going on. I saw tears of heartbreak through the door. They didn't know I had taken tape off the eyes and the nurses had covered up everything with blankets to make it look prettier than it actually was. 

I had to go start another case, and Dr. X said it was okay to leave. They called the code later (that means to stop life-saving efforts, or 'heroics').

No one came to relieve me, even though I was first to go. That is because Dr. X had a lot of paperwork to do. When I was ready to go home, I walked in because some paperwork was missing and I thought I had left it in the room. Nothing had changed, and it was three hours later. Every death in the OR is a coroner's case.

Psychically, the room was quiet.

I was sitting back getting my hair washed about thirty minutes later at the salon, when I felt the deceased.

'What are you doing here?' I asked, in my mind.
'I bet you didn't expect to see me!' the patient said, and I saw two big bright angels flanking the patient, who was young and happy again.
I was thanked for my efforts. For the doctor work and the Reiki.

In a sly voice, I was told, 'you will make a great wife some day!'

I asked, 'how is this?' incredulously.

'I can see everything up here. The past, present and future. I can see everything. I know. I see all.'

And I said 'thanks!'

And the Spirit was gone.

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