Patient Experience Day 36: Hospice Happy

When I arrived at my parents home this evening and walked in things seemed to be peaceful. I entered and my mother greeted me at the door. I asked her how she was doing. She looked at me and said, “I am good. Today was a good day. Your father really liked the pastor and I got the nurse I wanted.”
I proceeded to walk into the living room. My father was lying back in his oversized recliner, hands folded together resting on his stomach, watching the news. I ask, “How are you doing today? How did the visit go?”
My father responds and says, “It went well. I had a great talk with the pastor. He is a really great guy and we got along well. The nurse was really good too. She told me that she was going to help me get rid of all of this stuff that is blocking up my bowels. She said I may end up with another problem of diarrhea, but I told her I would rather have that then what I do know with all of this blockage.”
I told him that I was happy to hear that they will be able to give him some relief.
He proceeded to say, “She also told me that she isn’t going to push me to eat. She said that I can do what I want. If I feel like eating, eat. If I don’t that I do not have to worry about. She also talked to your mother and told her the same thing so hopefully your mother won’t bug me now. They also told me that whatever I need for pain, they will make sure I have it. There is even going to be a male that will come in twice a week to help my bathe so your mother doesn’t have to always help me.”
The sparkle was back in my fathers eyes. He was joking again with me. He told me that a relative had visited the other day and he was able to give something of his to him as a memento.
I told my father that we could take a few locks of his hair and place them on picture cards of himself, and as people visited him at home, we could hand them out as mementos.
My father laughed so hard he began to tear up. My mother keeled over from laughing so hard. It was probably a really bad joke, in poor taste, but it just seemed right at the moment. It was exactly the relief all of us needed.
I grew up in a family of laughter. Of practical jokes, teasing, and making one another laugh. My father always said, “You tease the ones you love. That’s how you know I love you so much, because I tease you all the time.”
Today was the day hospice relieved my father of the great weight that had been holding him down for the past 36 days.
Today was the day hospice helped our family find laughter. Again.
As always, you can feel free to contact me at: CANCERGEEK@GMAIL.COM

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