I lost both my patients in one 12 hour shift. At 10:28pm I lost the 78 year old man with dementia (possibly Alzheimer's) who was injured while riding in a car driven by his intoxicated son. The same son who withdrew care on him after his MI and two strokes in the hospital.
The second patient, who died at 5:56am, was a 69 year old who had found his way into the wrong section of a construction zone and hit a parked front-end loader head on. His Jack Russell Terrier, Buddy, was with him and presumed dead by the family, but a man who lived near where the accident occurred found Buddy, covered with blood, washed him off, and called the police. The police returned Buddy to the wife. My patient had been driving to take Buddy for a walk. Since his admission, Buddy has refused to eat or ride with anyone else, and has sat each morning in the man's recliner waiting to read the morning paper, as was their routine. I was sad for the wife, sad for the man, but I was more sad for Buddy. It is always the innocents who touch me most. That's why I can't work in pediatric nursing. Animals and kids, in their innocence, seem much less deserving of life's cruelties than the rest of us. It is hard to find a way to accept it when seeming injustices occur to children and animals. Someday, I hope I can understand all of this. Or any of it.