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20 Comments

  • Dr. Deborah Serani
    Dr. Deborah Serani

    January 30, 2006 at 8:13 am

    {Sigh}I can *only* do the frosted ones.

    ~Deb


  • Susan
    Susan

    January 30, 2006 at 8:29 am

    Wonderful post.


  • Jenn
    Jenn

    January 30, 2006 at 8:36 am

    It’s so eerie how people know when they will die. Every time a person says they are going to die, I’d do a thorough assement and keep a close eye on them. They usually coded (and usually died) within 24 hours.

    My favorite was a nurse I was working with one night shift. His patient said she was going to die and he looked at her and said, “Honey, your bags may be packed, but you aren’t checking out till at least after seven.”


  • Oh, no! I’m so screwed…I prefer Cream of Wheat…I’m going to be an AWFUL nurse then, right? 🙂
    Hh


  • BigMamaDoc
    BigMamaDoc

    January 30, 2006 at 9:49 am

    Love your post today. I’ve hard similar eerie things from folks before they “cross over.” My own dad had two full codes (successful – what are the odds?) several years before he finally coded for good. He said on these occasions he saw no lights, heard no angel voices. In retrospect, he said, that was kind of creepy – was he going to a dark and quiet place? 🙂


  • PaedsRN
    PaedsRN

    January 30, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    Yikes… spooky!

    I’ve definitely had patients where I’ve said, “it’s ok, you can let go now” and they’ve desaturated into the 50’s thirty seconds later. I know some of them are listening, I just don’t expect THAT immediate a response!


  • Third Degree Nurse
    Third Degree Nurse

    January 30, 2006 at 6:42 pm

    I’ve seen my husband and my father choose their times of death. Not that either wanted to go mind you; but if you know you’re dying of cancer and can choose when to go, well, there’s some solace in that.

    I don’t like that story of the patient visualizing herself underground, though. I wonder what her spiritual beliefs were.


  • Nephronurse
    Nephronurse

    January 30, 2006 at 6:58 pm

    I had a patient once who described everything that had happened during a code at the opposite end of the unit from his room. At the time of the code he was a fresh post-op, sedated and on a ventilator. As soon as he was awake and extubated he was asking us what had happened to the woman we had used the “electric gloves” on, why we put that tube down her throat, and why we were sticking needles in her neck. He was very concerned about her and told us he had watched us. Spooky.


  • Jodi
    Jodi

    January 30, 2006 at 7:31 pm

    I want to believe that last lady’s story was more a fear riddled dream then what really happened.
    My personal belief is that the departed hang out with the loved ones who need them most for a time and then head off to their heaven.


  • kenju
    kenju

    January 30, 2006 at 9:19 pm

    I was with a friend when she was dying of colon cancer. She was obviously in pain, as the periodic deep groans were increasing over the hour I was with her. I told her it was okay to go, and within 5 minutes she passed over.

    Kim, I considered it an honor to be with my friend when she died. If I worked in a ccu I would enjoy hearing people’s stories of the oobe’s they had.


  • Nancy
    Nancy

    January 30, 2006 at 11:45 pm

    wonderful post.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve been here, but I’m delurking.

    Thanks for coming over to my blog to see me.

    :0)

    My mom was a nurse and I’ve a sister who is a nurse.


  • Dr Dork
    Dr Dork

    January 31, 2006 at 5:44 am

    You’ve given me goosebumps.


  • MedicMel
    MedicMel

    January 31, 2006 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks for the stories. When working as a paramedic, my partner and I went to the CCU to visit a patient we had successfully coded. As we walked in and started to introduce ourselves, the patient interrupted us and said “I know you. You were pushing on my chest!” He was, of course, correct. I have also had patients tell me they were dying – and if they said it calmly, they were right!


  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    January 31, 2006 at 6:49 pm

    You brought me back to my days in ICU. I vividly remember a gentlemean telling me a a coleague, don’t worry about dying girls it’s fine, he had coded once and been resuscitated. I to left the unit for the ED where you never hear the stories of near death. I have always felt during codes that it was more Gods will than our efforts that made the difference in outcomes. The best run codes on witnessed arrests could result in death and the craziest on someone down in the field for 20 min before rescue arrived would survive.
    A Massachusetts USA RN


  • angry doc
    angry doc

    February 1, 2006 at 1:45 am

    My own experience is that the patients will tell me they ‘don’t feel right’, but can’t tell you exactly how or why. You examine them, do the ECG, the bloods, and everything’s normal.

    The same afternoon they spring an MI and die.


  • mary
    mary

    February 1, 2006 at 4:58 pm

    I worked in “CCU” in the early 80s, and like angry doc there said, it was the ones who said “something’s just not right” who made me worry. After a while I just flat out KNEW that the ones who said, “I’m going to die”-were.

    What about the vertical crease in an earlobe sign—is that still part of the CCU mystery signals? When we saw a cardiac patient with a single vertical earlobe crease, we always said a code was imminent. I’ve always wondered if that was just an old wives’ tale…


  • Code Blue
    Code Blue

    February 2, 2006 at 5:23 am

    You and I graduated from nursing school at about the same time (1976 for me). I attended the Medical College of Georgia where Ray Moody was. He was one of the first people to delve into the near-death experience and wrote a book called “Life After Life.” I was fortunate enough to hear him speak as well and have been interested in the phenomenon ever since.

    My contribution to the discussion here is the story of a young woman (31)who had an etherial experience without coding. She had a major stroke and saw angels and her deceased father with her in the emergency department. I was her nurse practitioner and followed her from ER to discharge. She told me about the experience some days later. I was a little surprised. She was clearly in great distress but I never felt like her life was in danger. This was the first person I had talked to who had an experience like this without coding. I’ve spoken to a number of patients who have had those out-of-body experiences during codes but this is the first time I was interacting with a patient while it was going on. Like you, I have strong Christian beliefs and feel that it was a privilege to be a part of that experience.


  • art-sweet
    art-sweet

    February 5, 2006 at 5:53 pm

    I KNOW I’m being petty. And I KNOW it’s bad form to delurk with a complaint. But please…

    You’re a nurse. You know that there is absolutely no causal relationship whatsoever between juvenile (type I) diabetes and sugar consumption. So for the sake of those of us with diabetes, who have to deal with the idiots who don’t understand that how much sugar your mom put on your wheaties has nothing to do with your immune system deciding to do a number on your pancreas – could you please take a minute to think before making medically inaccurate jokes?

    stepping down from my soap box now…


  • Kim
    Kim

    February 6, 2006 at 1:08 am

    Art-sweet – check your email!
    I’ve added an update…..


  • art-sweet
    art-sweet

    February 6, 2006 at 6:59 am

    Thanks Kim!

    You’d be amazed at how many people actually think there is a relationship – and love to play
    “blame the victim.”

    I’ve updated my blog to reflect your changes.


About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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