Thursday, May 20, 2010

He's gone...

My client passed away over a week ago... I'm glad I saw him when I did.
I wanted to visit him again a week later, but my spirit said "No". Something didn't feel right...the next day he was gone. I believe God prevented me from a difficult experience if I did visit. Nobody expected it so soon.

We're still all waiting to hear funeral details...we've gone from expecting a quick funeral (within 2-3days), to hearing it may be 2 weeks after his death. So many variables I didn't realise existed... eg, family needs to release the body, notices cannot be printed in the paper until a family has placed one first... and other things I don't really understand... 'red tape' in some ways, 'just life' in other ways.

It's harder on our clients than our staff...it must be harder to understand and accept when you have an intellectual disability. Some of our guys don't even seem to care that he's gone, but I know they do. They just don't understand as much. That's not a bad thing. They deal with it differently.

I had to explain to one client that he shouldn't get upset when others don't get upset like he does - because they don't understand the way he does. He seemed ok with that. It was a good small chat. He has taken it hard. The deceased man and he had known each other 15years. Then suddenly he's gone. We can understand, and we know it seems unfair that people get sick and die suddenly... but these guys don't seem to be able to accept the unfairness of life as easily. It has definitely been an interesting, and at times, stressful time.

In the end, I know God has His plans, and we don't need to know the details...but yes, it does seem unfair that people with intellectual disabilities have to go through the same sicknesses as others... even if it's not fair that anybody gets sick, these people don't have the intellectual capacity to understand what's going on....so it must be far more scary for them.... It just seems cruel...but when you put them in the same box as the rest of humanity... no labels, no differences... then it makes sense... they too have family medical histories and are more susceptible to various conditions... so in the end, they're not being singled out or protected. "Nature" shows no favourites... that's just life.

This man did have the capacity to understand the sickness etc, but he didn't necessarily understand why the doctors and nurses did/didn't do things... one reason is some apparently didn't even try to explain the procedures...they just treated him as they would any patient...which is also not a bad thing in general, but it's horrible when you know a person doesn't understand like the average patient.

I just hope his last days were less stressful and he died peacefully...

Monday, May 3, 2010

A sad visit

I went to visit one if my clients today... he is dying of heart failure and has been in hospital for over a week... we were expecting him to be able to stay home and receive palliative care... now we don't know if he'll be able to go home or spend his last days in the hospital. It's so sad... he looks awful compared to the man I knew a few months ago. He's on constant oxygen... and he's so tired... He has a mild intellectual disability, but you wouldn't know just seeing him in his hospital bed...

It's just so sad to see somebody who was so fiercely independent suffer like this...
But that's life...it doesn't seem fair... but that's the way it is... It's times like these you realise how much prayer makes a difference...especially when you have no idea what else to do...

There was a lady in a bed opposite him who watched us...I just smiled at her... that seemed to make her happy :) Hopefully the small things make their lives better...