Monday, May 24, 2010
We had arranged for me to visit my patient at the same time as the bathing assistant was to visit so I could help change her sheets. I got up that morning, expecting to go to my patient later when I received a call from her partner. My patient had experienced a very bad night and was now semi-comatose. He was afraid that it meant her end might be coming. I arranged to visit anyway so he could run some errands, when I showed up at the apartment, I met the partner and could see the grief and anguish in his kind eyes. I comforted him as best I could and then went into the bedroom to greet my patient. She was slumped over the table by her bed, struggling for each breath, but when I entered, she looked up and actually recognized me. It was a lovely moment, but I was sad at what I thought might be coming. As I sat there with her, watching her fight for breath, it occurred to me that she could possibly die while I was with her.