Once Again the Hospice Decision is Made

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.

Donna’s Back Story.

Donna’s health began to deteriorate in 2007 when she began to lose her ability to walk. She went to several doctors, had a multitude of tests run, and no diagnosis or treatment was ever decided. Soon after this, she began to have problems with her eyes. it was her eye doctor that found her diabetes.

Apparently she had been diabetic for at least a decade and didn’t know it. She was not one for getting regular check ups. The diabetes had done considerable damage to her eyes. During this time it was discovered that the diabetes had also severely damaged her kidneys. Within two years she was on dialysis, and within another year she had lost the sight in one eye.

Life was hard for Donna.