Chronic illness

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In My Words

Categories: Blog, Chronic illness, Creative, end of life, Legacy, Medical profession, Uncategorized|

"I've spent over a decade in critical care, in that time I've seen my fair share of patients as they face the end of their life. Whether expected or unexpected, it is always hardest for the families. Many times the patient doesn't know they're dying, there are breathing tubes, gastric tube, catheters, sedation and analgesia. While dying is something that happens to everyone it is expected to want to buy more time. It's so final that often times families can't let go, they hold onto every ounce of hope that they hear often ignoring the bigger picture. When families know the end is near they try and control the uncontrollable. Even with a wonderful palliative care team helping the family cope, the patient's wishes are often ignored prolonging the inevitable. What these family members don't realize is that their family member is suffering. If they could only feel the endotracheal


Categories: Blog, Chronic illness, Medical profession|

Medical training prepares us to react to acute illness. We learn to use technology to do something, expecting to cure, snatch people from the jaws of death, and restore their health. This has made many people think we’re superheroes. Sometimes we find ourselves buying into that adulation, then we wait for the next acute episode, poised to use more technology, but most of us are at a loss when our capes become tangled in the cycle of chronic conditions. Today, the challenge of American health care is chronic illness, for which there is no known cure. The goal of chronic disease management is to keep people as independent and as comfortable as possible. We strive to avoid acute flares, and the hospitalizations that often follow, because technology isn’t the always the answer. When chronic illness takes its inevitable path to the end of life, the goal is a comfortable, dignified