Palace of Care – Apology

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

“Ma’am if I had known that your husband would die within three days I wouldn’t have sent him anywhere. I would’ve kept him in hospice and looked after him. I’m sorry we decided to transfer him as we thought he still had weeks left to live.”

“It was hard to understand after all he’d done for hospice.”

“I am so sorry, I wish I could’ve known exactly how long he had left. We could only make the best decision we could with the information we had at the time.”

“We found a place for him and they admitted him into the hospital section. They didn’t have a bed for him, only a mattress on the floor. He went in on Friday, and he died on Monday, still on the floor. A horrible place. I’m not surprised they are not doing well.”

“I’m very sorry.”

“It’s not your fault.”

“He was a lovely man. During his first admission, I thanked him for what he had done for hospice.”

“He was the loveliest man. He wanted to help out our community.”

“He certainly did that. Thank you for your ongoing support over the many years.”

Palace of Care – The Band Plays On

Photo by Matthew Kalapuch on Unsplash

My little coronavirus rock band continue their tour of my body. They wrapped up their sold-out concert in my throat and the music was so loud my ears are still stinging. Today’s destination was my lumbar spine and they played their achy breaky music with gusto. No matter how often I stretched throughout the day the music of the band drowned out all other signals.

I have to be honest I am sick of all the merchandise the band brings along to each venue they play at. The congested stands of my nasal sinuses couldn’t stand the pressure any longer. The burning man set up in my throat yesterday is still smouldering and ready to reignite at a moment’s notice. The worn-out muscle fibres evidence that this band of players have worn out their welcome.

The uncertainty of each day of illness. Will I feel better when I wake up again? Will I be in less pain than yesterday? These are questions I am considering each day and are they similar to what my patients must ask themselves? I’ve only been unwell for a few days but my compassion for those who suffer from chronic illnesses is growing.

Maybe tomorrow the band will head down to my feet and then it will be my pleasure to kick them out of my body. There will be no request for an encore.

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.

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Palliverse’s Greatest Hits from Oct 2014 – #getjakbak revisited – Part 3

Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash

I didn’t sleep well that night because of a mixture of emotions; excitement, fear of failure, what if he died on the way over? Would he be comfortable? How is it going to go on the flight? Will I be able to reassemble the stretcher myself? What is going to happen to his abdominal abscess at cruising altitude? Fluid expands at lower atmospheric pressure, that could cause more pain and possibly rupture. What if he needs to poo?

A fitful sleep followed by an early start to the next morning, I woke up at 0430 as I had to be at the hospice by 0530 for a 0600 ambulance departure. I arrived at the hospice for last minute preparations. Medications had been prepared for the flight and I had plenty of pain relief, nausea relief and distress relief medications pre-drawn into labeled syringes.

Okay, everything checked off on the list. Deep breath, I’m as ready to go as I’ll ever be. Hmm, why can’t I stop pacing?

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Palace of Care/I think therefore I am? – #getjnrbak – Time is of the essence

 

Since the last update a lot has happened.

The local branch of shipping company Maersk reached out to Palliverse after reading the NZ Herald article from Sunday. Their can do attitude was much appreciated by us all. Thank you very much.

Thanks also to everyone who has made suggestions, offered advice and wished us well for this mission. It is heartening that people are taking time out of their busy lives to try to help their fellow man. Be proud of yourselves.

Poppa has become extremely fatigued over the past three days which is a big concern to the hospice team and the family. There’s a possibility that time may be shortening, as Poppa’s condition continues to deteriorate.

There has been some good news – Junior has been improving everyday and has been in touch with his specialist again. His risk of further eye injury is now estimated to be low, and because of the uncertain situation that Poppa is in the decision has been made for Junior and other family members to board the earliest flight to Auckland tomorrow.

Poppa has been informed of the travel plans and is looking forward to seeing Junior tomorrow. Poppa is trying his best to hold on.

Fingers and everything else remain crossed. Prayers are being said by many people on both sides of the Tasman.

Good luck Poppa and Junior – I sincerely hope that you can have your reunion.