Miss Aida
The reality of working in the health services hit me last week.


It’s always a possibility, one I’ve always known. I’ve seen death before, and it’s something I’ve merely accepted as a part of life.

This time though, it was a patient. The very first patient I talked to in Ballarat.

e was a man with chronic liver failure, with a suggested background of alcoholism. We knew he would deteriorate, we knew there was nothing we could do for him but to make him as comfortable as we could.

Palliation, they call it.

But we knew. We knew he was going to die because there would be no chance of a liver transplant.

We knew.

And I knew. I had seen him every day, checked up on his condition. I had talked to him, seen him get worse and worse before my eyes; seen the signs classic of liver failure. The gradual confusion and pain, the gradual sleepiness as his brain started shutting down.

Last week the gravity hit me.

This man was going to die. And for some reason, it affected me a lot more than I expected it to. I felt my throat swell up as we walked down the hall and it surprised me, this sudden rush of emotion.

He died yesterday.

My first death.

And suddenly, it makes me realize the reality and gravity of why we do what we do.
9 Responses
  1. roro Says:

    i feel you girl

    i used to volunteer at hkl, and i've seen many things. but the thing that i remembered the most is this one time around 3 or 4 am, this woman with her lil kid came to the hospital and told us that she was beaten by her husband. she wasn't crying or anything, but i was so touched by the whole thing. that was the first time i felt the realness of the world.

  2. roro Says:

    however the best part is, people treat me like a doctor or somthing coz i wore this name tag. kinda awkward when ppl sho sum luv.. hins... hins...

  3. a few days ago, i was told of a death of an ex schoolmate. i didn't recognise the name so i bet i didnt know her either. but death gives weird feelings to people. that night i looked for my yearbook and desperately scanned for her name. it wasn't there, and yet i still felt a loss.

    kinda scared me.

  4. i had difficulties dealing with death, too, so to say...

    sad, worried, or maybe scared.
    shocked, unprepared, or maybe confused.
    angry, cheated, relieved, guilty, exhausted, or just plain empty.

    my emotions might be stronger or deeper than usual or mixed together in ways i've never experienced before. the loss of someone close to me can really be stressful. my way of dealing with death is to be with others or start writing in a journal about the memories i have of the person i lost and how am feeling since the loss. or sometimes i write a song, poem, or tribute about my loved one. i do this privately most of the time, but will share it with others few times. after a while, it becomes less painful...

  5. this is another reason why i admire doctors - their strength in times like these.

    i don't know, will it get easier or harder the more deaths you encounter at work?

  6. amal Says:

    phew, now i know why i'm not in Medicine. I'm not sure if i can handle blood, let alone that kinda situation...

  7. It's a beban AND a reality check that help builds a stronger character.

    A much needed slap in the face sometimes, kan?

  8. it's okay.
    Death is just a way to move on.

  9. NJB Says:

    i think i've seen this episode in scrubs. heheh

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