Thursday, January 21, 2010

On the Human's Touch

There was this old man in the resuscitation room. He was admitted because he vomited. None of his family members were around. Only the Indonesian maid was available to give the tiniest bit of useful history. One thing for sure, he's already at a very late stage of Parkinson's Disease.

He had an oxygen mask on. He was shaking quite vigorously. His hands, I mean. The pin-rolling movement which is classical of any patients with Parkinson's disease. His oxygen saturation stats was fine, his blood pressure was fine as well. But his hear beat was pretty irregular, and it was beating pretty fast. At 148 beats per minute, it's extremely fast. The vital stats were ringing crazily. Beeping. Beeping. Beeping. But none of the medical staff came to attend to him. Perhaps he's not on the brink of collapsing just yet.

I know it's not a good thing to hold the patient's hand. Parkinson's disease is a movement disorder. The degeneration of a certain part inside the brain causes the movements of the patient to be out of control. Therefore he was unable to control all his movements. It was not intended, he just couldn't help it. His hands shaking got worse and more vigorous by the seconds, and the range of movements got bigger to the extend that you could feel the entire bed shaking. And his hear rate increases exponentially.

I looked around, waiting for any medical personnel to come in. None. i walked out of the cubicle. Some nurses were busy writing some notes. A group of doctors were at another cubicle at the far end, discussing on another accident case that just came in.

I walked back into the old man's cubicle. It's not a good idea. I shouldn't be holding his hand. I could even cause fracture considering his age. But his eyes, he was awake. And he was looking at me. All teary-eyed.

I held his hand nonetheless.

And his heart rate slowed down tremendously, lowered to the normal level.

I don't know if what I did was even ethical.

But of course, he started shaking vigorously after 15 seconds.

11 Jujus:

[SK] said...

so what happened then??

i think at least by holding his hands, he feels more secured as there's somebody who can help rather than no doctor coming in to see him..

reanaclaire said...

i went to an old folks home to visit my fren's ma who is a parkinson victim too.. she was shaking very furiously as well, whole body in fact and she nearly fell out of the chair, my fren told her mum not to shake too much and her mum retorted, "U think I wanna shake like this???" sigh..

Bravebear said...

So hard to be doctors... have to be very profesional...

Gratitude said...

Giving extra care is very ethical! :)
+Ant+

cpl said...

what's so unethical bout that? how nice of you :)

ShAKirA CHOONG said...

I wish every health care giver will be like you! Of course,you should comfort the patient.
Good job!
Keep up the good job!
Be a doctor with a HEART!
hugs,
shakira

the happy go lucky one said...

yeah agree with the rest, u r totally ethical lah, not like u r asking money for holding his hand kekeee... pls continue all ur kind work without worry kekeee :)

manglish said...

very sad story....is it unethical to hold patients hands? i tot they always called it the healing touch :) but dun simply hold any parts lar young man

Medie007 said...

SK, i also don't know. he was admitted to the geriatric ward after that.

reanaclaire, awww, that's very sadddd.... *wiping tears*

bravebear, yalor... :(

gratitude, well... maybe. maybe not.

Medie007 said...

cpl, well one of our colleagues said we're not supposed to hold their hands mar.

Shakira, thanks for the compliment. :)

happy, i'm not like TOTALLY ethical lar. hahahhaha if you know what i mean. :P

manglish, i have no healing hands lor. the patient wasn't healed.

CH Voon said...

: (
I don’t want old with sick…
It is really pity if I see a Indonesia maid beside me…
I think It is time I should go to heaven.