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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hospice


Today hospice will discharge my husband. He isn’t dying fast enough. It isn’t hospice’s own rules. It is Medicare’s rules. Part of me understands. He has been in a nursing home for 20 months and on hospice for 17 and he hasn’t died yet. The problem is that he joined hospice as a dementia patient. If he had been a cardiac patient or a cancer patient they could keep taking care of him until he died.

The truth is that he should be a cardiac patient. That was how he got dementia in the first place. He has cardiovascular dementia. Most people get that from strokes, but you can also get it from having your heart stop one or two times too many and being resuscitated once or twice too often in a single day.

And he probably does have Cancer. He has had multiple Cancers over the last 20 years. He had a stage 4 Melanoma 20 years ago. There have been multiple skin cancers since then, the last one 6 weeks before he was placed.

Just too frustrating.

At this point I’m not sure if I am going to do anything about it, or not.  I know that they will return if he has a crisis or if he starts losing weight again. That is the one symptom of end stage dementia that he doesn’t have. His weight has been steady for about a year now. But there is something wrong with a system that can refuse hospice care to someone who dies less than 2 months later, and I know more than one example of that. There is something wrong with a system that discharges someone who is as sick and my husband is, and who is obviously dying from that sickness.

I’m frustrated that he won’t be getting the extra care. And that the extra set of eyes won’t be on him. And that they won’t be just a call away when the inevitable crisis starts and he needs the drugs that will keep him comfortable.

More later. Take care all.

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