Love hate

I have no manager. I have no one to support the work I do. I have to follow up on things that used to happen behind some obscure curtain of administration. I do not enjoy this aspect of my work life. I do not enjoy checking in with my nurse and spending more time convincing her it will be Ok than talking about our patients. I DO enjoy the time we spend being snarky about the state of the sinking ship we have somehow bought passage on. It makes it somehow feel ok, except when we deal with some major BS that pushes me over the edge.

Case in point, a family told me today about their horrific weekend with our staff. They adored the nurses who came to help, but hated the call staff who asked them, "don't you have anyone else who could help?" no. No. NO. This is not what hospice is about.

I spent my morning with this family. I didn't know it when I walked in the door, but I knew when I walked into the back bedroom that this patient was not making it through the day. It's a skill I have, predicting imminent death, lovely right?

I listened. I aligned. I made apologies and I quickly worked to put things in place for the spouse of my patient who had known this woman since she was 3 years old and nicknamed Annabelle. She hated being called Annabelle. Her name was Lillian. Don't ask. They told me she was ready to go, they told me they were ready for her to go. He told me he had not said goodbye. I told him she was probably waiting for his permisssion and this man, this 86 year old man went in and with my gentle support and urging delivered the most beautiful goodbye I have ever heard in my professional life.

"Your bags are packed. They are waiting by the door. When are you leaving? Scotty put a bottle of scotch in your bag. Will you have a drink with me when I get there? I know we will be sharing a drink again soon, I can feel it in my bones."

She asked for her son Scotty. His sister told him (a deputy) to "put on his lights," and he was there in less than 3 minutes. They gave her more morphine. They were all together. I said goodbye to them, told them this was a time for family, to call when it happened.

She died an hour later, surrounded by family, with the goodbye she was waiting for.

I have no support, I have daily challenges, but my work has never been so meaningful, so fulfilling. I held my sick daugter in my arms this afternoon and even though I had to leave work early, I already felt like I had my qouta of "difference" today. It's hard to know how to feel. Most days I am just getting by.

1 comment:

  1. every sense of the word...just beautiful!