Author Archive for Larry

On (Not) Being Happy

maybe-its-not-about-the-happy-ending-maybe-its-about-the-storyIn the early morning, before the hospice team meeting began and the patient care reports became formal, two nurses discussed a new 23-year-old patient.

When admitted into our hospice, she had a PPS of 60%. Her score on the Palliative Performance Scale meant she could easily get around her home and required minimal assistance for most daily activities. Compared to many patients, she was remarkably independent. Less than two days later, she died. Pain had suddenly wracked her body, and it took hours of intensive work for nurses to get her comfortable. She was young. She was strong. Her cancer was terrifying, but if—the nurses hoped—she had her pain reduced, settle down, and get some sleep, then maybe . . . Read More →

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Dementia, the Time Thief

bigstock-Losing-memory-like-dementia-or-8040209-300x200In the final decade of his life, my father had dementia.

What about me? Is dementia lurking in my future?

Will I detect the disease’s beginnings? And if I did sense something “wrong,” would I admit to struggles with memory? Would I openly talk about other unsettling changes? Would you? Read More →

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

A Plate of Cookies

A plate of fresh-baked cookies . . .

Soon to be a plate of fresh-baked cookies . . .

“I thought hospices were all in hospitals . . . or something.”

I sat in the car with several friends, heading back from a basketball game, discussing the close score and the players who’d impressed us. As the conversation waned, we passed the building where my hospice administrative and bereavement counseling offices are located. One of the friends asked about hospice, and soon made his comment: I thought hospices were . . .

My friend is about my age, has a lifetime of education and experiences, and seemed to know very little about hospice. He was genuinely surprised to learn hospice care typically occurred in people’s homes, and that the primary caregivers for a dying patient were family and friends, rather than doctors and nurses in a health care facility. I was surprised with how little he knew. Read More →

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather