As you know, I have been working in the ICU the last couple weeks. This can be depressing at times. I think Jeff mentioned that one of my very first patients died almost right away. Every night I get “changeover” from the day interns, learning about what is going on with the patients I will follow and what I might have to do for them. Tonight, at changeover three patients had either passed away or were on a “terminal wean” from the ventilator, which means that they plan to take the ventilator and breathing tube out, but that the person will likely not be able to live without it. Two of these patients I have followed several days now and did not realize they were that bad. Granted, being in the ICU already means it’s pretty bad, but some really aren’t as bad as others. Up until this point, I had pretty much escaped facing death in the medical setting. I think it is necessary, especially to see that modern medicine can’t fix everything and sometimes it is just the end. It is still hard to come in every day and face some patients with futility. Good way to start off the year? Maybe.