Moving on and saying goodbye…

She kept us on our toes for six weeks, clocking an impressive array of medical emergencies one after the other. Who knew that heart failure could be so stunning, and tragic, and poignant. I got front row seats to a thoracentesis procedure, where the fluid was sucked out of her lungs through a long needle. I got to sit with the MRI technician at 3 am as he isolated the network of carotid arteries on the screen, searching for the occlusion. I got a crash course in thyroid function and how it slowly but steadily weakened one system after another, the signs flashing by without me recognizing their urgency except in hindsight. She racked up to eleven specialists/teams coordinating her care by the end, with visits nearly every hour 'round the … [Read more...]

Top regrets at the end of life..

From The Guardian, Top Five Regrets of the Dying, a piece written by a palliative care nurse, Susie Steiner, who worked with people in the last 12 weeks of their lives (published Feb 01 2012) 1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. "This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it." 2. I wish I hadn't worked so hard. "This came from every male … [Read more...]