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Dedication

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Joelibris



Joined: 23 Mar 2006
Posts: 7557
Location: Kraptapolis, NC, U. S. of DUH-HUH
Dedication  Reply with quote  

Chris dedicates ADJ in part to hospice workers, so I thought I'd share my experience with those caring souls, and without the usual chuckle-headedness.

I went home to Iowa for Christmas last year, and to see my Dad, who had terminal leukemia. He was expected to make it into March or April. When I arrived on Dec. 24, he'd started to go downhill, so my sister and I decided home hospice was the best solution.

We had to make an emergency call to them on the 26th, because Dad was sliding. There was a nurse there in five minutes, helping us manage the situation. She called the medical supply place and arranged for a hospital bed and oxygen to be delivered. We hadn't even finished the necissary paperwork, and they were there for us.

On the morning of the 27th, the Administrative Nurse came to the house with the papers for us to sign. During her visit, Dad started breathing funny, and she examined him. She told us he was going, and we needed to say good-bye to him quickly. he passed away 5 minutes later.

Needless to say, we were all total wrecks. She gave us a few minutes with him, then shipped us all off to the garage to chain smoke, while she bathed and dressed him, and called the mortuary. And this was the ADMIN nurse!

These folks are professional, competent, and most of all, COMPASSIONATE, and more often than not, they help people who cannot pay. We decided that in lieu of flowers, people should make a donation to the local Hospice. The company my sis works for sent them a check for $25,000, and all told, over $30,000 came in.

Chris, as much as I loved ADJ, I have to say my favorite part was the dedication. thanks for listening, folks. Whew.
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Post Wed Apr 12, 2006 6:16 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
deb



Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Posts: 6325
Location: Montana
 Reply with quote  

Oh man.

The hardest thing I have ever had to do is talk to Ronnie about those papers. He was still lucid, but the end was near. I had to keep explaining to him what those papers meant, what it would mean I would be doing, what it meant for him....he looked at me with such love and trust and signed those papers. Jesus god, there is never another day I never want to relive so much as that day.
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Post Wed Apr 12, 2006 6:20 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Joelibris



Joined: 23 Mar 2006
Posts: 7557
Location: Kraptapolis, NC, U. S. of DUH-HUH
 Reply with quote  

Did hospice come in, Deb?
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"Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
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Post Wed Apr 12, 2006 6:22 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
deb



Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Posts: 6325
Location: Montana
 Reply with quote  

He had me.
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Post Wed Apr 12, 2006 6:24 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Joelibris



Joined: 23 Mar 2006
Posts: 7557
Location: Kraptapolis, NC, U. S. of DUH-HUH
 Reply with quote  

Knew you were one tough, brave bitch. We were freaked out lil pussies, i'm afraid.
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"Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
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Post Wed Apr 12, 2006 6:28 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Lisa M



Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 1844
Location: Rhode Island
 Reply with quote  

My dad died in March 2004. He had prostate cancer that metasticiszed to the bone. Un-fucking-believable pain. He was in the Newport, RI hospital, and let me just say, those folks are SAINTS. The hospice workers were good, but when they wanted to move my dad to the hospice floor, the charge nurse said, Over my dead body. The care, the compassion? Just incredible. I really can`t say enough good things about them. The aids, the clerks, the person who delivered a coffee trolley -- amazing.

Post Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:06 pm   View user's profile Send private message
sgt_steve



Joined: 18 Jan 2005
Posts: 5197
Location: Michissippi
 Reply with quote  

When my mother-in-law suffered a long, slow decline with Alzheimers and heart failure, my father-in-law held out against hospice (or any other help) for as long as he possibly could. His wife had taken good care of him for over 40 years, and damned if he was going to do any less. Within a few days of their coming by, she died at lunch between one bite and the next. He said that the hospice people eased so much of his burden that he should have had them in long before. If, God forbid, I ever have to go through the same, I will certainly call them before the last minute.

Post Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:51 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
deb



Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Posts: 6325
Location: Montana
 Reply with quote  

They brought the papers, and they would have been there if we needed it. Ronnie wanted me. I could do that for him. If only you all knew what he was to me, you'd know that being there for him in the last 4 months of his life was the biggest blessing I have ever experienced. Hospice could have done their wonderful job. It was just not necessary in our case. Maybe I'm a control freak, I don't know. But my Ron wanted me to take care of him, and bygod that's what he got.
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Post Wed Apr 12, 2006 7:58 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
sgt_steve



Joined: 18 Jan 2005
Posts: 5197
Location: Michissippi
 Reply with quote  

And he was a damned lucky man.

