My symptoms were very unstable and my GP recommended seeing the Isabel Hospice Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Christine. I knew I had a terminal cancer.
Christine came along and gave me information about the Hospice and the services it provides and I thought I’m not ready for that! How wrong I was. I had to change GP in amongst all of this and during this time my symptoms really got worse. Christine referred me to Sharon another Isabel Clinical Nurse Specialist who works with my new GPs to look at my symptoms.
After a number of visits, and my wife and I were still struggling to manage my symptoms. Sharon gave me two options 1. Stay at home and try and manage or 2. Go into the Hospice for about a week to try to sort them out as I would need that time when changing medications. Sharon assured me the admission was for symptom control only and that I would be going home again.
All I can say about Isabel Hospice is that the difference between being in the hospital and being in the Hospice was that the Hospice was like Heaven!
It’s not that the nurses in the hospital were bad, they worked very hard, but the Hospice was something else. The one to one care, the food, everything. If you needed a cup of tea at 4 o’clock in the morning, the nurse would get you one, and my goodness, Dr Pia (the Hospice’s Consultant in Palliative Care and Medical Director) knows her stuff.
Before I went into the Hospice, my attitude was that they were just places to go to die. I now know that was a very unfair thought, as I have dipped in and out of Hospice care since I got my mesothelioma diagnosis in 2013. When my symptoms were swollen legs and trouble breathing, I went to the In-Patient Unit for a few days to get everything under control. I thought at that point that everything was on the decline, I was thinking how long have I got……but before long I felt so much better, even well enough to draw the winning £1,000 ticket from the bag for the fundraising team’s Grand Draw before I went home!
When I came out of the hospice I saw Sharon who ensured everything was in place, that I had what I needed, and I was stable. As I am doing so well she has put me on her ‘non-active’ caseload which means and I don’t see her unless I need to. The Hospice team are always at the end of the phone either the community team or the 24 hour advice-line.
Gone fishing Paul.