through gus' lenses

palliative care association, kota kinabalu January 23, 2007

Filed under: work — daughterofdestiny @ 22:25
Palliative care is a wholistic care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative medical treatment. It encompasses symptom control (e.g. pain, constipation, nausea, vomitting, loss of appetite, ascites, oral thrush, cough, difficulty in breathing, oedema, pressure sores and etc.!) and psychological, social and spiritual support.

i started work with the palliative care association of kota kinabalu on the 3rd of January 2007. the first day of work was a “blur”. i cannot really remember what transpired except maybe the orientation around the office.

the very next day, i was off to palliative care unit in queen elizabeth hospital for a week-long attachment. after a 4-year absent from the nursing field, everything seems “foreign” to me; especially the medical terms, nursing skills and names of medicine. Anyway, after a period of time – “it’s all coming back to me now“…

to date, i have worked for about a month. for the past 1-2 weeks, i have been visiting patients’ homes, accompanied by a senior nurse coordinator. One visit left such a deep impression upon my heart that I found myself thinking about it again and again…

i visited an 80+ year old patient, mr. c, who is bedridden, hard of hearing, unable to communicate much and totally dependent upon another person for his personal care. Since mr. c’s disease worsens, he has been staying with his friend and his friend’s wife. When I spoke to mr. c’s friend, who is also 80+ years old, he told me a touching story. he has been taking care of mr. c for the past few years. Daily routine includes feeding mr. c through a feeding tube (nasogastric tube/Ryle’s tube) few times a day, bathing him twice a day, emptying his urine bag whenever it’s full and discarding his faeces from the colostomy bag when necessary. WOW! wow! can I do that for a friend? Will I do that for a friend? further into his sharing, he revealed his motivation in a statement in Cantonese – “Without Jesus, I don’t think I can do all these”.

amazing… what’s my motivation in life?

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