I think therefore I am? – A toast to absent friends and family

Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

Periods such as Christmas may be a stressful time for a lot of folks and this year things have once again been magnified by COVID.

There will be some people missing from Christmas Lunch/Dinner tables this year.

Unfortunately over the past 13 years my own family table has become increasingly spacious.

That’s the harsh reality of death and dying, it doesn’t take into account public holidays or religious occasions. Death’s calendar is not an Advent calendar and the countdown to the final day is not so clear-cut or accurate. We say to the families we work with in our inpatient units,  if your loved one can’t go home for Christmas please feel free to bring a bit of home into our hospice for Christmas.

For some people it will mean that Christmas,  New Years and other important milestones, might have to be brought forward as they may not be able to make it to the actual date, even though it is only a day away.

No presents can replace actual presence, but sometimes virtual is the best that we can do given the COVID-normal global situation we are living in.

Please take a moment to reflect on why we do, what we do in the practice of palliative care. It’s in order to help our fellow human beings. Decreasing suffering in all of its forms, not just physically, but emotionally, spiritually and familially/socially. That is what it is all about. We are here to support patients and their families through what may be some of their toughest times.

A continued work in progress.

Thank you all for reading.

Wishing y’all all the best for the festive season and a better 2022.

Palace of Care – Musical Interlude

After a tough fortnight at work I decided to change things up a bit at our Multi-disciplinary team meeting this morning.

We’ve been using an iPad to take notes from the meeting for a while now, and today I tried to make it a more multi-media affair.

As well as recording the patients’ stories I also tried to match each of them to an appropriate piece of music.

The rather diverse playlist and patient list eventually became:

Tammy Wynette – Stand by your man – after discussing a man whose ex-wife had returned to look after him.

Imagine Dragons – Radioactive – the correct pronunciation of a patient’s surname.

Avril Lavigne – Complicated – a patient’s complex family dynamic.

The Black Eyed Peas – Where Is The Love – a patient’s long-term relationship with their spouse.

Alicia Keys – Falling – a patient who had repeatedly been falling…over.

Bob Dylan – Blowin’ in the Wind – a patient with malignant bowel obstruction who had started passing flatus.

Cheers,

James