Category Archives: end of life care

REMEMBRANCE

Memorial Day is a day to remember fallen heroes.  Many years ago I stood at the edge of the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in France.  I looked out over the vast numbers of white crosses, as far as the eye could … Continue reading

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HELPLESS

I’ve had many moments of observing the steady slowing and final stopping of a heart beat.  I’ve had countless times to share a patient’s frightening sense of vulnerability as bodies cheat their owners and life becomes uncertain with death a … Continue reading

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THE WORST PATIENT/DIFFICULT FAMILY?

Nurses, not infrequently, have been labeled (very often by other nurses) as “the worst patients; the difficult family member”.  Here’s a couple reasons why: nurses invariably assume the role of caregiver in both their careers AND their lives.  They historically … Continue reading

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PANDEMICS MERELY HIGHLIGHT NURSING HOME PREDICAMENT

A wise saying: There is nothing new under the sun.  Suffering is our human condition; we all have some experience with it.  Though it seems of late there is just too much.  A recent visit to a nursing home reminded me … Continue reading

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“HE WHO CANNOT, TEACHES”

As I thought about who and what have been my greatest teachers in life, I considered the quote: He who can, does; He who cannot, teaches*.  Though this quote is considered disparaging to teachers, I like to think of it … Continue reading

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WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND

Don’t call me morbid because I’ve spent the past few days preparing obituary examples.  I’ll be using these for a class of young people to demonstrate a bit of what “legacy” means: something left behind when you are gone.  This … Continue reading

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NEVER GIVE UP

I am concerned about a new mantra afoot: that palliative care–unlike hospice care– is not “giving up” but is addressing improved symptom management and quality of life (QOL) for all patients with advanced disease.  I  am disappointed as I read … Continue reading

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A FAREWELL IN 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, I am remembering a friend who died this year.  Over a period of many months, we had these wonderful talks that seemed a lot like Tuesdays with Morrie,* with moments of her insight shared … Continue reading

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HOSPICE ROLES

I will be happy if I never hear or read of another palliative or hospice-trained person saying something like, “she should just be the wife (or whatever the role is) and let us be the caregivers”.  “Should’s” are often not … Continue reading

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ONE WILD AND PRECIOUS LIFE

What will you do with your one wild and precious life?  Mary Oliver. I was thinking about legacy, and how the world shapes us.  There have been so many lives shared with me over the years: some people I have … Continue reading

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