Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Last Twenty-Four Hours

Hello everybody!
I am Post-Call.
I just finished my overnight shift at the hospital where I worked on Labor and Delivery.

My anesthesia responsibilities are:

  • for all mothers in labor who want epidural placed, to get them and maintain them
  • for all mothers who need surgical delivery (c-section, either scheduled or emergent)
  • for all postpartum tubal ligations 
  • for all procedures involving retained placenta and postpartum hemorrhage
  • for any post-dural puncture headaches on postpartum--evaluate and treat
  • manage post-op pain for the first twenty-four hours after c-section
  • all emergent intubations in ICU that are not Code Blue

She was writhing in pain. The water broke, and her c-section was scheduled for next week. She had to go to surgery urgently.

In the OR she could barely sit still from the painful contractions. Position was suboptimal and technically difficult. There was rotation in the spine, and the subarachnoid space was quite deep.

I had to put the needle in to the hub, and push a bit to get into cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

Block worked, delivery followed, and routine post-op orders were placed.

Whether you believe in obstetric anesthesia or not, I don't mind how you think one bit.

I want you to know that I think.

While I am doing this (above), I am taking in all of this, and giving Reiki at the same time to help it happen:

I have two patients (mother and child), not one.
I have two 'customers' (patient and surgeon), not one.

In every child that is born, I see this miracle--I just do.

It doesn't matter what the family ancestry is...

Childbirth is holy every single time.

Last night I intubated someone I had stayed up late at night, with the team working to save their life in the O.R. last time I was on call there. I asked if they remembered me--the patient didn't.

I always check to make sure the person wants the help before I knock them out briefly and put the tube in. Sometimes people are coherent, and say or nod yes, as they are experiencing air hunger and want relief.

Sometimes they are obtunded, and can't respond. For those, I assume since I am being called in by their ICU team, that the patient and their family say 'yes' to my skills.

So I do this:

In the back of my mind, I am thinking this:

Are you ready to check out?

In my heart, I also think this:

Where does it start?

And where does it end?

Love lasts forever.

It is my hope with my work, that those of you who are under my care, can feel my respect, love, and gratitude for you the whole time I am taking care of you.

Love Is The Solution For Everything.

Remember this,

 With your heart, mind, body, and soul.

Aloha and Mahalos,

Reiki Doc