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Observations and commentary on aging, caregiving, and the complex journey through the second half of life.

Hospital Quicksand: Words Are Not Enough

Posted by on Jan 15, 2010 in Aging Parents

I was asked for suggestions on how to help seniors preserve control in a hospital setting where all control quickly vanishes. Interesting question I thought. What would make things better? And then I remembered David. David is a friend of mine who suddenly fell into frightening rabbit’s hole when he was being worked up for cancer. What was supposed to be a routine out patient biopsy triggered a medical crisis that sent him directly to intensive care. Thankfully he clawed his way back out of this nightmare after weeks of doom, gloom, and what seemed like endless setbacks. But he said something to me during one of my visits that gave me a jolt of fear and insight. “I losing track of what is happening,” he said in a medicated monotone. “I am losing my ability to figure things...

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