posted on Dec, 15 2011 @ 08:29 PM
Very interesting post! I worked as a CNA years ago, before I got my degree, and was present for maybe a dozen deaths. I honestly don't remember
any of them speaking of regrets, most of them talked about their children, grand children, or their own stories of their lives. Some of them were so
interesting! I took care of one woman who had been the Mayor of Manitou Springs, CO (might have been the first female mayor) and had "driven out
gambling" during her time in office. I took care of many retired nuns who had fascinating tales of working in schools on reservations and the pranks
of the children and the other nuns. Most of them just wanted to talk and they had very interesting stories to tell. Something you won't hear much
about, unless you work with dying people, is that for many, many people, it is hard to tell if they are still alive, past a certain point. There are
signs the end is near, and the Charge Nurse will call the family so they can come, but it may be an hour or a week. They often seem to hang on for a
visit from someone in particular, or for a special day to arrive.
The clearest signs I remember were "mottling" of the flesh, and extremely weak breathing (much fewer breaths and very shallow breaths). They
generally stop vocalizing at all by this point, although sometimes people will stir and say something, sometimes even something coherent, though
usually not. Mottling is when blood sinks to the lower parts of the body and looks like purplish blotches (like if you have pale skin and get cold).
I used to go in and frequently check my patients pulse and breathing, who were near passing, I tried to be there for them so they would not have to be
There were a few I felt very sad for, one fellow in particular who had some degree of mental slowness, and no family came to visit him. He was fairly
healthy, but got an upper respiratory illness that developed into pneumonia and went rapidly downhill. He was gone in just a few days. Another lady
developed such a high fever that our thermometers on the floor could not measure her temp, and her skin, which had been amazingly youthful looking,
broke out in water blisters all over from the high fever. She was sent to the hospital and passed there. I could go on and on, but anyway, if you
are interested, I highly recommend the book, "On Death and Dying" by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. It is fascinating.