Melissa’s Pregnancy

Melissa was 27-weeks pregnant when she found out that her baby had a serious genetic disorder. Her condition meant that the baby would not live long once born, if it survived the pregnancy.

5 Stories: San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine

Hear the stories of San Diego Hospice patients, their caregivers, our staff and volunteers, who talk about making the most of each moment for as long as life lasts, while living with a serious illness or terminal illness.

June 30, 2011

Schwartz Center Compassionate Caregiver of the Year Dr. Amy Ship

In accepting the award, Ship spoke of the importance of small gestures in the doctor-patient relationship – specifically, the art of listening with both eyes and ears. “Returning the (patient’s) gaze is one of those powerful small gestures,” she said. “It encapsulates empathy and compassion – being present, fully present, to another human being: pausing to look back. To say with our eyes that we are listening, that we hear.”

It’s a lesson she teaches medical students who rotate through Healthcare Associates. “I’m proud to be a primary care doctor,” she said. “Primary care is focused on continuity, of knowing one’s patients through all their illnesses and the complexity of their lives. And primary care is focused on prevention – on protecting you from the consequences of untreated but silent diseases and from unnecessary tests or hospitalization. That’s care we all need and deserve.

“I look out tonight at a room filled with people who have the minds, energy and position to change medicine, and I want to make it clear that primary care needs saving. Those who practice it need to be given the time to do it right. Primary care can literally save lives, but it can not be done [...] continue the story

A wounded Parkinson’s soldier

November 28, 2011

I don’t quite know where to start. I always want to be respectful to MrP. He’s a good man. He’s a human being and I like human beings, generally. I think most are pretty damned fine people. MrP is doing brilliantly at work. Most people see him handling this Parkinson’s thing brilliantly. Hats off to him, big respect.

There is just one fly in the ointment. He is very angry. With me. Few people see this. His paranoia has come back in droves. He suspects I am having an affair, if not several of them. My emails and phone texts are all found to have meanings in them. He looks at them alot. He thinks I lie to him. My work twitter is apparently in code. (I have stopped tweeting. I love talking to people in my work community, they are great fun and just like a good natter, but it distresses him too much. MrP’s closest friend suggests I carry on, but I don’t like the arguments it can cause.) He has seen me do things twice, that I know of, that I have not done.

He is angry that I am not a doting, loving wife. Yet how [...] continue the story

Memories

By Sandy Webb October 27, 2011

Memories come in many different shapes and forms. The things that can trigger a memory are numerous…a smell, a song, a book, a movie or television show and sometimes they just happen. There are childhood memories, high school memories, college memories, early adulthood memories, memories of finding that one true love and memories of your children.

I have lots of TJ memories; we spent 16 years creating memories. No, not all are good memories. It is impossible to put two stubborn, head strong, independent people together and not expect some volatility, but we did love each other very much and I have many more good memories than bad ones.

The memories that hit me the hardest are those that come out of the blue. It is usually a day that I am merrily going along in my new life and BAM! I have a déjà vu moment. The memory coursing through my entire body…I feel it everywhere. Suddenly I can no longer think about anything else, I become almost transfixed, I retreat into my own little world. The memory seems so real, so vivid, TJ is with me…I feel as though I could reach out and touch him. [...] continue the story