Friday, September 05, 2008

Love 'Em, Don't Leave 'Em

I took report on my patient tonight and my heart sank.

80% burns, self inflicted.

He didn't feel loved, so instead he doused himself in lighter fluid and struck a match. If I have learned anything in the last 13 months, it's that suicide by fire is a long, painful, and not usually successful (initially). Instead, the patient waits until their body sucomes sepsis.

He's got a machine breathing for him.
His blood pressure is dependant on high doses of medication.
He requires continuous sedation of fentanyl and ativan.
His skin has been excised and cadaver skin is temporarily grafted onto his body.

Why did he do it? He's not awake to tell us. But we did learn from his friend that he recently came out of the wasn't well received. His family couldn't accept his way of life. He had failed- in their minds, to be the masculine ideal people hold on a pedestal. His family turned their back on him and now they risk loosing him. They couldn't see their son for all that he was. They were blinded by the gender issue.

I watched them sit at his bedside today, tears flowing. I heard them say, "I just don't get why he'd do this to us." I had to try hard to bite my tongue. They truly believed that their son did this to spite them, never considering that maybe it was his cry for help and longing for love.

And now I ask you all to do this. Love your kids for who they are, no what you think they should be. Let them live. Let the little girls play with cars and roll around in the dirt. Let the little boys play with the kitchen sets and put on dress up clothes. Cherish the time you have with them.


Anjali said...

Oh, that is just horrible.

Ramblings of a crazed SAHM said...

Amen. I hope every parent reads this. So horribly sad. I commend you for holding your tongue... I'm not sure I could have.