Twice in a day, two different patients, same age group (late 70s), similar situation, are brought in very critical situations to the ICU.
The first was a female patient on life support. The husband was obviously worried. I emergently called the on-call interventional cardiologist to place a Transvenous pacemaker because her Heart Rate was in the low 20s.
Meanwhile, I was pacing her transcutaneously (via the skin by use of electrodes ) while praying it would maintain the capturing until she got to the cath lab.
What hit me most were the husband’s words, telling me what a “sweetie” she was. “I wish you know her. She is the nicest person ever”. His genuine concern for the love of his life was written all over his face.They, he told me, celebrated their 50 years of marriage just last year.
The next patient arrived almost unresponsive from sepsis (infection in the blood stream). The husband arrived at the tail of the ambulance. When he got to the room he stroked her hair and then looked at me and said: “she is such a sweetie! We had agreed I will go before her. I can’t survive without her.” His voice was so touchingly genuine you could connect to his soul.
Two lovely senior citizens, totally from different backgrounds, facing the possibility of saying goodbye to a life’s partner. The fears, the feelings, the reminiscences, and the stark possibility of heart break.
It made me wonder. What would you, knowing life is fleeting, say about your spouse if he or she was lying in critical condition on a hospital’s intensive care unit bed? Conversely, what if it was you on the bed, assuming you could hear their voice, what would you expect to hear from them?
Food for thought