Palace of Care – Fraternal Triplets

Photo by Fool On The Hill on Unsplash

Our gathered experience and that of other doctors told us that people with her burden of disease would not be expected to still be alive.

When she had been admitted it was thought she might only have days left to live.

She had proven us wrong over and over again in the past weeks.

How was she doing it?

How was she staying alive?

None of us could explain it with our science.

It would be up to experts in other disciplines to explain what was happening. Experts in fields such as survivalism, spirituality, true love, and gamblers who specialised in beating the odds.

It is rare enough for one person to beat the odds once, but for three different women to beat the odds three times, it might’ve been easier to win the lottery.

What did they have in common?

They were loved by their families. They did not want to die. They had life-limiting illnesses which would rob them of time too soon.

They were all mothers, two had children who were on holiday from school, and the other one parented a boy who despite marriage had yet to grow up.

What differences were there?

Two of them had almost died prior to their admission to our inpatient unit.

They all had different pains, the physical aspects which we controlled quickly. If only the non-physical aspects could be controlled as easily.

Two of them had poor appetites but forced themselves to eat. The other one was ravenous but had trouble swallowing.

One of them was too scared to leave her room let alone venture home. The other two enjoyed sunbathing and wanted to spend as much time at home as possible.

Two of them wanted to cling to life for as long as possible. They were willing to do anything to stay alive. The other one had been approved for assisted dying but might or might not go through with it. She just wanted to have the option in case her suffering became intolerable, by her definition.

Two of them held on to hope and celebrated every little victory. The other one had made difficult but practical decisions for the shortened future she had accepted.

One of them had lost her mother many years ago. Another’s mother visited often but disagreed with her use of medications to prolong life. The third mother could not bear to face her daughter’s harsh reality and refused to fly over to meet her.

All three had deteriorated during their admission, making us think they were approaching their end of life. They had all recovered again to some extent, but their overall condition continued to fluctuate wildly.

What was going to happen next?

Impossible to predict, but time would likely declare the outcome for each of the ladies over the next days.

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