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Friday, October 16, 2009



A time or two a day I hear myself say, We don't do schedules here. We go by whatever is happening at the ;moment. Each day is unique unto itself. I can't forecast the next minute, certainly not the next day. I can't even make a guess about the near future. I like it like that. Friends ask me what I'm going to do after Jr. Stay at home is all I know, if I can say I know that. Many think I'll be hit pretty hard when Jr goes over yonder. I don't know. I don't expect it will be too bad, as I'm used to it already. I'm not in denial about why I'm there.

Any time before Jr became feeble I'd have had a problem seeing him go, but now that he can only lie in bed and drift in his mind that isn't his mind anymore, and gradually waste away, a cell at a time, I believe I'll be glad to see him go. My tears might be tears of joy that he finally made it. It's my belief his soul will go straight up like a rocket. I have no concerns for what he'll find on the other side. There's too much light in him for his soul to be drawn to the dark.

I like that we have no schedule here. I like being entirely in the present with no thought of what may be next. I like the Iris DeMent song, Let The Mystery Be. Finally, at a time in my later life I've learned to let the mystery be. Accept what is, as it is, with no need to question and try to figure out why. Like non-expectation, it clears the air somehow, like a candle flame. It's expectations that create disappointments.

I'm still reeling from what I expected of the medical establishment and facilities. It turns out I expected rational behavior, some sort of integrity, truth told instead of lies, a tweak of real caring instead of overdone fake caring, that it be about something besides money. The nurses at the hospital who met the above criteria left the hospital to work for Hospice.. Strangely, what I automatically expected of he medical profession I found absent there, but present in Hospice. What I figure is the medical profession is bound by so many regulations they can't act rationally or with integrity and dare not tell the truth, because the truth might get the facility sued.

Classic case of disappointment following expectation. By the time we'd been through the hospital, the 2nd nursing home and all the service agencies, I wasn't about to allow my friend to spend his last days and nights in their prisons of indifference. They were all determined to get him out of his home and into a prison for the old. I was fighting them all the way along, making it clear they had his dog to deal with and the dog was growling with hair up on the back of his neck.

By the time we connected with Hospice I heard myself apologize in the beginning for my attitude, explaining that the medical profession created my attitude, and if I say something smart or get short about something, it only means that attitude hadn't had time to fade away yet. But there was no mistaking one for the other. Hospice is practical. It's all about good common sense. They're totally upfront and honest about everything. Their integrity is the highest and money is not the motivation. They're funded by grants and donations. The Methodist church provides unlimited free ensured to everyone in hospice care. That, in my way of seeing, is Christian behavior. Offering money that's 'for the Lord's work' goes a whole lot better there than in gold-plated toilets for Tammy Baker, if you remember that particular fraud among so many.

The biggest difference I see between medical profession and Hospice is in how I have felt in relation to each. Before Hospice, when I was fighting off the social service agencies threatening continually that if this isn't in order and that isn't in order, he's going to a nursing home. Constant threat of nursing home. I've been reading a lot about China lately and much of what they put us through was pure Communist Chinese. Living under constant threat. I got to where I called Social Services Soviet Services because of the Soviet attitude, the threats, if you don't.... And if you do....

Perfect reversal when Hospice came into the scene. They said no to nursing homes, hospitals, ambulance rides to the emergency room against his will for no good reason and expected to pay for it, and the threats ended. Instead of threatening, Hospice assists. They offer assistance, help that we need, when it's needed. Nobody comes on with the attitude I-know-more-than-you-do, even though they do. I still maintain that in a truly civilized society, all nursing homes would be Hospices. In Norway the prisons are nice apartments, no barbed wire, no machine gun turrets, no insurmountable walls. They provide education and psychological counseling. The people they return to society don't return to prison. That's civilized.

After all the Me decades we've been through, where a large majority of people think everything is about them, it's refreshing to talk with and be around these people from Hospice, who are each one truly wonderful people, whose focus it the people needing the help they can provide. I have an idea that a lot of people who go into nursing home jobs and hospital jobs are motivated by wanting to help people. That seems to be the first thing to go when one takes such a job. But with Hospice the satisfaction of helping others grows instead of diminishes. I'm glad it's not connected with the medical establishment or government services. If government took it over, it would be just another Soviet Service. Threats instead of help. Hospice gives me hope, the kind of hope that says the future just might be better.

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