Sadly, I have two new clients who are both in their last month.
In both cases the person was released from the hospital to come home to die.
In both cases the person is very independant and has trouble accepting help.
I know this one, having learned it from my mother who was the original difficult patient, bar none. My mother did not want anyone to mention cancer, (although she was terribly ill with it), death, (although it was imminent), or peri-care, (although it was necessary). My father told me that the one time she did mention death was at 3 in the morning on a night when he had taken a sleeping pill. He tried to calm her down and get her to just cuddly but she would have none of it. My father was a saint in those last months. Mom had him running around the Island for all kinds of things. When we, the kids, mentioned we were worried about dad she yelled: "Why are you worried about him? I am the one who is dying!" And that was the last time that word came from her lips.
I see my mother is so many people I do nursing for. In the determined woman who almost fell off her bed to prove she could "do it herself" and in the young woman whose hair is littered all along her hallways. We are all the same in these key ways. I see my mother and I utter a silence thank you to her.
My trainee is finding it hard to cope with all this death. She is definitly not going to choose palliative care as her speciality, but she is learning fast and doing well. Today she turned to me in the car and asked me when I learned that trick that works so well for difficult people. "Trick?" asked I.
"You know... where you go down on one knee to talk to them. I noticed you do that and I remember we read it somewhere that it works for difficult people..."
Having no idea about what she was referring to, I shook my head. Trick... hmm hmm hmm. Finally I realised she was talking about my habit of sitting lower than my client when at the first visit. I always take the passive position to give the show of control to the client. I do not think it through, I just do it. It works too. The prickliest people let me do almost anything where they send other people packing.
Again - thanks mother.
My trainee will be a free agent in the universe next week. It is doubtful she will miss my client load but she is capable of doing it, and doing it well. I was correct. Four days and she was confident and caring in an appropriate way. Do the job well, do the job at the client's pace, finish completely and leave quietly.
Job well done!
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
... from Desiderata by Max Erhmann.