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. .
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!
***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.