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The String


Coming on to my night shift, I was informed of a patient (pt) with a newly placed trach and the high amount of anxiety the pt was experiencing. That the pt was crawling the walls, sticking the oxygen tube down the pt's throat, call light happy, etc... So of course I knew this pt would be my number 1 priority.

We spent an extra 3 hours in the pt room working with the pt, trying to keep the pt comfortable, giving the pt some company. The one thing that stuck out was, the pt complaining of his toe having a string tied to it. I couldn't figure out why he kept thinking this. But every time, this was his main complaint. We checked everything & couldn't find an answer.

When he finally fell asleep I slipped out of the room, went up front for some lunch, keeping my phone on me in case of any emergencies. All along having this feeling and a voice keep saying this patient's name. Each time I would check my phone to see of any missed calls. Nothing at all.

My lunch was up and still nothing out of this patient, me feeling uneasy goes in and checks on him. Peacefully he's still sleeping. This took a weight of my shoulders, I quietly walk out and go to my station to start my charting.

I get a call from the front nurses station saying they needed my help... I let my aids know and reminded them to keep an eye out for the patient.

As I'm up front, the feeling comes back again. The nagging little voice in my head, that kept saying go check on him. Luckily, we were done helping the other patients when I asked if the nurse could come with me to check this patient out. We took the short cut through the Unit to my halls. That's when we got the call... Regretfully, the patient suffered from an artery rupturing from the newly placed tracheostomy. Unlike other patients passing, this one I felt as if it was my fault. Knowing it wasn't, having others tell me there was nothing in any of our hands to help save him, I still couldn't shake this feeling.

The next morning coming off my shift, I did my usual routine. Taking scrubs off and place them in the wash, taking my shower, brushing my teeth, and going to bed after breakfast. But that's when I noticed something unusual. I started to feel like something was watching me, following me... Anyone who has encountered a spirit knows this feeling. It's unsettling, you can't shake it. Then I noticed a tingling in my toe... Kind of like a string tied to it. I doubled checked to see if anything was there, nothing at all. I remembered what the patient kept complaining about.

For 3 days straight this feeling was there. Then I started to think, maybe this patient feels as if I could have done more, maybe he wasn't ready to go. Each day I prayed & one morning I woke up. The feeling of a presence was gone and the feeling I had around my toe was gone as well. I felt at peace.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, ashlcoopa, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Hecate0 (4 stories) (418 posts)
9 years ago (2015-08-03)
Ashlcoopa, I also think, like Tweed, that he was letting you know he knew there was really nothing you could have done. And I also think he appreciated all of your good wishes during his final hours. It seems possible the peace you feel is shared by him. Your prayers helped.

Thanks for sharing. Best to you.

sheetal (6 stories) (771 posts)
9 years ago (2015-08-01)
Hi, Ashlcoopa... I have partial opinion on this... I am 60% agree with tweed that It may be related to some blood supply thing (I also sometime have the same experience) and I can't also deny the paranormal interference in this...

Story is pretty scary... Thanks for sharing 😁
Tweed (35 stories) (2501 posts)
9 years ago (2015-07-31)
It might be something to do with the blood supply being limited in the extremities, a numbness sensation.

Ashlcoopa, I'm glad you're at peace with this now. I wondered if the man wanted you to know he didn't blame you. He may have wanted to thank you, and your coworkers, for spending time with him as you did. 😊
Vinodie (2 posts)
9 years ago (2015-07-31)
ashlcoopa - Maybe he could sense the toe tag that was soon to be tied to his foot?

Just a thought.
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4999 posts) mod
9 years ago (2015-07-31)
ashlcoopa - I don't know what it is about the string, but I know of two people (both very close to me) that did the same thing when they were dying. They would try and get the string (s) off their fingers but couldn't and then would ask someone else to help.

I'm sure there is a medical (?) reason for this, but I've not researched nor asked a professional about it.

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