Monday, July 11, 2011

A Parade of New Faces

Another check on my list of things I never thought I would do... meet with a Chaplain.

The parade of new faces and demands continues. Today we met Jon, the Chaplain, from Community Nursing Services. I like him. I like that he is there to provide some spiritual support but not act as a religious leader. We had a nice visit. Honestly it's the best I've felt about all this since the whole hospice adventure began. It was a fight to get the services at all, and now it looks like it might be another fight to get the right services.

Jon and I talked about what the doctor said about purposely over-medicating with the intention to hasten death. He seemed as stunned by that as I was when the doctor said it. It led to a good discussion on ethics. And an assurance that the focus in hospice was not on killing patients, just in helping them die well.

We have an aid named Jill that I am really liking as well. She got into home health care because after her husband was hurt and needed those services she wasn't happy with what they got. I like her attitude and her approach.

The only ones I am still not thrilled with are the nurses. They left me so upset again today... This isn't the words they used but I felt like I was told I was a terrible person for not medicating my mom into oblivion. They kept insisting that it was needed to control pain and anxiety. Pain they are inflicting in their obviously not gentle handling and anxiety about that pain and that they are unfamiliar faces coming in and issuing orders. At one point when she was complaining that being turned over hurt and they were laying the guilt trip on thick, I turned and asked my mom if it was bad enough for her to want some pain medication. They didn't even allow her to answer before they started yelling at me that she was in no condition to make that decision... that her impairment was too great to know the difference and I needed to make the call to give her the drugs. Hello! I am the one with her 24/7. I've listened for years as everything from I'm bored to I'm thirsty to I'm actually really sick comes out "I'm sick." I think I have some clue what she is capable of expressing and not.

Tomorrow, we meet with the social worker. And I assume at some point with the staff physician? I hope those meetings are good. I won't take much more like the nursing visits...

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