Courtesy of Reddit.com | Posted approx. 08.2016 | Published 08.31.2017
There were literally hundreds of comments, but I copied the 17 I liked the best – Lisa
1/17. “But I don’t know how to get there…” an elderly gentleman in hospice. Hadn’t spoken in days. Died about 2 hours later.
2/17. Cardiac ICU: Had a gentleman who was DNR on comfort care. He was demented and was cursing like a sailor. He seemed to have moments of clarity and would ask to see his brothers (who were both passed).
After a particularly worrisome heart rhythm, he went back into a Sinus tachycardia and look me in my eyes and said “Hey, whats your name?”
So I told him my name.
“What do you do here?”
“I’m a nurse.” After this, he was quiet for some time… then he said…
“I hate you.”
And then he died about 20 minutes later.
3/17. “Get home safe, little one.” It wasn’t what he said – he said the same thing to me any time I had him as a patient for the evening. It was how he said it. He gave me this look and pause like he knew. The DNR’s in my experience, always know when it’s time.
4/17. I’m a nurse and was previously working at an assisted living community on the dementia/Alzheimer’s unit. My very favorite patient had been declining pretty steadily so I was checking on him very frequently. We would have long chats and joke around with each other, but in the last two weeks of his life, he stopped talking completely and didn’t really acknowledge conversation directed at him at all.
I finished my medication rounds for the evening and went to see him before I left. I told him I was leaving for the night and that I’d see him the following day, and he looked me in the eyes and smiled SO genuinely and said, “You look like an angel.” I thought it was so sweet because he had not seemed lucid in weeks.
He died the next morning. It really messed with me.
5/17. I work in a cardiac ICU. We had a patient who had a pulmonary artery rupture (a rare, but known complication of a Swan-Ganz catheter). One minute he was joking around with us and the next bright red blood was spewing out of his mouth. His last words before he died were “why is this happening to me?” It still haunts me years later.
6/17. I found one of my “comfort measures only” patients standing at the side of his bed. It surprised me because he had been mostly unresponsive during my shift. I helped him back into bed and he asked me why all these people were in his room. He suddenly became quite again and I noticed he wasn’t breathing. He was a DNR so there wasn’t anything to do to try to bring him back.
Looking back he may have been talking about me and the CNA that was helping me get him back into bed, but who knows what or who he was seeing the last minutes of his life. Still creeps me out a little when I think about it.
7/17. I had this patient who had a stroke. After that he recoverd fine but did get pneumonia like 4 weeks into his recovery. The last words he said to me was at 5 in the morning.
“You took his girl and you will burn in hell for it.”
I actually took a girlfriend from a friend of mine. Somehow he knew.
8/17. I actually have 3 that stick out in my mind. An 83 year old woman that said “my mom’s here. Are we going?” She died a few minutes later.
Another older lady said “I think I’m going to die today…” we took vitals, everything seemed fine. She was stable. She had a heart attack a couple hours later. Not her last words, but the last she ever said to me.
The last one is definitely the creepiest. A nice old lady who told my CNA she wanted to wear all white. When asked why, she said “the man in black is here.” She looked in the corner of the room. The CNA looked, but there was no one there. That’s when I came into the room. We asked her to describe what she was seeing and she said “he’s in all black, and he’s got a top hat on.”
Then she whispered “and his eyes are red” while her eyes moved across the room to directly behind the CNA, like she was watching him move closer to us. She died later that night. But it was unexpected. That room creeped me out for a long time after that.
9/17. Checked in on a patient before the end of my shift and she was in good spirits, had been joking with me the whole time. Her condition was tenuous (new trach) but she had been positive throughout. I asked how she was doing and she replied by singing “The old grey mare ain’t what she used to be” and wished me a good night.
I came in the next morning and she had coded and died overnight.
10/17. I’m an RN and while I was a student I was caring for a lady who had end stage renal failure, had a DNAR and was shutting down. We were having a little chat, well I was chatting away while helping her put on some lotion, when she stopped, looked over my shoulder and said “Bill’s here love, I’ve got to go” and swiftly stopped breathing. Read her old notes and Bill was her deceased husband.
17 year old female, car crash: “Please, please, please…don’t tell my parents I was drinking.”
12/17. My first code as a nurse was of a middle aged mother who we think ended up having a brain bleed. I was trying to check her vitals and she was super agitated (and had been all day- she managed to bend her IV pole somehow). She was ripping her gown off, and the sheets off the bed, and she’d yanked her heart monitor off. I was trying to start a blood transfusion, but needed to get her vitals beforehand, which was impossible because she wouldn’t stay still long enough for any of it to read. I’d given her a sedative (for what we thought was anxiety), and I was praying it would kick in soon.
She kept grabbing my arm saying “Come here. Look at me! Help me!” with fear in her eyes that I will never forget. I’m pretty sure I snapped back, “I’m trying!” which I of course wish was something comforting instead. Then she leaned back, her eyes got droopy, she shut her mouth, then snapped her eyes wide open but totally glossed over. She took one last breath as a coworker was helping me while I called the code.
13/17. I’m a hospital chaplain: When I was a CPE intern (a greenhorn) I went to see a patient in the ICU who had 10 to 12 oranges on her table. We talked about oranges for about 20 minutes and then she said, “Somethings going to happen.”
I went to check on her the next day and the nurse mentioned that she passed the previous night. I asked if anyone else talked with her and she said no. So, the last conversation she had was about oranges with me. I kind of wish we talked about something else; however, the nurse said that was a worthy conversation that the patient wanted to talk about. It made me feel better.
14/17. I used to shadow a Physical Therapist and often we would have to go to ICU for some patients. There was a male patient who was there pretty frequently. Last words that I heard were “Hey angel” while he was looking in the general direction of the female PT, but not directly at her.
Never once heard him call her “angel” before. He ended up coding later that night.
15/17. I had a patient in my first week of being on a hospital floor as a CNA. She was really sweet and wanted to know all about my nursing school. Right before she went to bed, I helped her move from the chair in the room. She jokingly danced with me for a few seconds, humming an old tune before sitting on the bed. She thanked me as she drifted off to sleep. “Don’t worry. It will be okay.” Referring to my trepidation about the new job, I assume.
She was scheduled to go home and died from a complication of medications about four hours later.
The first song on the radio that morning as I got in my car was Shut Up and Dance.
…. yeah that messed with me for a looong time.
16/17. I’m an RT and had a vented trach patient in angio have the same thing happen. Vent waveforms got a little funky showing she needed suctioned. I walked up to her and saw bright red blood just start shooting up the vent circuit and immediately obstruct it.
I immediately said “she’s hemorrhaging” and the vascular surgeon said “no it’s just a little blood” thinking I was referring to his access site in her groin.
I popped her off of the vent and blood just started pouring out of her trach, mouth, and nose. She looked at me and said “just let me die.”
The puddle of blood was about 6 feet in diameter on the floor within just a couple of minutes and I was covered from the chest down.
I’ve seen some shit, but that was the worst
17/17. I had an old lady flag me down in the hallway a few days before she died and with her emaciated face and bulging eyes, she said, “You know where I’m going.” I asked her what she meant and she repeated herself. “You know where I’m going when I die. And it ain’t up.”
I was taken aback and asked her if she wanted to talk with the priest we have on staff. She shook her head and said, “It’s too late for that.”
A few days later, she was eating her supper and started screaming. She yelled, “Fire! Fire! There’s fire everywhere!” She died a few hours later, quite suddenly.
I didn’t sleep that night and I really hope her soul found some rest.