Monday, May 2, 2016

What a nurse learned from a patient who wasn't afraid to die

 "She stopped all medical treatment except for comfort measures and entered hospice care in her home. She lay in her custom bed and looked out the windows of her sun-filled bedroom. She took pain medications as needed. She laughed and enjoyed the company of others. She had a wonderful portrait taken of her family in funny Easter bonnets. It was such a joy to be with her; her daughter never had any problem getting volunteers to help with her care. We all happily took shifts. And then, one morning, she quietly passed away....I always thought, If I had received Sally’s diagnosis, I would have fought it with every medical tool available — chemo, radiation, clinical trials of any kind. I wouldn’t have spent my last months in a sunny room on a soft bed; I would have been hooked up to tubes, puking my guts out. I wouldn’t have been afraid of anything. Bring it on. Anything, that is, except death. After her death, I realized that I was the one blinded by fear. Sally could clearly see the outcome she wanted: as much time as possible to feel well and enjoy her family; a calm and dignified death. And, because of her bravery, those are the things she got."


What a nurse learned from a patient who wasn't afraid to die

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