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Showing posts from July, 2015

Summer Hospice

I have begun googling “Do hospice patients live forever?” I am not a nurse, but this summer I am my mother’s hospice nurse. Every two hours, I administer morphine sulfate, and every 4-6 hours, lorazepam, which together with the morphine, helps manage her pain. Because she is dying. It was sudden. Bacterial meningitis, a result of the rotting in her uterus from endocervical cancer that had spread. No one knew. Where she grew us, my brothers and me, grew death as well. Meanwhile, she lives. After they unplugged her from life support, we thought she would gasp for breath, crash, her organs shutting down one by one. It’s day 19 of “does not have a week” according to the palliative care doctor, whose bill for conversing with us for a few minutes is $1000. Staying alive is expensive. Turns out dying is as well.  Two weeks in ICU, three surgeries, now hospice. Funeral, burial, coffin, headstone. She’s moaning, in pain.  In the beginning, we turned her every two hours, after her morphine. Now, the …