Palace of Care – Flirting at the end of life

Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

Good morning we’re two of the hospice doctors, the pharmacist and of course you know your nurse.

I can tell that you are very clever people.

You are a very charming lady to be able to tell that, as your eyes are closed and you can’t hear us apart from when we shout in your ear.

My hearing aid is broken, I close my eyes so that I can listen more intently.

That’s what I’m doing too.

I felt more comfortable and at peace as soon as I arrived in this room. So I’m not sure if I have any pain or discomfort.

The male doctor looked puzzled as the patient moved her hands, grabbing onto his shoulders.

I was just making sure that I wasn’t dreaming all of this, that you and your team are really here in person.

You can carry on, I was enjoying the massage.

I want you to be honest with me, I know what is going on, I don’t have much time left.

I’ll be honest with you, I want you to know that I like you already…
I think that Nature has been trying to take you out, and I don’t mean on a date.

I just want you to help me with my nausea, my breathing and the pain in my back, it’s like I’m sitting on a pole. I can’t get comfortable.

We will try our best to keep you comfortable, we are going to look after you.

My younger brothers are coming to see me, they all want to try to protect me, to keep me around for longer. I will make my own decisions, I’m too unwell to be alive any longer, they will listen to me, I am the boss.

I want you to know that you’re my boss as well.

Are you down on your knees young man?

I can be, but you’d better not tell my wife. Also, I might not be able to get up again, without help.

Can you hold my hand?

Doctor grabs outstretched hand.

You’ve been a bit greedy haven’t you? One cancer wasn’t enough, that you had to go and get another one. You already had heart failure after chemotherapy, and then you went and had a heart attack after your stent. That still wasn’t enough for your already full plate and you then got a blood clot to the lung. You’ve been far too busy, and it’s all made you feel really unwell.

I’m glad that we can have a laugh together. That even in a serious conversation we can joke around with each other.

Yeah, me too, we’ve been joking together about your death and dying, it doesn’t get more serious than that.

I don’t really want to die, I’d still like to be dancing on top of the table this time next year, with a glass of champagne in my hand, but…. I know that I won’t be around for much longer, I’m so tired. Can you make sure that I’m not in pain, that I don’t suffer. I want to die with dignity.

We’re going to work on your nausea, your pain, and give you something to relax your breathing as well. I don’t want you to be in distress or to struggle. We’re going to get you through this, your comfort is our top priority, no matter what happens. Thank you for your time, it was fun meeting you.

Thank you for listening, I feel safe here.

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