Linda (names changed for privacy) was admitted to hospice less than a month before she started into a phase of dying called terminal restlessness. One evening Linda’s husband David called the after hour answering service and requested a visit from the comfort nurse, now!
When comfort nurse Mandi, LPN arrived at Linda’s home, she was met by David, a stoic older cowboy-type man, stomping back and forth through the house. He barked at Mandi, “Do something to help my wife!” He was ready to take Linda back to the hospital. Mandi recognized the signs of terminal restlessness and end of life and she jumped into action. She was able to administer medications to Linda to get the symptoms of pain and restlessness under control within 30 minutes. At that time David requested Mandi to talk to him outside.
Still upset, David frantically barked at Mandi, “My wife is starving to death! She is yelling out, “help me”. Mandi provided comfort to him by teaching him how the body does not need nutrition or hydration as death approaches. She explained that when Linda was calling out she may be seeing the other side and was asking those who had passed before her to help her cross over as well. After spending time educating David, he calmed down. Mandi ended her visit after both David and Linda were comfortable.
The next morning Mandi was called out to Linda’s house again. Linda had passed. Linda’s daughter met Mandi at the front door greeting her with a thank you for comforting her dad as Linda was dying. David thanked Mandi telling her the only two times he cried in his life was when he married Linda and when she died.
David then relayed an experience from that morning. He told Mandi he had hiked up to a cross on the hill behind his house earlier in the day, knelt on his knees and prayed. He said, as usual, the fire ants were out crawling on the ground, crawling on the rocks and crawling on him too, but today was different. The red fire ants did not bite him. Mandi replied that the ants must have known that he needed comfort that day. He smiled and thanked her again.
The Heart ‘n Home team are experts in end of life of care that and can make a difficult situation easier for all who are involved. Contact Heart ‘n Home today to request more information about how Heart ‘n Home can provide support and comfort to your loved one and family.