Posted by: medicblog999 | February 8, 2010

I close my eyes and remember….

closed eye croppedI close my eyes and I remember…..

There was so much blood….

The end of a life that was expected but always feared….

He always knew how he was going to die; it wasn’t a case of if any more, only when…

He had Lung Cancer, inoperable and massive. It was eroding through his lung and one day soon, they said, it would eventually involve his pulmonary artery….

He woke from his afternoon nap coughing….

Then he felt it….

It must have been like he was drowning, but he was sitting on the edge of his bed….

I hope that the hypoxia and the blood loss had its effect quickly, before he really took in the fact that he was drowning in his own blood….

But I know differently…..

The trail of blood through to the kitchen tells the truth…..

He had time….

And his wife could do nothing about it other than look on in horror…..

I really hope I hid the look of shock and  that I felt, and the thought racing through me head as I walked into the house ready to deal with a ‘Short of Breath – coughing up blood’ call…..

‘Jesus Christ!!!’

I wish I could take her nightmares away from her, but I know they will be with her till the day she too close`s her eyes forever………………………….



  1. I don't often cry at posts. The poor, poor woman. My daughter (the nurse one) had an arrest on the ward a couple of weeks ago that was similar – she was so upset, and she is trained and has colleagues who understand. I just can't imagine how the wife will process it. However awful it was for him, it must have been indescribable for her. How did she even manage to dial 999? I hope there's some help there for her.Perhaps it's from knowing too much but it is these sorts of events that make me want to know what I might face and have the option of a dignified and gentle death. I have heard of so many people who have lost a family member to some chronic illness and who have been shocked by the agony of the final stages. And the people who oppose “euthanasia” and shout the wonder of palliative care often have no idea of the horror that death can be – even in a hospice. Imagine if it had happened outside his home, or in the presence of a grandchild.

  2. A rough job for sure, But at the same time a very real moment. Unfortunately there are some cases where there is nothing that can be done. But on that same note, the simple act of just being there can make a difference. Take care Triple 9

  3. Worked a similar call years back. I was back step on the engine and when we got there rescue was already trying for a tube. The place reeked of smoke and there were overflowing ashtrays everywhere. The cause of the bleed was obvious to all of us but it didn't make it any more pleasant. I've only seen more blood on a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the head recently. As we were rushing out of the house I came face to face with my neighbor who never knew I was “in this service” and the patients significant other. It was not something I would wish on anyone and a horrible way to go. We worked him all the way in, crunching and puffing in the back of the bus, trying not to get splattered as we did it. Needless to see our efforts were in vain. That night 3 of the guys on the truck quit smoking but of those, only one remains tobacco free.

  4. Went to a guy the other week with terminal CA spreading to the lungs, call was for SOB, sats low 80's in air, really advised that he must go in but himself and his family really wanted to stay at home as always planned so we managed to arrange some home O2 at we done something…. I heard lower basal bubbling on inspiration which my other crew mates couldn’t, either way he was staying at home… I know wonder if this will be another person and family that will go through this tragic end.

  5. That's quite a peice there mate. It's one thing to know how one will die, but living through it and/or watching it….makes me shudder!

  6. I'm sorry to hear this, Mark; that's one of the roughest calls to go on. Are YOU all right?

  7. I'm sorry to hear this, Mark; that's one of the roughest calls to go on. Are YOU all right?

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