|SUE - a breast cancer survivor||
Most people are not comfortable saying or even thinking about that word regardless of any health issues or not. Repeatedly I have been asked how do I do what I do and in the past, how did I ever work at hospice. I will honestly tell you that it is some of the most rewarding work that I have ever done in both cases.
I totally support living each day to the fullest and that quality of life is of vital importance. I have already made my desires known to my family in the event that the end of my life requires some decision making. When my dad passed of lung cancer it was such a relief to know that everything we could have done and said, we did. It also was a huge burden lifted to have everything arranged and taken care of ahead of time. I don't know how families make decisions they need to at the time the need arises. I am afraid that I would be one that would let emotion rule and not think of all the in's and out's that need addressed and covered at that time including financial issues.
Hospice comes into play when the need for comfort care is of the most importance and that a cure is no longer possible. Someone from Hospice can actually come and visit and help you decide on the care you need and ease the difficult choices. Really, anyone close to the patient can refer someone to hospice care but ultimately it is the physician that will authorize the care. Medicare and Medicaid pays for hospice care and most private insurances but regardless of the financial situation, anyone that needs hospice will get care.
This is a difficult time for all involved and as a medical professional providing care in these instances, we become like extended family as we work with the family and patient in providing comfort and care.
We have celebrated birthdays, had family gatherings, and helped with emotional and spiritual help during those end times. It is important that the patient lives fully and pain free as possible.
Family interaction is vital and everyone walks their own path through this process but being able to be at your side is a privilege in my mind. I have listened, laughed, cried, and celebrated! The reality of it is, that we will all be there some day, no one can really skip this step and if a smile, a hug, a backrub, a listening ear, helps or anything else to make that transition easier and see the peace that transcends on someone's face as they find that comfort is a miracle. Some of our patients do transition to hospice but many go on and back to their former lives and we address survivorship issues with them. It is all about communication, support, love and consideration. I love what I do and am appreciative of the chance to help someone during a difficult time no matter what their walk involves. I can say hospice with confidence as I have seen the good that it does and the comfort it provides. Know that there is a team always available to help wherever or whatever your