The next day, Donna was due for dialysis. When the nurses in the dialysis unit tried to insert the necessary needles into her arms, the veins would just collapse. I don’t remember how many attempts they made, I just remember wanting to scream, “Enough!” “Just stop!” “Don’t hurt her any more!!!!” Donna’s nephrologist came to me and we discussed options for her. He believed it was time to cease dialysis and discuss hospice for her. I knew he was right. I just had to make sure that Darla was comfortable with a hospice decision.
I would like to insert here that I learned a great deal from my experiences with Donna in the dialysis unit at the hospital, and will discuss them in a post at a later date.
Darla and I spent some time that afternoon consulting with the hospice physician at the hospital. After studying Donna’s case and examining her, he believed that even if we didn’t move her into hospice care and tried to begin treatment on her many heal issues, she would only live a few months. There were too many complicating health factors against her.
After this discussion, Darla and I agreed together that hospice was the appropriate setting for Donna now. With that decision made and the necessary paperwork completed, Donna was transferred upstairs to the hospice floor.
This was my third time to walk the halls of this unit. My father, then my mother, now my sister all spent their final days on earth here.