Do you ever wonder why all of us in Hospice do what we do every day? Let me share a few stories and you will wonder no more.
A hospice nurse visited a frail middle aged woman this week who has severe lung disease. She is very independent and very much in charge. Well, in charge of everything except this disease that has rendered her essentially helpless. They talked for over an hour and a half about her fears, quality and goals. Through tears, that she reports she has not shed since her husband died in the late 1990’s, she was able to tell the nurse that she just wanted to be able to breath well enough to go out and finish her banking and funeral plans before she died. With much teaching and some medication adjustment, she went out today, the first time in months and finished that banking and those funeral plans. She shared this with the nurse as she shed more tears, this time they were happy tears.
Ever visit a patient who is certain they do not need help from anyone, especially someone who thinks they are going to help bathe them? We do all the time.
One of our very talented nursing assistants met a pretty cantankerous gentleman who gave her a run for her money. He refused to have her help him with anything until about the fourth visit where they started talking about race cars. Before they both knew it, she was giving him a nice back rub and trimming his toenails, which were in dire need of care. He now allows help with showering and the ulcers he had on his skin are healed due to her good care and resilience. We never know what will be that one small thing that opens a person up, but we sure keep trying to find it.
These are just two of so many stories I could share with you. I am so proud of all we do in hospice and as an agency and am so thankful for all you do to give exceptional care, compassion and companionship to our patients and families.
Jenn Laramie, RN, Hospice Director, Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice