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Transition

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Viswamitra, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    @Sandyr46,

    Yes. During the transition period arguably Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) generation is understood to be high helping the smooth transition even though it is not scientifically proven as yet. Therefore, the dying person could see the dead people and living people simultaneously and their communications, actions, etc. might be peculiar and often difficult to follow for a normal human being. Becki Hawkins, a nurse has written a book titled, "Transitions - "A Nurse's education about life and death" is an interesting book to learn more about what a dying person experience before the transition.

    Viswa
     
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  2. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Saturday, July 6, 20019

    Census: 16 patients - 3 deaths in the last 24 hours - 1 imminent patient - 1 new admission during our duty from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

    Two other volunteers who were absent for the past two weeks were back in action last night. One patient requested meal as she was hungry and a lady volunteer made some food on her own in the kitchen and gave it to the patient as requested by the nurse.

    One of the visitors complained about the volunteer who was present before our duty time. When we inquired further we came to know that he had no valid ID and inquired about the patient and her record without identifying him who he is and how he is related to this patient. So the volunteer did the right thing by questioning him about his ID before sharing any information including her availability as a patient. We have explained the process and he appeared to be satisfied after our explanation. Even Chaplains identify themselves before proceeding to perform their final prayers for the imminent patients based on their religious beliefs.

    In general, visiting people identify as patient's relative or friend and specifically mention even room # indicating their prior knowledge. When we were about to leave, a lady asked for a tour of the facility as her mother is likely to come the following day. We have obliged once we checked about that patient likely to be admitted the next day with the nursing station. The new patient came in around 7:55 p.m. and we stayed for a little longer to close the senses records.
     
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  3. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Saturday, July 13, 2019

    Census: 18 patients - 5 deaths in the last 24 hours - 2 new admissions for the day including 1 during our duty hours

    The same three volunteers were present but one of them had to leave due to personal issues. It is so exciting to see Lilly, the puppy who is officially a volunteer in the Hospice. Her mom volunteers in 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. time on Saturdays.

    No imminent patients during the duty time. A lot were 90+. Most patients had cancer or degeneration of brain. It is unfortunate that many don't know where they are and don't recognize their own kith and kin leave alone recognizing the staff on duty.

    What I learned last week is that the living will plays a prominent role in medical decision-making in the Hospice. Those who don't have one and not supported by any close relatives, then, the decisions are driven by the physicians on duty.
     
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  4. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Saturday, July 20, 2019

    Census - 10 patients (50% of the total capacity) - 4 deaths in the last 24 hours - 2 admissions in the last 24 hours. My usual co-volunteer was absent and another one who fills in vacancies filled in for Saturday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Since she volunteered earlier night, she told who were the imminent patients in the ward. She suggested that I should go and spend time with two patients immediately and she promised to take care of the front desk and visitors. I listened to her words of wisdom and rushed to these two rooms and sat for nearly 30 minutes each chanting my own prayers. Both were unconscious and gasping for breath. One was having a heart failure and another suffering from cancer.

    As soon as I stepped out of the first room and went to the second room, I got the message that the patient in the first room passed away. Before getting ready to leave at 8 p.m., I decided to visit the other patient as well and found her stopped breathing. I called the nurse, asked her to check her pulse and she asked the doctor to rush in to certify death. Her daughter is living in New York and her husband is in the hospital. I wonder how she would come over to our city to attend the funeral of her mother leaving her husband in serious condition in the hospital in New York.

    It was so sad both patients I visited yesterday died soon after I visited. My co-volunteer jovially told me that she wouldn't accept volunteering with me as everyone I visit die immediately. Even though she was making me feel relieved out of my stress by joking, I realized how important it was to be with a dying patient just before their death. May be they were holding on as they didn't want to die alone.

    Frankly, one was 81 years old and another one was 90 year old woman and hence, I felt as though I was sitting next to my mother when she passed away back in India in 2018. Stranger are the ways, the mind removes the guilt of not being there before my mother's death in India.
     
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  5. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Saturday, July 27, 2019

    Census Data: 16 patients - 4 deaths in the last 24 hours - 2 admissions in the duty time.

    I was feeling a little guilty about the work I did this week due to two reasons:

    1) I went to Shirdi Baba Temple in the morning and it is a little bit of drive from home and when I returned after a long drive, the time was 3:20 p.m. Normally, I wake within an hour if I take a nap and I overslept until 5:20 p.m. (20 minutes into my duty time). I immediately washed my face and rushed after picking up my badge. I reached the Hospice by 5:42 p.m.

    2) To my surprise, I found no one in the front desk. Perhaps, no one responded to replace for the absence of my co-volunteer. I immediately rushed to the nurse station and asked a nurse about any new admissions and imminent patients and luckily no one required the company of volunteers. She also told two new admission are expected to come in the next 30 minutes.

    A medical assistance came and reluctantly asked whether I could feed a patient. Normally, the Hospice doesn't allow the volunteers to feed the patients unless they are trained to do so. Moreover, I was alone at the desk as well. I have made entry for new admissions came in one after another in an ambulance after 6 p.m.

    Two of the patients were suffering from MRSA virus and caution notice was entered in the census data. One of the patients even went for a walk holding his wheel chair outside the Hospice.
     
