Tuesday, May 09, 2006


He was young, just out of brain surgery. I'm not sure what his condition was; I was on my respiratory therapy rotation, and helped take him from ICU to CT scan. He was intubated and sedated, post-op. I bagged him down and back.

On the way from ICU to the elevator, we passed the waiting room, and there was quite a crowd of people, maybe twenty or thirty, hanging around. I thought, "Wow, someone's got a lot of friends." As we passed them, they all turned to watch us go. Someone gasped softly just as I passed them, and I realized they were all there for this patient.

Somewhere between the ICU and the scanner there was a problem with an IV pump, and his propofol (sedative) drip stopped, so he was a little more alert by the time we got him back. Nothing that was problematic, and he was quickly medicated again, but during the ride back his eyes were open and he was looking around. We passed the group again, and they lined both sides of the hallway, like it was a parade. A few murmured words of encouragement. The nurses and RT and myself kept our eyes forward. Professional.

After we passed them and turned the corner, I looked down, and realized he was looking up at me. I patted him on the shoulder, and said, "Did you see all of your family and friends, _______? You've got a lot of people here who care about you."

And he nodded, and seemed to understand, and I told him to relax and rest, and he laid his head back on the pillow and closed his eyes again.