Wednesday, January 15, 2014
I lost my mother this past Christmas Eve and my younger brother four years ago this month. Losing a family member is tough. There is no way of circumventing the deep emotional feelings one must face when dealing the knowledge that the loved one will no longer be a part of life as we know it.
We are all born on this planet and learn early on that life here is finite; but as time has passed, we have learned how to care for those who have reached the end of life’s cycle, making things easier for them, their family, and friends. Advances in medicine, surgical procedures, and medical equipment have evolved exponentially. What has not changed is the human characteristic of caring.
Both my mother and my brother had excellent doctors and nurses caring for them before they reached the end of life. I will not mention them by name, but if they read this article, and make the connection, they are already aware of how much my family and I appreciated what they did for all of us. These folks along with EMS personnel are in the business of saving lives, but there is another group that is in the business of making the end of life experience as comfortable as possible for the patient and family. These are the special folks who have the unique personality that allows them to care for patients that are terminal. Their job is to care for each patient in a manner that is dignified and respectful regardless of the patient’s condition. These are the folks that staff our Hospice facilities.
Both my mother and my brother were treated by and at the Tidelands Community Hospice. In my brother’s case, we contacted Tidelands a week before he passed. A representative came to visit and explained how we should proceed. Fortunately for my brother, it was within that week that I took him to the Tidelands Hospice House for his end of life care. My mother, on the other hand, was under Tidelands care for seven months. She had nurses and social workers coming to her home several times a week to perform medical procedures and monitor her vital sighs. She spent the last twelve days of her life at the hospice house with round the clock care. My family was at church when she passed, but there was a nurse there with her when she took her last breath.
Thank God, that he places folks on the earth that are willing and able the care for the sick and wounded; but even more so for blessing us with folks who are willing to step up and care for us at the end of our lives. They are truly a special breed!
Bob Anderson is a resident of the Pawleys Island area.