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Hospice – seeing the signs

By Toni
Posted on

I had the conversation with my parent.

I have two.

I can't explain to you the pain that I went through having to be the one to bring it up. Why didn't a hospital staff or physician see the signs and symptoms? I am thankful that I understand hospice but I wonder how the families that have no idea about the service - manage if our healthcare field can't be a voice for them!

My father passed away June 22, 2008- 29 days after we learned he had cancer.   I asked the Oncologist if my father was hospice appropriate and the physician didn’t want to go that route first.  My father had lung ca with mets to the brain.   The physician ordered radiation for palliative care but no one spoke to us about a palliative care program or hospice until I pushed for it.  I worked at a hospice company at the time and understand the benefits of palliative care and hospice.  The physician made me feel like I was pushing my father to death.  We finally got the order for hospice 2 weeks before he passed.  My father left behind his wife, four daughters, and extended family.  Even though I work in the healthcare field – I wish hospice was approved sooner so that I could have spent more time grieving as a daughter through this process.

My Mother passed away on 6/27/2009 – she was on hospice for 9 months and I know the service extended her life and made her more comfortable.   My mother had bounced in and out of the hospitals with end stage CHF from 7/08 – 10/08 until one evening I was setting at the nurses station waiting for the Cardiologist – when he arrived I looked at him and said “you know that my mother is hospice appropriate” and with a shocked look on his face – he said “you are right”.  He then said lets go talk to her.  I can tell you how it broke my heart for my mother to know that I was the one who brought up the idea of hospice and they physician backed me up.  After time – she realized that it was a great benefit to her and the family but I can’t explain to you the pain that I went through having to be the one to bring it up.  Why didn’t a hospital staff or physician see the signs and symptoms?  I am thankful that I understand hospice but I wonder how the families that have no idea about the service – manage if our healthcare field can’t be a voice for them!

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