Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Sheryl Cruz Effect

yesterday, i heard the most painful words a patient has ever told me. i almost cried and i told myself, i do not deserve this.

cancer is an extremely painful disease. it affects not only a single part of the body. it spreads to the surrounding parts of its origin and sometimes, to the whole body. my patient has cancer of pancreas and has spread to his bones and liver.

according to, each year in the United States, about 42,470 individuals are diagnosed with this condition and 35,240 die from the disease. the prognosis is generally poor; less than 5 percent of those diagnosed are still alive five years after diagnosis. complete remission is still extremely rare. that being said, it is a very depressing condition. i have seen also other patients with the same condition who deteriorated very fast after being admitted in our unit. with all these in mind, i should be very understanding right?

but i am only human. i have my limitations and bad days. every shift, i handle difficult cases. before, i was called the sheryl cruz while my colleague mark was called gladys reyes. me, being the "patweetums nurse" and mark, being the "mataray nurse." until now, i still have that patweetums effect in taking care of my patients. as much as possible, i try to accommodate their every need to which, they are spoiled patients.

yesterday, i tried to maintain that sheryl cruz effect but to no avail. who would run out of patience for a patient who rings you every five minutes? or after you came to his room, would ask you again just to ask you where the bell is? or to help him turn to his side but when you attempt to turn him, would refuse and said he cannot do it? or how about making him sleep after i have given him a tranquilizer? worst, making him handsome?

i can endure all this, but to say to me that i cannot give him instructions because i am just a nurse and he is a surgeon? why not go out of the hospital and treat himself? at that moment, i just wished that he'd die asap! that he will be ventilated and unconscious for the time being but God forbid that i entertain those thoughts.

i felt like i was choking and losing grip of my status as a person and as a nurse. after all the attempts to understand and make him feel better, this is what i get? hell no! i am only human.

i left his room peaceful in appearance but inside of me, i want to burst and spill the poison in my blood that i have been hiding. i want to poison my charge nurse for giving this assignment to me and to give it also to one colleague who always messes with patient assignment as well. i want to inject them with a 10 cc of hepatitis b-infected blood, the security, the lazy housekeeping and the very slow cafeteria staff.

but then again, the sheryl cruz effect still reigned inside of me.

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