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  6. ramasala

    ramasala Silver IL'ite

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    Thank you viswa for narrating your experience in the hospice.The more we see deaths in the near vicinity in our lives,our perception about life becomes very stable .We feel "is it for this fleeting life, we have given so much of importance with vanity and pride?'
    ramasala
     
  7. Viswamitra

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    Saturday, August 3, 2019

    Census: 17 admitted patients - 5 deaths in the last 24 hours -2 new admissions in the last 24 hours - No one was imminent. But the nurses were so busy during our duty and could not find anyone in the nursing station. One of the patient's family approached us hurriedly that a tube was removed for replacement and for some strange reason no one showed up for nearly 15 minutes. Understanding her concern, I ran pillar to post to find a nurse and finally found one to direct her attention to that particular room.

    This is the first time, we noticed that there was a patient who was 103 years old. When I read her medical record, I understood that she is suffering from Macular Degeneration. I wonder what kind of treatment could be given to her at her age. When I review the Census register, only thing I do is to read and pray for each one of the patients in the Hospice.

    One lady came in with a big smile in her face and shared two photographs with me. Her mother died the previous night and I couldn't believe she was in such a state of mind laughing and enjoying her life. I couldn't control my feeling and I said, "I am sorry to hear about your mother", and she replied, "She is in a better place than either one of us. She is an angel. She spent 37 years nursing the patients. I am really happy she passed quickly without any sufferings". She came to handover a photograph of two volunteers who worked all night and sleeping in the couch in the morning which she wanted to share with those volunteers.

    Viswa
     
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  8. Viswamitra

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    Saturday, August 10, 2019

    Census Data: 14 patients - 4 new admissions - 3 deaths in the last 24 hours. 2 patients were suffering from MRSA. There are two wards on either side of our reception desk and one of them had only one nurse while the other had 2 nurses. The single nurse in the left wing had to run around a lot as both patients came in quick succession besides other patients needing her constant attention. Sometimes, I wonder how she was able to manage running around so much for long hours with a smile in her face.

    Lot of visitors came in during our 5-8 p.m. duty. We were happy that every patient in the Hospice was supported by friends and family members. Other than admission formalities, we didn't have much to do this week.

    Viswa
     
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  9. Viswamitra

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    Saturday, August 17, 2019

    Census - 8 patients - 7 deaths in the last 24 hours - 1 new admission -2 patients having MRSA virus with caution notice highlighted for the volunteers.

    I had a co-volunteer who was 74 years old and she was very nice. She knew most nurses and staff and was volunteering on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the past 10 years. Like me, she is a pet lover and shared so many stories about her pets. Whenever, someone is imminent, she do foster care for the pets they have until someone is ready and willing to adopt them. What a great service that is!

    No imminent patient today and at least we didn't get a request to sit with a patient during the shift. I ended up working on my National Online Lesson Plans for SSE children while waiting in the reception area.

    The time well spent.
     
  10. Viswamitra

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    Neighborly - Service to the seniors

    It is a not for profit organization that was established 50 years ago with an intent to distribute hot meals (the first Meals on wheels program in the US) to seniors in our county and it has grown into a large organization serving 1,000 meals a day to the home bound seniors as well as seniors having meals in their dining centers. In the last 5 decades, the organization has grown into adult day care, free lunch in their dining facilities located in multiple places, transportation for doctor's appointment and groceries, delivering prescription medication, etc. 600 volunteers are enrolled in the organization serving meals 5 days a week. Some even are provided frozen meals for the weekends as well.

    This organization is funded by federal, state, independent not for profit organizations, churches, etc. My wife and I attended orientation 15 days back and the coordinator walked us through the difficulties in delivering meals as most are volunteering for transportation of meals. Some may not respond to door bell or loud shout calling those seniors. We were told to open the door and enter with a smiling face and notify them that we are from Neighborly. Each volunteer is given a trip sheet with names, addresses and phone numbers and if there is no response at the door, the volunteers are encouraged to make a phone call to the clients. If there is no response, we need to enter the home if the door is opened to make sure they are safe. If they have fallen or suffering from some medical condition, we are supposed to call 911. Most clients are happy to see the Neighborly volunteers as they don't see anyone for 24 hours and for 48 hours during the weekend.

    Sometimes, they don't remember that the volunteers visited after saying "no" to food and then complain about not receiving food due to dementia. We were told to keep our cool and smile all the time. Since the trip sheet sensitive data including names, addresses and phone numbers, the volunteers need to make sure they don't loose it. The meals are packed in hot and cold bags respectively and the volunteers need to take a signature from the clients. If they are unable to sign, we need to write "unable to sign" and initial delivery of meal. Each route is developed for a volunteer and normally have 7-10 meals to be delivered and in some cases 15 meals. They operate both for lunch and dinner. They have additional insurance to supplement auto insurance, in case, if the volunteers face accidents. Every meal need to be properly accounted for and hence if it is not delivered, we can give it to another client or bring back to the dining center. They encourage two volunteers to go together for easy handling of clients.

    My wife and are volunteering for the first time on Friday, August 23rd at 10:30 a.m. and I will post the experience later this week along with my Hospice experience.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019 at 8:10 PM
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