Palace of Care – Welcome to Hospice – Part 1

Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

When the hospice nurse had suggested an admission into hospice she really had to think about it. Did this mean that she was about to die? Was that why she had suggested I go in, because they thought that I was about to die? They denied it, and said that they wanted me to go in to help control my breathing and distress. I asked my family and they were scared as well, but knew that I needed help. We decided to give them a go, but man we were still nervous about it.

Turns out we didn’t have to worry, the people were friendly and nothing seemed too difficult. The doctors and nurses started working on my breathlessness, and by the next morning I started to feel better. I met a number of the team members before I headed home a few days later. We had been worried that when you’re admitted into hospice that there is only one way out, being wheeled out by the undertaker. When it was time for me to go home, I walked out the front door.

The next day the hospice nurse visited us at home. She asked me how the admission had been and I had to thank her for suggesting it, as it had really helped. If I had to go back in again I would be okay with it, and my family know what the place is like. It’s a nice place, nicer than hospital. I had to come back into hospital last week as fluid collected around my lung again, and they have drained it out. They talked to me about heading to hospice in the next days as they haven’t been able to get on top of my pain, and my breathing still isn’t all that flash, even after the big drain in my chest was put in. If they think I need to go, I’d be more than happy to do so.

During this admission I’ve gotten to know my next door neighbour, a young Islander girl, she’s only 28, but she’s pretty unwell with cancer. Different to mine, but it looks just as painful, and she’s got no appetite. They’ve suggested that she go to hospice, but I heard her and the family say that they’re really scared. I’m going to have a chat to her and talk to her about my experience of hospice, maybe I can convince her to give it a go, like I did.

I’m off to hospice today, and when I arrived some of the nurses that looked after me last time were there, it was so good to see a familiar face. This time around I’ve needed more help as my breathing is worse. They want me to ring the bell before I move, but I think I’m not that bad yet. They want me to try some new medication to help with my breathing and I have been freaking out at times. First dose tonight, let’s hope it works.

I slept better last night, but the breathing still isn’t much good. The staff told me that my hospital friend has arrived, and I’d really like to go and welcome her. Phew, just walking to the other side of the inpatient unit, I had to stop a couple of times, as I couldn’t catch my breath. Man, that’s no good. I really wanted to see the girl, as I persuaded her to come to hospice. Just a few more steps and I’ll be able to say hi to her.

It was good to see her, she was really glad to see a familiar face. I think she is going to do okay here, I know that they’ll look after her just like they have been looking after me. Man it must be really rough to be so young and having to come into hospice. I’ve had 20 more years of life than she has and even I feel like I’ve been ripped off. There were so many things I had wanted to do with the kids and my husband. He’s always been good to me, the kids will be okay with him. Don’t know why I’m so tired, and I feel a bit dizzy. I’d better get back in bed. I think I need some more of that medication.

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