Scrubs, Hospice and Dad

by Sherry Riter in Dad,Death,Family,Product

Sitting in a sterile hospital room with a very sick person who sometimes is on the brink of death is a humbling experience. My nursing talents consist of Band-aids, Neosporin and tears, so I feel lost even helpless amongst the large chrome encircled bed, hanging bags of fluids, beeping machines, and efficient, knowledgeable staff in nursing uniforms.

The nurses and doctors have been the faces of comfort during emotional strife in their very recognizable scrub sets. To me, they truly are angels of mercy for whom I am very grateful. First they helped save my daughter’s life and now they are helping my father as his life ends. The emotional roller coaster for these medical professionals must be hard to “leave at the office.”

Nurses work very long shifts spent taking care of people and saving lives. I love the “scrub” look because it isn’t too dressy, but doesn’t look scruffy either. It helps that the fabric doesn’t hold wrinkles, so even if they have worked too long, their uniforms still look fresh. I was actually surprised how affordable they are at Nursing Uniforms and thought this would be a great alternative to the dreaded “moo moo” that my daughter says should not be legal on my body There’s no way she would complain about these cute scrubs because I know she already wants a black and pink pair. .

Nursing Uniforms

During the past couple of years, I have seen the inside of a hospital far too much. I’m always very frightened and panicked because someone I care about is hurt in a way that I can not fix or make it go away. That is such a helpless feeling to be completely reliant on others to make a pain go away or repair something that is wounded.

Dad isn’t in the hospital any more and won’t be because of a specialized service that is assisting him. Hospice is a type of care and a philosophy of care which focuses on helping the terminally ill die with a semblance of dignity and with little to no pain. Their sole purpose is to relieve the suffering of people that face inevitable death. They do not try to find a cure, delay, stop, or reverse the progression of the disease.

Whether you are in a nursing home, hospital or at home like Dad, hospice is still an alternative. The nurses that work for the hospice program are specially trained for this type of care which includes not only the body, but also their mental and emotional needs.

Each day, the hospice nurses sit and talk to Dad, assist with his meals, wash the dishes, straighten up the living room if necessary and handle his physical needs. According to the New York Times in 2008, “There are now more than 3,000 hospice programs in the United States, serving about 900,000 patients a year.” I’m sure that number continues rise.

I’ve provided a link below to a government brochure on everything to do with hospice. I encourage you to read it now while you are healthy and before anyone in your family becomes terminally ill. I knew that Dad didn’t want to fight this cancer, so hospice was an immediate choice before he even left the hospital. As a matter of fact, his doctor had hospice call us. This is a common occurrence because when you are met with news this tragic, the last thing you want to do is lift the phone and dial it and the caring medical staff understand this aspect of human shock, grief and suffering.

Dad also has friends in his small town who have stopped by to visit and bring him meals. Up until a few weeks ago, he looked forward to this interaction, but then it became hard to concentrate, eat or be awake. For the past three days he has slept almost the whole day…without pain.

You know, I have been praying that Heavenly Father would have mercy on Dad by taking him quickly and apparently my prayers are getting answered.

This whole experience has happened so quickly.

I’m so glad that shortly after we heard the prognosis, Dad and I said our goodbyes. It is such a comfort now to think back and remember him saying, “I love you” after I told him that “I’m going to miss you a whole lot.” Since then, we have cried together on the phone and with each call I have listened to him slip further and further away.

If he lives until Saturday, I will see him alive again. If not, I’ll have to wait until it is my time to step out of my body. Somehow it makes my own eventual death not seem so bad any more knowing that he will be there to greet me.

I had a rough time at work today holding it all together. Actually, I didn’t hold it together, but hey, this is life and I’m emotional right now. All I can say is thank goodness I have an office door that I can close!

The Redhead Riter

Government PDF Medicare Hospice Benefits
American Medical Association
Hospice Foundation of America


***I was compensated by Nursing Uniforms for reviewing their site and including their online store in this post. However, my opinions are always honest especially since I incorporated their product in a post with an update on my father. Thanks Nursing Uniforms for the opportunity to talk about your product which helps clothe some of the greatest people on earth.

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gail October 7, 2010 at 11:12 pm

I am so sorry. I have lost both my parents slowly and it is a time when no words help.

Know I will be thinking of you.


