Terminal illness is NOT a CRIME!
Receiving Free Hospice Care at Home? Or know someone who is?
IMPORTANT INFO – don’t let THIS happen!
If I can save at least one other poor family from going through this, well, this blog has done its job !!!
Let me explain.
If you are terminally ill, or if you know someone who is? Even if receiving free Hospice care at home, SHARE THIS INFORMATION! It may save the family a lot of heartache.
This is a real life experience.
Over a year ago, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Admittedly, it was only a ‘stage one’ cancer of the womb, but even so, without a hysterectomy, it would be terminal. Regardless of this, she refused all treatment, telling the doctors that “she was 86 years old and didn’t see the point in having an operation”. Given the early stages of her diagnosis, the medical opinion was that she could go on for another 4 years or so until the cancer ended her life. This she accepted for a while and just carried on as normal.
Without going into the gory details.
A few months later, symptoms worsened. Still, she refused treatment. My mother was now under the care of a local ‘Hospice’, who, took her into their facilities and prescribed a new drug. As a result, the symptoms eased and home she came. (My mother was now living with my husband and I).
Not long after, the Hospice ‘end of life’ nurse visited. My Mother was having a particularly bad day which, no doubt, prompted the dear nurse to now authorize her to be ‘fast tracked’.
For those of you who have no idea what this means (I didn’t at the time), basically, it means that the professional medical opinion is, that the Patient has less than 12 weeks of life expectancy. Once ‘fast tracked’, the patient is entitled to ‘free care’.
Since my Mother had refused all treatment, she was on the ‘Palliative Care Program’. Consequently, we could have ‘careers’ coming to the house to take care of her needs. The initial ‘contract’ was for 12 weeks, however, it is reviewed regularly after that to ensure it was still required. Well, I ask you, if someone is terminally ill, they are unlikely to get miraculously better, although it can and does happen. We actually had this free care for just over 14 months!
THIS IS THE IMPORTANT BIT OF INFORMATION !
Please read and understand this. It may save a lot of grief!
Having read the above info, I guess you are not surprised to learn that my Mother passed away. Arguably, the ‘fast track contract’ for palliative care was longer than anyone expected. I only have the highest of praises for this system. At no time was it suggested that she was no longer ‘eligible for free care’. I could never have coped looking after her without it. Incidentally, the girls who visited 3 times a day were excellent.
HOWEVER, what apparently everyone knew, but didn’t tell ME, could be the most important thing that I am about to tell you!
If you, or someone you know and love is terminally ill – DON’T JUST ASSUME that when death finally occurs that it will BE EXPECTED by the authorities.
Even though, the hospice was ‘taking care’ of my Mother and her own G.P. was aware of the situation, just because she was at home and her OWN G.P. had not seen her within the LAST TWO WEEKS OF DEATH, this dreadful thing happened.
A few hours before her death, at my request, the Hospice EOL nurse visited. She asked if my Mother’s own G.P. has seen her within the last two weeks. Unfortunately, he had not. We had called out a 111 emergency doctor but apparently, that DID NOT COUNT! Consequently, a visit from her own G.P. was immediately requested by the EOL Nurse. A short while later the doctor arrived. Only it was not a G.P. The medical center with whom she was registered sent their in-house PARAMEDIC.
The Paramedic explained to me that, as the surgery was short staffed that day, he was covering the visits.
Understandably, at this stage, I was oblivious to the fact that the lack of a G.P. attendance would cause so much grief within the next few hours. Obviously, there was nothing the paramedic could do for my Mother; he explained that death was imminent.
Purely by chance, one of the District Nurses paid a visit shortly after he left. In the light of the situation, the D.N.’s by now were popping in at random times to see if there was anything they could do. (Lovely, Lovely People).
My Mother died a couple of hours later.
My husband and I were at her bedside. It was a peaceful passing. As if by magic, a few minutes after my mother passed, the D.N. came back. She explained that somehow, she ‘just had to’. Bless her, I am eternally grateful to this wonderful lady.
However, now the grief began! Unfortunately, it was about 8.30 pm and ‘out of hours for the G.P. surgery’
or we still could have requested her own G.P. come to verify the death.
The poor D.N. said it was ‘the law’ that she had to call 111. She did, the 111 doctor on call visited.
BUT THAT WAS NOT THE END!
As a G.P. from her own practice hadn’t assessed her within the last two weeks, even though nurses, hospice staff and 111 doctors had all seen her, the death was still classed as UNEXPECTED !! – by now, I was starting to lose the plot, but it got even worse!
