Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Is it Friday, yet?

Lord, I know I am throwing caution to the wind by even mentioning this, but I am thankful that tonight, even for just a few moments, the hospice beeper was silent. I actually ate dinner with my husband and as I write this, I'm considering knitting a row or two on the shawl that'll never end. This act of thumbing my nose at the hospice universe is certainly going to have a due bill, but is it possible that with my past couple of weeks, I've got a prepaid account?

I've learned so much these past few days. In fact, let me share what I've learned:

  • If a late night death occurs, do not hesitate to call the midnight shift nurse to relieve you when the little and big hands are both pointing at the twelve. If you don't, you will most certainly hate yourself in the morning. Besides, she never does anything but sleep on her shift, so you should stop feeling guilty about her doing a little work for her paycheck.
  • If someone screams at you on the phone, let the police and EMS deal with the death. You don't have to have to take abuse and it's OK to say NO.NO.NO!. This was the most liberating lesson of all.
  • Before you ever become ill, have a courageous conversation with everyone you know, then fill out the blanks on an advance directive. Do not let your crazy relatives come to your death bed and guilt you into changing your mind. If you've told them how you feel and have written it down in a legal document, they cannot twist the arms of the rest of the family, hospital, nurses, doctors and janitors when you are no longer able to speak what's left of your mind. Do it now. Today. There is so much you can't have a say in, that it's a good thing to have a say in how you'll leave this earth. If you're 18, you're old enough to tell the rest of us how you want to live, and more importantly, how you want your story here to end.
I'm off to brew a cup of tea and enjoy this silent night. Fully aware that the moon is nearing full and I'm tempting the fates, I'm going to stay cheeky tonight. Happy knitting to me! And you, too!

13 comments:

Queenmothermamaw said...

Well I am hoping with you. I know what you are talking about. You are also so right about the Living Will or surrogate. Thank goodness mine is done. They know I want a marching band to be playing. LOL.
QMM

Jadekitty said...

I'm glad to hear you are learning the power of NO:) Happy knitting!

Miss 376 said...

Saying no is the biggest lesson to learn, and the hardest to put into practise. Hope you got your couple of rows done

Michaela said...

YuP. Good for you! Saying no is good for the soul. And it is also good for other PeoPle to be set straight on what you will and won't do for them. Sorry my P is stuck on caPs. I do not have hicuPPs. xxx

bettyjf1 said...

Oh I hope the rest of your evening was quiet! ONE sister who tried to go against my mothers wishes tried to get the morphine turned off (My mother was dying of Emphysema). There was nearly a brawl in the hallway.. Thanks for the advance directive advice. My kids know what I want but it's so much better to have it out of their hands. I think making that hard decision for his mother 9 years ago is still with Paul.. Thanks Rudee!

Rudee said...

Betty, I didn't get a single call all night and when I get, on average, 6 calls a night between 8 and midnight, I call that a little miracle!

Brenda said...

Sometimes I think it would be nice to be able to retire at 50 while we are still healthy enough to enjoy it. It is about that age that we start to make plans like these, but very few actually do. Hope you have a peaceful week Rudee.

Gail said...

If you don't take care of you, no one will. No is a hard word to learn.

debra said...

Wise words, rudee. Both my folks had advance directives, and although it was a tough time, it was an honor to speak for them when they were unable to speak for themselves. They had made their decisions, we merely spoke for them. ♡

Ruth said...

Sounds like learning is being good for you.
Do you feel more empowered. Advance directive advice is good although still not really a option here but can give good guidelines on how you are thinking and Docs would be very loath to do something very diferent to what you wanted - a good realtionship with your Doctor is a good plan as well. We still have trouble getting a DNR order on someone who is obviously and acvtively dying.

Catherine said...

Hi Rudee, this speaks volumes and makes infinite sense. I don't know how you manage the stress of your job in a tough town, and it seems thankless a lot of the time. I know you're dealing with the most stressful time of someone's life at the end of life, but to give them the respect of a dignified exit is priceless, and the living will is a good idea. not sure what the legal status is here, people tend to shy away from facing the inevitable. You need to look after no. 1 too and say no - keep the monkey off your back as we learnt in some management seminar or other - Hard for nurses to do I know!
All the best and happy knitting.
Catherine.

Sandy said...

My friend who just passed away from CHF, COPD, diabetes complications, you name it, she had it... had told her family and had a directive that she wanted full code and resuscitation. After a long discussion with her, this was changed. She had lived in a chair for the past year and my heart would go out to her when I would see her, stuck in that chair. She couldn't even get into a hospital bed and be comfortable. Her only comfort was in her recliner 24 hours a day. Towards the end the last three weeks they got her in a hospital bed, but of course had to use a lot of drugs to do it and then keep her comfortable. She had severe back pain also and hip pain.

laurie said...

my god you have a hard job. my god.