Archive for Palliative

Hospice Secret #9: Palliative Care

All hospice care is palliative care.

However, palliative care is not limited to hospice.

Wait . . . before this gets more confusing, how is “palliative” pronounced?

The experts would say: pal-ee-ey-tiv. Me, I usually mispronounce the word, abandon one of the syllables, and go with: pal-ya-tive. According to the stuffy Oxford English Dictionary, the word emerged in Late Middle English from the French by way of ancient Latin. With Latin and French in its family tree, no wonder palliative is a tongue twister.

What did it originally mean? To cloak. In other words: to cover, hide, or disguise.

Enough word history.

If young, elderly, or in between, and have an illness causing discomfort pain, you should consider “cloaking” the pain with palliative care. I refer here to serious physical pain (often accompanied by emotional and spiritual suffering) that never goes away. While doctors won’t be telling you the disease you have will likely cause death in hospice’s “six months or less” timeframe, what if it causes daily, physical anguish? Sometimes the pain can be so relentless and persistent that a patient may think dying is better than living with non-stop agony.

When in pain, everything else becomes secondary. Read More →

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What Is Palliative Care?

hope-darrentunnicliff-flickr-4232232092-ccbyndnc2Words can intimidate.

If we don’t understand a word’s meaning, we may resist thinking about it. If we can’t pronounce it, we may never write the word in a sentence, let alone say it out loud in a question or concern.

I suspect palliative is one of those intimidating words. It seems like a highfaluting collection of vowels and consonants that frequently accompanies the easier to pronounce, but certifiably scarier . . . hospice. Read More →

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