Post Wed Apr 12, 2006 8:14 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
cornman



Joined: 30 Oct 2005
Posts: 821
Location: under the golden gate in a fridge box
 Reply with quote  

great posts you guys!

while i am (fortunate?) not to have experienced the decline of a loved one, in this way, i do have a little personal story about hospices and the workers.

back in '91 when i moved here to san francisco, fresh off the turnip truck from iowa, at the young age of 18 (almost 19) the first (and still the best) job i got was flipping za for a pizzaria in the heart of the castro.
gay mecca.

heck, i didn't even know it was a gay neighborhood when i was beatin the sidewalks, resume and applications in hand, i just thought them fellers were really friendly!

anyways, i got the job.
one of the things the owners do is donate pizza twice a week to a few of the local aids hospices.
well, the job of delivering those pies soon fell to me.

i will admit that in my ignorance (even being friends with plenty o them fruity types from back home) i was really scared. do i have to touch them? is it airborn? ew, yuck they're die'in!

after a few quick "run in,drop and bolts" a hospice worker was able to catch up and educate me on the whole thing. how aids is transfered, what they do to care for the end stage patients and just, well, teach me.
after that i always looked forward to bringin the pizza. jokin around with the patients. seeing the very little thing that i, and the owners, were doing to make folk's lives better. if for just that short time they have.

i'll never forget how i felt the day i walked in to the hospice to see all the doors shut and not a person in sight. i walked down the hall to the common area, feeling more and more creeped out when around the corner they rolled a gurney with a body covered with a sheet. someone died. like,that moment. just died. they were still waiting for an ambulance, or whatever, so that's why they had all the doors shut, so it wouldn't bum out the rest of the residents seein the dead body.
that fuckin shook me up!
this is what the (mostly) volunteer hospice workers deal with on a overly regular basis!?! i just happened on it and it threw me.
i ain't even gonna admit that i cried when i got back to the shop......ooops,dammit, wull i did.hugs all 'round for the dorky straight kid from iowa.

hospice workers can kick your ass.

i am honored to still be very associated with that community. since then i have contributed what i could, when i could.
this is what i'm doing currently and it's amazing!
http://www.aidslifecycle.org/8619



i raise my glass to you folks that have dealt with this on more of a personal level. i am so scared of the time this will fall on me. when chris talked about losing his mother, then charlee's, at the signing thing, i had a bit o the willy's. yes,he can eloquently phrase all of this and make you laugh afterwards but something is left, deep down, that you just don't want to have to face. like you guys have, so, cheers to you.


*hugs*
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Post Wed Apr 12, 2006 8:26 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Jo



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 2742
Location: Near here, on Tuesdays, but just on the days that end with nth. Like 3nth.
 Reply with quote  

I just want to say that reading this thread has brought me out of a potential tree that I put my own little self in tonight. Such brave and wonderful souls you all are. Truly. And brave wonderful souls that chose to leave in your presence. That too can be an honor.

I've never had to face watching someone go in the ways you have described. I honor what you have been through.

I'll shut up now.
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Post Wed Apr 12, 2006 8:31 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
deb



Joined: 08 Mar 2004
Posts: 6325
Location: Montana
 Reply with quote  

Don't get me wrong. but every hospice volunteer will tell you exactly what i will: being allowed to be with someone through their last moments on earth is the single most humbling experience you will ever have. the amazing, overwhelming awe of love, trust, sorrow, .... he trusted me to take him as far as he could go. I trusted him to love me to the end.

.


no more. please.
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Post Wed Apr 12, 2006 8:43 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
ROM
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cant say I ever connected with humans well, wether i've been to a hospice or not I wouldnt know. all I remember was watching my grandfather in pain, and watching him die, while all I could do was watch. I spent time with him and read him some of the books I was reading.

when he died the church was full and I was one of the first to speak. I think I was the second.

now my rabbit is an old man, while he is not human and many folks seem to have the idea that an animal and a human are differen, I beg to differ.

Tris, my was a sister to me, she died early due to cancer, but she really should have been put to sleep. I couldnt bear it, I wanted to be with her to the end.

Mimi, she was my cat and she lived to a very old age but i knew her 15 yrs my mom knew her either 18 or twenty.

Peter, hes my bunny. he loves me deeply and I can see it in his eyes. he trusts me and me alone. Peter licks me all over and sees that I have issues but he loves me to no end. PEter will only let me hold him and the doctors. I can hold him on his back and he wont fight, but his nails I cant get him to let me cut them.

ok enough of this sad stuff or I will start to cry in class....

(I am spending any time I can with PEter, cheirshing any moment with him. hes 11 and he could die at any moment.. and may have cancer. or it could jsut be a messed up body he has. I was told to take a piece of his bunny hood off of him but I have no money to do so, and my parents dont wanna pay for the operation.)

Post Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:23 am   
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