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 →

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Constipation: the “little c”

We build a moat around our fears by telling white lies. (Or telling grim, dark lies.)

We build a moat around our fears by telling white lies. (Or telling grim, dark lies.)

Constipation and Spiritual Distress.

Only those two. That was it!

Once a week, in the first hours of a work morning, the hospice team (chaplains, doctors, nurses, social workers, volunteer coordinators, and bereavement) gathers to review the patients. We’ll remember those who have recently died, discuss the ones continuing in our care, and take the first official “team notes” about the newest patients. Read More →

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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 →

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