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    • Treehugger321
    • By Treehugger321 15th Mar 17, 7:17 PM
    • 12Posts
    • 29Thanks
    Help me get some perspective
    • #1
    • 15th Mar 17, 7:17 PM
    Help me get some perspective 15th Mar 17 at 7:17 PM
    An old friend is dying, and is coping very well with it. Time frame is a few years according to her doctors. Last weekend she went out with some other friends (people I dislike intensely because they are shallow, nasty and full of their own self importance) One of them who is a nurse but not practicing, took her to one side and told her that the time frame was just the hospital being kind and that she must know that it would actually be "months" and that she should give thought to getting a hospice place as she didn't want to be a burden on her husband and kids. She was stunned but shrugged it off.

    When she got home her mood went downhill and now she is taking about autumn funerals, and asking is she a burden on her family. I have never been so angry, my friend says it wasn't said maliciously.....I just can't tell you how much I hope Karma gets this horrible, nasty woman. My friend is now sitting at home, alone all day dwelling on this when previously she had been handling it all really well.

    . I keep going over it and wondering what she wanted to achieve by saying it, what her motive was and I can't come up with anything positive. Even if, god forbid, it is true, what purpose does it serve telling her before her doctors do so. In my experience they are not slow in doing so when it is necessary. I feel like ringing her up and tearing a strip off her and making her see what her actions have caused, but it is really not my place. My friend hasn't told her grown up kids either and I know if they knew they would go crazy, but again it is not my place to tell them either. But I so, so want to.

    I know no one can help, I just wanted to vent
Page 2
    • Poppy3008
    • By Poppy3008 17th Mar 17, 4:00 PM
    • 91 Posts
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    It's certainly not unheard of for nurses to have a nasty streak. Thank goodness she's no longer practising. I think it's an awful thing to say to a friend, whether true or not.
    Originally posted by tensandunits
    Excuse me? As a nurse I object! It's not unheard of for ANYONE to have a nasty streak! What a ridiculous thing to say!
    • tensandunits
    • By tensandunits 17th Mar 17, 6:20 PM
    • 813 Posts
    • 1,218 Thanks
    Excuse me? As a nurse I object!
    Originally posted by Poppy3008
    Yes, I expect you do! I mentioned nurses because 1) that's what the thread is about and 2) people normally expect nurses to be caring and compassionate, as opposed to nasty and vindictive. Sadly, experience as well as anecdotal evidence does not bear that out.

    It sounds like this was an ex-nurse in any case.
    • tensandunits
    • By tensandunits 17th Mar 17, 6:24 PM
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    My experience is that the NHS will only be very frank with a patient about life expectancy, if the patient asks them to be. Most patients are not able to deal with the frank approach.
    Originally posted by tooldle
    Fair enough but the lady concerned is not this former nurse's patient. This former nurse chose to tell a terminally ill woman (who's supposed to be her friend!) things that she surely knew would serve no purpose other than to worry and upset the woman.
    • zagfles
    • By zagfles 17th Mar 17, 7:21 PM
    • 13,013 Posts
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    Forget the motivation or sitting in judgement on the ex-nurse, really, who cares? Concentrate on your friend - one thing I know I found very helpful when I thought a close relative was dying was to sign up to a forum for their condition and read and occasionally contribute.

    Now statistically most of the posts will be from people who exceed the normal life expectancy for the disease, for obvious reasons, and seeing people outlive, sometimes very long over what they were told or is the "norm", can give such a boost. I found it helpful anyway.

    Best wishes.
    • cavework
    • By cavework 18th Mar 17, 6:58 PM
    • 1,904 Posts
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    Time frame is a few years according to her doctors..
    My best friend had stage 4 lung cancer..we had less than 4 months to talk about the outcome from diagnosis to death.
    During this time we talked about everything including her funeral arrangements before she died.. We laughed about some things she was so brave , convinced there would be a cure, .after 1 month the truth hit home and I got a call to please come round now ( I lived next door)... I held her as she sobbed her heart out
    3 months later
    .I asked her if she was scared and she said yes , especially when she woke up at 3am in the morning alone , knowing there was no way back. She was one of the most brave and pragmatic people I have ever had the privilege to know. New years eve her legs refused to support her anymore ...she told me she had 'had enough, she was tired of fighting' . She was taken into hospital that night and died one week later... 2 days after my Father..
    The thing I am trying to get across is that many people who are diagnosed as terminally ill really do want to face up to the consequences, they really do want people to stop being afraid to discuss the effects and the final outcome..Your friend is lucky , she has been given a timeframe of a few years. Don't attack the nurse who possibly thought she was doing the right thing at that time...instead enjoy the time you have been given to spend with your friend.
    Last edited by cavework; 18-03-2017 at 7:10 PM.
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 18th Mar 17, 10:21 PM
    • 7,698 Posts
    • 22,279 Thanks
    +1 for make time for your friend.
    She may be putting on a very robust face & quietly having bad moments, she may be near total denial, she may actually reckon that right now she feels passable & that several years will do nicely thanks.
    So if she wants to plan a funeral in draft, check her Will, research hospitals & so forth, now is as good a time as any (and if you haven't got a life insurance policy or a Will sorted, could you 'fess up & ask if she'd help you?) Gives her a way of getting the job done in company and not as the focus. Or being on the sidelines so she can see what's involved & act when she's ready.
    It may be a bit in your face to point her to compassion in dying which could give her a lot of information to process but also a significantly increased feeling of being in control rather than being trolleyed along unable to steer.

    Altogether more positive than sitting worrying is to plan as far as possible.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 19th Mar 17, 5:42 AM
    • 30,587 Posts
    • 57,794 Thanks
    My friend was given three months (which he knew about) and then a few weeks later given three weeks. His family decided not to tell him this. He died three weeks to the day after this prognosis.

    The medical professionals were honest; it was his family's decision not to tell him about the shorter timescale.

    Even so, he was still able to plan his funeral (and took great comfort from doing so).

    In the above scenario, maybe the friend was just pointing out to the lady that she may not have two years, and to think about the future now, and make plans while she could.

    I think the best thing for the lady to do is ask the Doctors who are treating her.
    Last edited by seven-day-weekend; 19-03-2017 at 5:46 AM.
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