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cnn just did a great piece on Hospice care-at end of life--4 minutes at

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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 08:08 AM
Original message
cnn just did a great piece on Hospice care-at end of life--4 minutes at
the most--but very much needed. He said the pt. is NOT abandoned, in fact the most intensive care begins as the dying process begins. He also talked of the natural body mechanisms that kick into place to make the patient unaware of what is going on. It was wonderful.
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rox63 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
1. My mom did hospice work
for the local Visiting Nurse association. She said it could be emotionally tough, but was also very satisfying work. It's all centered around making the end of life as peaceful and painless as possible, while still helping the patient and family deal with and prepare for the imminent death.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Yes, that is the point of Hospise care-
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liberal43110 Donating Member (687 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 08:32 AM
Response to Original message
3. Hospice was wonderful for my dad
I had to decide to remove my dad's feeding tube 2 years ago. I had to fight his doctor for 3 weeks. And fortunately everyone in my entire family agreed--every person dad knew agreed: family, friends, colleagues.

Dad went to hospice when the feeding tube was disconnected. My dad's living will actually said that he did NOT want food and water withheld. So we could disconnect the feeding tube (which was also giving him something like 50 medicines) but the hospice nurses had to offer him juices. He couldn't speak or swallow (but he was very much conscious and aware, unlike Terri Schiavo), but the nurses offered him juices.

It was wonderful to watch him with the juice!!!!!! He got into hospice in the afternoon, and the move was tiring, so he slept the rest of the day. The next morning I visited him, and there were 2 cartons of juice on his bedside table, with straws. I guess the nurses had been squirting strawfuls of juice into his mouth. When I got there he wanted to hold the carton himself. The juice just spilled over his mouth and face and onto his chest!!!!! I don't even know if he could swallow it or not. That wasn't important. It was so wonderful to see him get to have some liquid in his mouth--it had been almost 3 months for my dad with no food or water in his mouth--think how terrible that would feel--just the small sensory of having some juice.

After that first morning, he didn't really want any more juice. He was only awake another day or so. Then he was asleep for 2 or 3 days. And then he very peacefully died. Just stopped breathing in his sleep.

Hospice was wonderful. I am so grateful. I even got to bring dad's dog in to see him!!!!!!!
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. my dad died in hospise also-after we-the family made the decision not
to do anything else. He was happy, he particiapted in the decision.
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flordehinojos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 08:39 AM
Response to Original message
4. yes. my neighbor died about five years ago.
she and her family chose to keep her at home (a rented apartment--one of the daughters lived in the apartment right next door to it--and they apologized to the apartment owner a million times for having her die in the apartment--while the apartment owner that the important thing was not the apartment but the caring of XXXXX). Anyhow, She chose, and the family accepted with the help of the HOSPICE nurses, to keep her comfortable and at home--and they took turns caring for her, and letting her live life as comfortable as possible, for as long as she could possible, and then helping her to die as painlessly as she possibly could.

This is from her memorial service a few months after her death.

"OH, ONLY FOR SO SHORT A WHILE,
YOU HAVE LOANED US TO EACH OTHER,
BECAUSE WE TAKE FORM ON YOUR ACT OF DRAWING US, O GOD.
AND WE TAKE LIFE IN YOUR PAINTING US,
AND WE BREATHE IN YOUR SINGING US.
BUT ONLY FOR A SHORT WHILE,
HAVE YOU LOANED US TO EACH OTHER."

This too from her memorial remembrance card:

GOD SAW YOU WERE GETTING TIRED,
AND A CURE WAS NOT TO BE,
SO HE PUT HIS ARMS AROUND YOU
AND WHISPERED, "COME TO ME".

WITH TEARFUL EYES WE WATCHED YOU,
AND SAW YOU PASS AWAY.
ALTHOUGH WE LOVED YOU DEARLY,
WE COULD NOT MAKE YOU STAY.

A GOLDEN HEART STOPPED BEATING,
HARD WORKING HANDS AT REST,
GOD BROKE OUR HEARTS TO PROVE TO US,
HE ONLY TAKES THE BEST.

