Photo by Gail Bimber
My husband is doing a little better! Hospice has put him on some very strong medications which have resulted in reduced pain, an improved appetite (rather odd craving for popsicles), and improved energy.
When you are care-giving for a terminally-ill person, an improved condition (referred to by Hospice as a “plateau”), can be unsettling. Sounds weird, but when you are expecting someone’s end to be close, improvement is not expected, so when it comes, it makes you feel very uncomfortable about a whole bunch of decisions you’ve so carefully made. One of the very unsettling issues with Hospice: when your loved one is signed up for Hospice care, your doctor visits stop. That is to say, your loved one is now under “palliative care” — which means to keep the patient comfortable until they pass away. Now, to explain the whole situation, one can “graduate” from Hospice if, in fact, a turnaround occurs and re-enter Hospice care at a later date.
I spoke to my pastor about it and he suggested, “Embrace the Plateau“. Good advice. (Ha! I just typed “God advice” – works either way!)
I think this is a perfect example of the “I Dunno” phenomenon I wrote about in an earlier post. We simply don’t know what’s in store for any of us. We can waste a whole bunch of energy on trying to outsmart our maker, and figure it out, but that’s a losing proposition.
So, best to embrace the plateau and give thanks for this gift.