“And I open the eyes. I am a femoral. A jugular. A too-small tube filled with secretions. I am the blue eyes. Foreign pupils. I am who occasionally blows the monitor alarm. I am the low saturation and sedation window flashing. I am the hematoma under the eyelids. I am the artery that you can not take. The gases flowing always altered and not pay much attention to the potassium. I am the hyperdynamic heartbeat. The slow capillary filling. Now fast. Low central venous pressure and venous resistance altered. I am the scare in the change of posture and ulcer that is hinted at the nape. I am a diaper that needs to be changed, the transpiloric tube and decontamination solution. I am the silence. I am the pressure support and the broad-spectrum antibiotic. I am who hears whispers, as if going to vacuum, who does not know where I am but does not want to let be. I am the name in voices that never have told me, the concern of so many strangers. I am the score where complementary tests are written.
But I’m especially those minutes in which I can smell how approaches. I’m the hand that feels his hand. Your fingers. I am her tears falling on my skin. His request for a few more minutes, I am your I love you, I miss you, don’t go, hold, everything will be fine. I am her making me an anchor. I am the eyelids that don’t open. I am an incomplete farewell. The time which does not stop, that does not pass, because nothing about I was is near to return to what I am. I am a half diluting me infinite behind the door, behind the wall, after the distance that separates us. I am analgesia. I am a child who closes his eyes to make balance. I am embraced by the fear of cold.
I am lonelyness.”
Hello. I am Alberto García Salido.
Pediatrician, Intensivist and with experience in Pediatric Palliative Care.
I am working in an intensive care unit of “open doors” in the Hospital Infantil Universitario Niño Jesús, in Madrid.
The children are with their parents, and we are with them. First the sick, then the family and back, but not at the end, professionals.
I think the critical patient must be accompanied, as far as possible, by their loved ones.
I think professionals must open our “doors” (physical or mental) to make this possible. Medicine is not only ‘do’ but it is also listen, explain, and assume the limitations (sincerity is a magnificent antibody for the ego). To all this we must add to ‘Accompany’, which is a generic free without contraindications. We are still in time to prescribe it with “joy” until it is patented by any pharmaceutical company.
Kindest regards, Alberto.