Post by Gail VanPatten
When we heard the news of Bill’s condition it felt like my world was coming to a complete end…Life had no meaning…I kept asking, “Why?” We had so many plans for the future and now to be told this.
Hospice was brought up and explained to me how Bill could be at home with his family and not be in a hospital. We were also told that there would be someone to help us, just a phone call away whenever we needed it, even if our family needed it. Our Hospice nurse came often to check on Bill’s condition and would show us what had to be done and how to make him comfortable. She explained how to handle certain situations that might arise as it became closer to the end.
Hospice encouraged me to talk to him about what he wanted me to do with our farm and the people I should contact. This was something I needed to know.
Our nurse came at a moments notice if I needed her. She would arrive when tears were streaming down our faces and would have us smiling and talking about the good times all of us shared and memories we would never forget. She was our “Special Angel” and someone I trusted and who would listen when we really needed to talk.
Even when Bill was in a coma she told us to talk to him and tell stories that were important to us. Our nurse said he could hear us and I truly believe he did.
I never thought twice about calling in the middle of the night if there was a turn for the worse and if I was scared that I might do something wrong.
One of the hardest things I ever did in my life, that our Hospice nurse was very emphatic about telling me, was to let him know that I was going to be okay. Only hours after I did that, Bill died that night.
At that point I called Hospice and they came and took care of everything.
I wish everyone in our community would think about having Hospice if they have a love one in the final stages of life. The nurses and volunteers are there for you. To be at home with your family and things around you that you love is so important.
Shortly after the funeral Hospice contacted me to see how I was doing and suggested a volunteer would be in touch me that I could talk to. I did go out to dinner with her and after that she kept in touch with me.
I am so thankful for the doctor that put me in touch with Hospice at the time when our family needed it the most. As a board member of the Hospice Foundation of Cortland County, and as a family member of someone on service, I realize how important Hospice is and what wonderful things are being done.
Gail VanPatten served on the Board of the Hopsice Foundation of Cortland County. She wants everyone to know about the help and comfort that is available to them through Hospicare. She is pictured here, on the far right, with current members of the Hospice Foundation of Cortland County.