Palace of Care – I’m good Doc. How are you?

Photo by Tanya Grypachevskaya on Unsplash

In Palliative Care settings you often see many things much worse than death. Death can be a natural release from suffering. Over many years of working in this specialty, I have witnessed many forms of suffering. Most of these situations involve severe pain. Everyone reacts differently to their symptoms. Some people can handle pain, but can’t handle nausea. Others can’t tolerate any loss of their cognitive abilities. Each individual must have a bespoke management plan designed for them.

I knew my patient could handle pain, he had put up with a lot of it over many months. He didn’t complain, he wasn’t angry at God or Jesus. In fact, his faith was stronger than it had ever been. Maybe it was his religion that allowed him to cope with his many pains. We managed to control his back and leg pains well. He was able to sit in his power wheelchair again. Something he had missed doing over the past month due to severe pain. His power chair meant freedom, he could take himself outside to smoke. He was able to go to the local convenience store to buy some sweets and other supplies.

One weekend I had trouble tracking him down. Every time I went to visit him he was out of his room. I finally caught up with him after his return from our hospice shop down the road. He had purchased a hoodie, a small wall hanging, and a little succulent plant to look after. He’d also bought enough instant noodles for midnight snacking over the weekend. He was doing well, and we managed to discharge him back to his residential care facility after the weekend.

Continue reading

Palliverse’s Greatest Hits from Oct 2014 – #getjakbak revisited – Part 1

Photo by Rob Wicks on Unsplash

What a disaster I thought, as I listened to the referral. A 44 year old man had become unwell in the Pacific Islands and had been urgently transferred to New Zealand for assessment and treatment. He had an abdominal mass lesion which was extremely painful after having had massive weight loss over the previous two months. He had been a great orator and had been destined to be a future leader of his church. He was married without children.

He and his wife had come over two months ago and things had not been good at all.
He had been diagnosed with a large abdominal mass found to be cancer with spinal cord compression and lung metastases. The impression was that there was nothing that could be done medically for him, and that he should try to return back to the Islands as soon as possible as his condition would likely deteriorate quickly.

Travel arrangements were made for him and his wife to return back home in the following week, but he became acutely unwell before he could finish arranging his journey. A difficult situation, thousands of miles from home, with little in the way of family members or support locally. Displaced, stuck, and also critically unwell.

Continue reading

Palace of Care/I think therefore I am? – Special Edition: Palliative Care Mission of Mercy – #getjakbak

Hi everyone this is a last minute fundraising plea to everyone as private citizens.

I am organising for our non-resident patient “Jak” to return back to the Islands. (Real name changed.)

Jak is a 44 year old man with a large abdominal mass found to be cancer with spinal cord compression + lung mets, intra-abdominal abscess resistant to IV Ertapenem – causing fluctuating levels of sepsis.

Has been trying to get back to the Islands for the past month, but hampered by critical illness.

He has stabilized at present and we have one shot at getting him back tomorrow morning at 0915. He can travel if escorted by a doctor. The most discounted fee for a doctor I could negotiate was $3800, which the family could not afford.

I have volunteered my services to look after him on the flight to help Jak get back.

The family with the help of the local Pasifika Community, have fundraised $7400 of the required $10720. They need $NZ3320 by 5pm today in order for Jak to get back home. i.e. in 1.5 hours have received pledges of $720 so far. 1536hrs

So close but yet so far…

Please forward this email on to your own teams and networks.

Every bit pledged will count. I will consider all pledges of assistance.

For those interested in following the journey I will attempt to live tweet/blog it through Twitter:  @palliverse #getjakbak and

Thank you for your consideration,


1550hrs – $1320
1557hrs – $1520
1611hrs – $1790
1613hrs – $1990

Just need $1330 to grant this young man his dying wish of going home to his family. We can do this team!

1617hrs – $2190
1620hrs – $2210

Only $1110 to go to #getjakbak

1629hrs – $2260
1630hrs – $2425
1631hrs – $2475
1630hrs – $2775
1634hrs – $2925

Only need another $395. Well done team!

1640hrs – $3005
1642hrs – $3085
1642hrs – $3150
1655hrs – $3350
1700hrs – $3400

Thank you everyone we have done it! Any extra funds raised will go towards payment of hospital fees.

Thank you for helping your fellow man. I am proud of you all!