Finding life again…my experience of hospice care
I’m a Yorkshire woman, but I’ve been in Bolton more years than I care to remember! I did work for the NHS in clinical psychology and retired early due to ill-health, but I loved the patient work. I’ve always done lots for charity too, both fundraising and equality work.
I’ve been friends with Margaret Brabbin, the Volunteer Co-ordinator at Bolton Hospice, for about 10 years and we used to belong to the same book group. I knew she worked at the hospice, but I didn’t know what she did. Then I had a massive heart attack on Boxing Day 2018 - I was very poorly and I don’t think doctors expected me to live for very long. My GP said that I was eligible for hospice services, so that’s how I became a patient at the hospice.
I was sceptical, what could a hospice offer me? I didn’t have cancer and wasn’t going to die in the next few months, so why would I go there? I was Mrs Angry and weepy, but to please those around me, I went for the assessment. I remember telling the Consultant, a nice young fella, that I wasn’t really ill enough to use the service, and anyway couldn’t see what they could do for someone like me. He suggested I try the Day Patient facility and give it a chance and they might be able to help me, find a way of being, with my life-limiting conditions. The day unit was cheerful, homey, comfortable and welcoming.
I felt suddenly at ease in that building, as if a great weight had lifted, and the place had arms that wrapped around me, protectively, encouragingly, lovingly. I began to relax. The team of Nursing staff, Doctors, creative therapist and psychologist, all wove a safety net for me, and enticed me back to life.
The care and compassion given to me for every second I was in the hospice, Day Unit and Inpatient, was beyond any pay scale or expectation of each role or person involved with me. The Hospice does not, as the general public assume, just tend to the dying and their families, it encourages the living, those with life limiting conditions, those with an uncertain future, it helps people who are damaged and hurting to return to life, to feel the joy in a day, or event.
To anyone who has been referred to the hospice for services, I would say don’t be overwhelmed by it, just relax and give it a chance!
I cannot emphasise enough that Bolton Hospice has truly given me my life back, a different life, and for how long we don’t know, but a life worth living… on the days I feel not in control, the days I am falling to bits, the team are just on the end of the phone.
To read the full article published by ehospice visit their website here.