We Can’t Fix This.

Listening to the Hospice doctor speaking to Fay and I today, I was reminded how serious the job of helping someone die really is. We had our first Hospice consult on Friday last week. Six days later, we’ve had 4 scheduled RN visits and one highly unscheduled visit when Charlie fell. We’ve had two social work visits. Today, Dr. Playfoot came here and stayed until we were ready for him to leave. Nearly 90 minutes.

He cared, he talked, he asked, he questioned, he looked, he examined and observed. But most of all, he was a human treating a human. Not a clinician treating a symptom.

So often in the medical field, we want to fix the thing that bothers our patient by throwing medication or therapy or tests at them. For nearly 30 years, Charlie has been rescued and sustained by an ever-increasing number of medicines. New surgeries, fake heart valves and blood tests. He has a neurologist, cardiologist, urologist, endocrinologist, podiatrist, internist, gastroenterologist and a family doctor who shall remain nameless because he’s the most incompetent physician to walk the earth.

Now, he has a hospice team who will save him from blood tests, unnesecary pills, and stupid ideas of physical therapy. He has a team of people who care about all of us and are willing to help him live comfortably as long as he wants. They are also willing to help him die comfortably when he decides to give that a try.

They are the first people to ask Andy and I how WE are doing.  The social worker stopped by unannounced with information on how the kids can deal with this.

We can’t fix this.  Fay wants to try, but we can’t.

Today she found out that no one can fix it.  Dr. Playfoot told her that he can’t fix each symptom…we’ve lost part of this fight to PD. 

Maybe she’ll get it.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cheryl
    Sep 03, 2009 @ 22:30:25

    Thank you for writing this. You are helping all those who read it understand life a wee bit better. May we all be more sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of our friends, family and neighbors who are going through really difficult times. Our prayers are with you for an extra measure of strength and wisdom. God Bless you for all that you are doing!


  2. David
    Sep 04, 2009 @ 09:04:53

    God bless you. Not an easy to thing to go through, I know. Though he wasn’t there long before he died, my father-in-law was treated with dignity and received the best care while in hospice. Our family was treated very well, too. My father-in-law’s family Dr. was a “quack” who prescribed a steroid shot and Rutuss for whatever ailed you. “nuther story…

    Anyway, I’ keep up with your blog and will pray for you and your family.


  3. beinganddoing
    Sep 05, 2009 @ 07:59:39

    Remembering you guys.


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