Monday, February 02, 2009

I'm Not Dead

“And I was never looking for approval from anyone but you
And though this journey is over I'll go back if you ask me to…”

I used to believe that my greatest fear in life is dying, especially, dying alone.

But in the midst of living, and working in a place where death is as common as a thought, facing death has been the norm rather than the exception.

Every time a patient’s heart stops, a chain reaction of activating a code, rummaging the emergency kart for cardiac drugs, pumping the chest and shocking the heart has been our second nature. So much that almost everything has been routinely impregnated in our systems. In 30 minutes we stop, or in some instances, when our muscles still can permit, we allow 15 more.

Whoever said that running a code blue is so cinematic and surreal must be seriously absurd.



I have seen death several times and at most of these times, facing it has never been easy for my part.

As medical professionals, life is what we protect at all times. We may have different values towards it, different views, opinions, and outlook on it, but in every chance that we got, we have learned how to protect it at all costs.

Because we cherish its brevity. How transient it could be. One moment you’re someone else’s son, someone else’s mother, someone else’s special loved one, and the next thing you might just be the cadaver I’m wrapping up in a shroud.

When burnout sets in, I couldn’t help but contemplate on whether I should volunteer myself to the hospital’s pediatric wing, or in the nursery where life abounds and everything is sweet and cuddly. But then reality slaps me back where I’m supposed to be. No matter where I go, people will die. People are going to die. And life begins anew.

Maybe it’s for this reason that I have begun to realize one of the most important things in life.

That life is what we make of it.


As the old saying goes, “Yes, we can't do anything about the length of our lives, but we can do something about its width and depth."

And sometimes.

Yes, sometimes.

It’s all so comforting.

“I’m not dead just floating
I'm not scared just changing
You're my crack of sunlight yeah…”


Images from Flickr, I’m Not Dead by Pink.

15 comments:

fruityoaty said...

I've never understood that obsession for eternal youth. I definitely do not want to live forever. There is a beginning and end to everything.

lucas said...

hays... i feel for you. death is everywhere, and constant.

medical profesionals have opportunities to see death in whole new different way. no wonder strong will and spirit are required.

Mac Callister said...

i've seen death almost everyday nung nagwowork ako sa respioratory therapist I was the one doing the CPR and dati naiiyak pa ko kapag hagulhol na mga relative but now its so ordinary na for me...

dabo said...

ayon sa nabasa ko, ang concept ng death is dependent sa society, before daw, sa western world ang mga tao ay di takot mamatay or most likely sa patay. becasue they've been exposed to it all the time.

at ang mga namamatay ay nasa loob ng bahay, kaya kahit bata ay alam ang ganitong pangyayari.

in fact, uso noon ang magpapa-picture muna ang buong pamilya at kasama ang bangkay ng kanilang mahal sa buhay.

pero dahil sa advent ng modern medicine at sanitation..medyo nagbago na ang mundo at ang view ng mga tao when it comes to death.

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@fruityoaty: who waits forever anyway?

@lucas: i think that's the reason why i have learned to befriend him.

@mac calister: the amazing part? i still do cry sometimes.

@dabo: cf. my i'll be home for christmas post (12/2007).

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Bino/Geno said...

Hello. Tagal nawawala ni nurse ruff. :)

KC said...

Those are nice insights regarding death. :)

Whenever I see someone dying, I usually feel sorry for them because I know that they can still do something more for this world. However death is inevitable and we should be open to the fact that we have a limited time in this world.

icka said...

we only have one life and we don't even know if we'll be given another chance. life is short, a popular cliche, so give love to everyone and it shall come back to you. everything here on planet earth moves in a cycle, if someone dies another life is born. just the way if feel sad today, someone is in search for us to make us smile again.

happy puso ruff!

kalansaycollector said...

takot akong mamatay ng maaga. but parang mas natatakot yata akong tumanda... hay.

ruff nurse-du-jour said...

@yffar: thank you. sure will do.

@bino/geno: blame hospital chores. d*$%. :-)

@kc: would it be wrong to admit that there are times when i actually pray for death to come early?

@icka: amen to that. it's the circle of life.

@kalansay: i would rather die than grow old. hahaha. :-)

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