2 Tin October 7, 2010 at 11:53 pm

I lost my dad to cancer a little over 3 months ago. Hospice did come in and help take care of him but I must say that most of the help came from family. I have followed your posts about your dad with great care and concern. I understand what you are going through, I am not losing the same man you are but I do know what it is like to lose a father to cancer. I have to admit it is not easy to see someone you love suffer, I was grateful in the end that I was able to say so many things to my dad that I would not have been able to if he would have been taken quickly.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time, I hope he doesn't have to suffer for long.


3 Angie October 8, 2010 at 1:14 am

Hospice nurses are truly wonderful people.



4 Teresha@Marlie and Me October 8, 2010 at 1:16 am

I sure hope your Dad is able to hang on until Saturday so you can say your goodbyes in person.


5 Kristi October 8, 2010 at 1:23 am

God bless the hospice workers. They are definitely a special group of people.

I'm looking forward to a glorious, heavenly reunion with my Dad one day. I pray that you will feel peace that passes all understanding in the coming days. {{hugs}}


6 Gretchen Seefried October 8, 2010 at 3:18 am

I will have you both in my thoughts. Lost my Dad to complications from surgery over a period of 2 weeks last Thanksgiving. In some ways we were lucky to not have it be sudden, and not long and drawn out and painful. But no matter how it happens, it sucks. I think hospice is the best idea to ever come to healthcare. We didn't have time to get my dad into it, but I wish we had; intensive care is so sterile and alien and I wonder how anyone can recover in that setting. I also recommend people learning about 5 Wishes, the newer alternative to living will. Just google it…worth a look …much more explicit and human. Will hold you both up in my heart.


7 Teresa Wilkinson 1984 October 8, 2010 at 3:58 am

Hello Red,

I lost my Dad to Cancer June 6, 2009. A little before we started chatting. My mother is now in Hospice care at a board and care facility.

My heart is with you.



8 Kim Bauer October 8, 2010 at 6:21 am

Still praying. I have been praying for so many people lately that I barely know. It is powerful. I pray that you can be there with him again on Saturday. I pray that he is comfortable and surrounded by loved ones.

All my love.

Kim Bauer


9 Kate October 8, 2010 at 11:16 am

Thank you for sharing information about hospice care. I don't know what our family would have done at the end of my father's life without it, and I'm glad that your father is in the hands of people who truly care not just for him, but for your entire family.

You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.


10 Vicky October 8, 2010 at 1:08 pm

I'm thinking of you Red… I was there myself just a few months ago and prayed for a swift end when Dad showed signs of being not really here, but not really there either. I'm so glad you got to say what you wanted. My own father would not acknowledge how sick he was and did not want us saying "goodbye" to him… we still did in our own way. God be with you… look for his grace during these days.


11 katlupe October 8, 2010 at 1:32 pm

I have been including your Dad and you in my daily prayers. I believe so strongly in the concept of being together again, I like that you mentioned that in this post. Peace be with your Dad.


12 Bossy Betty October 8, 2010 at 2:54 pm

So sorry to hear this. My dad was with hospice as well. My thoughts are with you.


13 GB Girl October 8, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Hospice truly is amazing. They were there for my uncle and were a blessing for all of us.


14 Lori October 8, 2010 at 4:03 pm

I remember when hospice was called in for my mom in Nov 1996. I talked to my mom on the phone but I didn't make it back to Florida to say goodbye.

Thoughts and prayers are with your dad and you and your family.


15 poet October 8, 2010 at 4:35 pm

been following a little while thru networked blogs (fb). i am so sorry you are going thru this. my dad has been gone 4 yrs come dec, and my mom joined him a yr ago. i have no words to share, only know that i am saying a quiet prayer for you and your dad at this time. remember to take care of you!


16 won October 9, 2010 at 1:00 am

A good hospice would be worth their weight in gold. Sadly it was my (our) experience that not many know much about children's passing and how to support that.

When my daughter passed, our hospice experience was a nightmare…down to that last phone call when they called to ask me when they could come and pick up "the body". WTF? So insensitive.


17 Paula October 10, 2010 at 8:51 am

Thinking of you and your Dad. No reason to hold up strong or holding it together. It is good and necessary to grief. I hope you have a grieving group near by. Hugs to you


18 Michael Shawn Keller October 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm

I have been a volunteer with Hospice for a couple of years now and would really encourage anyone who is looking for a rewarding volunteer opportunity to look into a local program by your home. There is always a need for volunteers.
Mike Keller


19 Mandy Kauffman November 28, 2010 at 7:37 pm

I lost my Dad to cancer about 12 years ago, when I was 15. He spent his final days in hospice. It was a horrible experience, but I will never forget how wonderful the hospice workers were! They were just as much concerned about us, the family, as they were my Dad.


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