Archive for Fears

Haldol: The Wonder Drug?

Wonder drug?

I am not a medical expert.

I am not a medication expert.

I know nearly nothing about drugs.

I have never met a pill I wanted to take.

Is that blatant enough about my ignorance so my next thoughts are taken with a grain of salt? Nay, not a mere grain. It would be better to imagine an overflowing wheelbarrow of Morton’s when-it-rains-it-pours overpriced sodium!

Since I’ve confirmed my lack of qualifications, let me share a few biased opinions about . . .

Haldol

Ever heard of it? Read More →

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Yes, Some Leave Hospice Care

The Seventh Seal

As with the stark chess game in Ingmar Bergman’s classic The Seventh Seal (1957), death doesn’t lose.

We got rid of a few people in hospice this week.

Oh, and several lovely, beautiful patients also died. More on death in a moment.

I attend several of my hospice’s interdisciplinary groups, which are usually called IDGs. They are weekly patient care meetings, a required review of those under the care of our agency. Since all patients in hospice much be reviewed by the hospice team—led by a physician—every 15 days*, we discuss and update the needs for everyone in the course of a typical month.

Some patients are relatively stable, and can go for weeks and months with minimal input.

There are “focus patients” with issues—family conflicts or finding the right medication dosages or ________ (fill in the blank)—that must be immediately addressed.

There are new admissions to discuss.

Quite a few patients need to be recertified. Is this patient still hospice appropriate? Every few months (there is actually a precise schedule), this question will be asked and answered. Hospice care is for those with an illness giving them six months or less to live. There are always patients that continue in care over six months. However, like everyone, they will be routinely reviewed.

With some, still alive and kicking, we bid adieu. Read More →

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Hospice and (Not Calling) 9-1-1

Helicopter rescue

Not long after, a helicopter plucked me from the wilderness…

What should you do when the awful and unfortunate happens? For example:

  1. Heart attack.
  2. Car accident.
  3. Criminal activity.
  4. Lost child.
  5. House on fire.
  6. An associate pastor leading a youth group backpack in an isolated mountain location tumbles down a snowy slope and breaks several bones.

Hurry! Call 9-1-1!

Yeah, you guessed it, #6 happened to yours truly. I busted my leg on a backpack in the 1980s. Several in my group returned to the trailhead—a six-mile slog—and found a phone. They, of course, called 9-1-1. Not long after, a helicopter plucked me from the wilderness and flew me to a hospital in Lake Tahoe.

If something bad happens, punch in 9-1-1. Except if you’re a hospice caregiver or patient: please don’t use those three life-saving numbers. Read More →

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