And this TIME OF RECONCILIATION, ALSO FROM HER MEMORIAL SERVIE.

Loving God, we have shared in the life of this good person,
We have shared joys and sorrows, sickness and health.
We ask for forgiveness for any lack on our part,
for the times when we may have failed her.
We forgive her for any hurt or sadness
she may have caused us.
Lord, keep her in your embrace.
We ask too, that you fill us with your peace,
peace of heart, mind and soul.
Give us the grace to continue to live our lives,
in a manner that is pleasing to you.
AMEN.

(I think there is so much about the dying process the schiavo parents are needing to learn--as well as the right wing fringe...and if the hospice in which terry schiavo is, is not helping them to do that... then i really question what kind of a place that hospice is really about).
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demnan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 08:55 AM
Response to Original message
5. I was going to call in
to say how wonderful the care was for my father until I realized EVERYONE was calling to say the same thing!

I have nothing but good to say about the Hosipice program to help families in house, or for the care received at their Northern Virginia facility.

I'm sure the excellent care prolonged my father's life and allowed him to die with comfort and dignity.
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liberal43110 Donating Member (687 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Where were you going to call in?
To a particular hospice center? To a radio show?
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Discord Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 09:08 AM
Response to Original message
7. When my grandfather took ill, we discussed
with him the options we had. He had prostate cancer several years before. He went through many months of treatment, and the cancer went into remission. He came home from the hospital, and went about his life for the next couple years, without complications.

Upon one of his regular checkups, they noted that they had seen a spot on his pancreas and his liver. They scheduled a biopsy, and the results confirmed that both were cancerous. They informed us that the cancer had metastisized, and was quickly spreading through his body. They said that we had 3 options. He could undergo intensive treatments, and with any luck, they could prolong the cancer and he could live for another year or more, but he would be confined to the hospital, and that the quality of his life would be very low, as the treatments themselves would take a heavy toll on his body. The second was major surgery, to remove as much of the cancer as possible. They explained that the most risky aspect was that at his age, he was 92 at the time, he might not recover from the surgery itself, but if he were able to recover, he could have up to another year with a reasonable quality of life. The third option was to leave it alone, and live his days out to the best he could. That he would have a decent quality of life, but may last only 3-5 months before the cancer overtook him.

We all spoke of the options for several days, and ultimately allowed him to make the decision himself. His faculties were still with him, and we felt confident that he was capable of making that decision.

He chose to go with surgery.

After the surgery, he was kept in the critical care unit for the following 3 weeks. His condition did not improve over time, and after a while we realized, himself included, that he would never recover from the surgery. The doctor recommended hospice care, and gave us the phone number of the facility that had taken care of the doctors own father in his final days. We contacted the hospice and made arrangements for his transfer, but when we spoke to my grandfather he was very clear that he did not want to die in a hospital or hospice. He wanted to die in his own home, which he has spent the last 60 years of his life, with his family around him. We contacted the hospice to inform them of his wishes, and they offered to set up a hospice care center in our home to care for him. They also had 2 nurses voulenteer to come to the house for a few hours each day to help care for him. They made the very hard and emotional situation much easier for us to bear. They spent many hours with us and with my grandfater doing everything in their ability to comfort us. He was not only my grandfather, but my father figure as well. He was my best friend in the world and was always there for me when I needed someone the most. He passed away in his sleep about 2 months after coming home. He was peaceful and was never scared throughout the whole process. He was my hero, and could only wish I could be half the man he was.
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liberal43110 Donating Member (687 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I'm so proud that you all were brave enough to make difficult choices
Your grandfather had a difficult choice--and none of the options were truly what you "wanted." But you have to deal with reality. And you made a wise, healthy choice. I'm so glad your grandfather got to die peacefully.

People all over the country make these tough decisions about themselves and their loved ones every day. The way the Schindlers have handled the tragedy their daughter suffered 15 years ago is the WORST way to deal with this.
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