I’ve reached a point in my hospice work where I feel I can walk into any end of life situation with confidence, knowing that I can get a patient’s pain and symptoms managed. Except for today.
Loren inhaled his Tylenol that was delivered to him in the usual heaping spoon full of chocolate pudding. He quickly developed the most severe, rapid onset case of pneumonia I have ever seen. His symptoms were out of control before I arrived. Over a course of the day I tried everything I knew to help manage his symptoms; nothing worked. I soon felt helpless. All I could do was sit and bear witness to his incredible suffering. It was a most difficult day for me; definitely worse for the family who are arriving tonight. Words can’t describe Loren’s day.