Today was one of the most confusing, frustrating, infuriating and heartbreaking days I've ever spent in the ER. Surely, it didn't help that I'm still a little wobbly on my feet, but in the end that didn't make any real difference. This day would have been a cluster no matter what. There's simply no explaining it, no easy way to express the depths of my emotions as the day wore on.
When I was doing my nursing school clinicals at the Big Bad Psych Hospital, there was a woman there who absolutely broke my heart. She was a paranoid schizophrenic who was off her meds because her husband thought pysch meds would make them look bad to their friends and family, and she was having both auditory and visual hallucinations. Her major focal point was her kids - she was terrified for their safety. She was completely convinced that if they left the house, they would be killed by the demons that lived in her yard. I don't remember their exact ages, but her kids were small, and it had been an ongoing struggle to keep them in the house. One day, her toddler snuck out the back door and made a dash for the great outdoors. Panic stricken, thinking only of her beloved child's safety, she raced after him and "killed the demon that was on top of him". You can figure out the rest. When she realized what she had done, there was no more reaching her. She was gone.
The fact that I've gone back years in my memory to pull out that specific story speaks volumes about my day.