The 111 doctor said it was his duty to inform THE POLICE!
A short while later THE POLICE APPEARED!
In they came, a lady and a gentleman officer. Now at first, I must say, my husband and I actually felt like we were ‘suspects’. They sat us down and asked a load of questions.
Undoubtedly, given the fact that I had just seen my own mother die, do you think I was in the mood to be ‘interrogated’ by the police !! ??
To be fair, the officers did do their utmost to reassure us that this was simply routine.
Most noteworthy here is, once the questions had been answered, they announced they had to ‘CHECK THE BODY’!” My immediate response was ‘What for’? To ensure that there was no ‘suspicious circumstances’ was the reply.
I realized that, of course, they were only doing their job, they were very nice, sympathetic officers but, nevertheless, please, the old ladies death was far from a surprise! Well, they went to check the body.
A few minutes later they emerged. All was OK they said. Nothing to worry about. (ha ha). Especially relevant, this shocking thing happened next!
The lady officer handed me my Mothers rings.
Sorry, she said, “the law, we have to remove any jewelry”! My Mother had just died wearing these rings.
I WAS SHOCKED BEYOND ALL BELIEF!
I ASK YOU PLEASE, Now, just imagine the story I have just told you but suppose it was the case of a HUSBAND and WIFE, perhaps even an elderly couple who had devoted many years together.
JUST HOW WOULD THE PARTNER FEEL, if their newly departed loved one had been wearing those rings since their marriage / engagement. How on earth would the other one feel RIGHT NOW?
THE GRIEF DIDN’T EVEN END THERE !
Now that ‘no foul play’ was evident (please!), the police informed us that THEY had to arrange for the body to be removed from THE SCENE!
They arranged for the Coroners authorized undertaker to come and remove the body – yes, you’ve got it, now, The Coroner is involved.
Apparently, any unexpected death must be reported to the coroner. Furthermore, the police had to stay with us until the body was removed. (2 am)!
Consequently, I then had to telephone the coroner’s office the next day to find out if he was going to insist on a post-mortem examination! – needless to say, the emotional cost to the newly bereaved, in my opinion, is totally and utterly beyond words, not to mention the unnecessary waste of police time and financial cost to the taxpayer. (sorry for ranting, I am just a bit wound up about the situation).
Luckily, the coroner was a lovely man. He simply said he was sorry for my loss and also sorry for the grief I had suffered the night before, as in this opinion, my Mother’s death was far from UNEXPECTED!
So dear people, save yourself the grief if you are faced with losing a loved one. Or perhaps, if you are connected to an elderly couple, save them from the anguish that I have just experienced. How would YOU feel if you had just lost your partner and the police coldly handed you their wedding ring!!!
PLEASE EVERYONE – IF YOU, OR YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO WOULD BENEFIT FROM MY EXPERIENCE, TELL THEM TO ENSURE THAT A G.P. FROM THEIR OWN PRACTICE VISITS THE PATIENT AT LEAST EVERY TWO WEEKS. WITHOUT EXCEPTION!!!
IF THE G.P. HAD VISITED WITHIN THE LAST TWO WEEKS, there would be no police involved, no coroner, no threat of post-mortem. Moreover, we could have had a choice of undertakers to remove the body, or when to remove the body. Many people actually like some time with the deceased, perhaps to allow other family members to visit and to say goodbye. We had no choice at all.
I would like to end on this note.
Thank you for taking the time to read my very personal events.
I have now, as a result of my experience, made it my personal quest to alert others to ‘the system’ and attempt to save them from suffering the same devastating grief at a time when they least need it.
Words for thought!
Bereavement of any loved one has a deep effect upon us all.
The effects will obviously differ immensely from person to person. These effects can present immediately, or take a very long time to emerge.
Just remember, it is OK to grieve the loss of a loved one, it is perfectly normal.
It is good to remember the lovely times you shared with them.
However, you must not blame yourself, there is no need for you to feel guilty that they were ‘taken’ before you. Memories are precious, cherish them.
I am a Hypnotherapist. I have actually helped many people through bereavement. If you, or anyone you know is suffering the effects of bereavement, why not contact a local hypnotherapist? They may be able to allow you to just ease the suffering.
Hypnotherapy can assist you to ‘accept’ the passing and keep precious memories alive. Not ‘forget’, but to cherish, memorize and ‘allow’ yourself to live on!
From my heart,