Monday, February 22, 2010

It is so hard.

It is hard to watch a patient struggle for breath, fighting the life-giving mask strapped to their mouth.

It is hard to watch vital signs change, knowing what they mean although those around you continue on in blissful ignorance.

It is hard to catch the looks passed between doctors and nurses, the knowing, sympathetic, hopeless looks that pierce to the soul.

It is hard to see a patient struggle to form words as a tumour slowly compresses nerves, making speech a veritable impossibility.

It is hard to watch a strong man fade, to know that the still joking man before you is facing near impossible odds.

It is hard to convince a patient to eat and drink since the majority of nutrients will be sucked away by the terrible invading force occupying his increasingly frail body.

It is hard to spend hour after hour, day after day, watching him fade further and seeing the faint glimmer of hope grow more distant.

It is hard to get the hospital smell washed off your clothes, your body and your hair, a constant, grim reminder of where you spend your long, dark days.

It is hard to tell a 12 year old that her father is dying, hard to hear her ask if that means she will have to walk down the aisle alone.

It is hard to tell family members that there is very little hope, and to call them in from all areas of the country to say their final farewells.

It is even harder when it is your family.

It is even harder when it is your father.