Category Archives: hospice

AULD LANG SYNE

Tradition says that a new year brings with it new hope and new goals. Some of us even write these down, placing a slip of paper carefully in a carved wooden box to bring out next year, the talisman of … Continue reading

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THE LAST DOSE

It’s been nearly 30 years since the evening as a fairly new nurse I had been assigned to the oncology floor. I still remember my patient (a young woman in her mid thirties with advanced ovarian cancer) the mother of … Continue reading

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PLAY YOUR MUSIC

While sitting quietly, I listened while he talked about years that have “flown” by, and the changes that life had wrought, not just in the physical body, but the faded career, the fractured relationships, the plans that were collected in … Continue reading

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MAKE A WISH

I met a woman recently who works for the “Make a wish” program, and we shared stories about granting wishes.  She made an emphatic statement, “I’m so glad most of my clients have ‘a life limiting illness’ but aren’t necessarily … Continue reading

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WHAT WE WORK FOR

Someone reminded me of a note I wrote a number of years ago, working for a hospice agency that was struggling with staying true to the ideal of hospice in the midst of growth and financial burden and government regulation. … Continue reading

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A CEREBRAL DEATH

Some symptoms that perplex and challenge the medical professionals that deal with dying patients have terms like “terminal agitation/anxiety” and “spiritual distress” at the end of life.  There are medications to alleviate these symptoms, but not effectively eliminating the tension and angst that … Continue reading

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THE CONVERSATION

It seems that our dinner table is the place for all family levity and includes heavy discussions and lighthearted disagreements.  As we pass around the pasta, we begin pounding out our opinion about a medical study, a friend’s Facebook posting, … Continue reading

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COUNTRY MOUSE AND CITY MOUSE

As I exited the car, I dodged a large “shoe magnet”, as we affectionately call the remains from dog walkers who don’t bring a baggy for their dogs in the morning.  Another nurse and I approached the entrance of a homely, flat-top stucco … Continue reading

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A MAGIC PILL

As the “national hospice month” comes to a close, I am cognizant of articles in newspapers, blogs, TV series and other notable media that have highlighted palliative care, hospice services, having the difficult conversations, etc., etc.  I am always pleased to see a little … Continue reading

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WOLVES AND WOUNDS

This past week, not far from where I live, someone in a fit of rage killed a number of people he didn’t even know.  An enraged daughter called her mother’s physician because the hospice nurse (me) wouldn’t make her mother comply with a specific … Continue reading

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