Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hoka Hey

Hoka Hey - It is a good time to die. - Chief Crazy Horse

I've written before about the Indian saying about a "good day to die."  Today I thought of this as a patient died in the emergency department.  

We have several local tribes and our patient was a member of one of them.  They weren't doing well yesterday according to their niece, and this morning their retirement home sent them to the E.D. with difficulty breathing.  By the time they arrived to the E.D. we knew they were "expectant..." ready to die.

We called family to the bedside, explained the situation, and they understood that the patient would not make it through the day.  We told them to call other family members and asked if they wanted us to call anyone else.  The patient died about 3 hours later.

As I was listening to the now quiet chest that would never take another breath, I was thinking that this was his Hoka Hey, and I hoped his spirit passed peacefully, carried away on eagle's wings.

1 comment:

betty said...

Veronica, this is interesting with your "expectant" ready to die that you mentioned here. I'd be interested in hearing more about it if it is a phenomenon you see "often".

In this case, I am sorry for the patient's passing and the grief the family is experiencing. I think it was good that they knew that this was the last day of their loved one and had the chance to act accordingly.

Although my MIL and me didn't have the best relationship, I'm appalled about the actions of others (including healthcare professionals) of her final days. I wish someone, if they saw that expectant in her, would have mentioned it to the family.

Thanks for sharing this!


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