Exciting Times

May 1st marked the start of a special initiative that is taking place in Calgary. Thanks to front-line staff and others, including Paul Wright, a member of our Pts4Chg community, patients are breaking free of PJ Paralysis. Check out these Tweets for more information and follow the Twitter discussion on #endPJparalysis.

What is empathy?


The paramedics who were driving a dying woman to the hospital took a detour, and in so doing fulfilled her final wish.

“Sometimes it is not the drugs/training/skills – sometimes all you need is empathy to make a difference!”

Click here to read this heartwarming story.

End-of-life Decisions

Although the following is a work of fiction, Patricia Bath (author) states, “[T]he situation explored may be all too common.” Without further adieu, let the story begin.

Beep. Beep. Beep. There’s a slow, rhythmic sound next to my head. I’ve never heard a sound like it before. I hear a whoosh on the other side of me, and at the same time I feel pressure in my chest, like a balloon that on the verge of popping.

It only lasts a few seconds and the pressure is gone. My chest returns to normal and I immediately feel better. Something squeezes my left arm tight—so tight that I want to yell. But I can’t make any words come out.

Then, just as quick as the pressure in my chest came and left, so does the pinch around my arm. I don’t know where I am, but I feel like I’m being tortured.

“I know that it’s cold in here, but I’ll use this warm blanket to keep you warm,” says the strange voice, belonging to a person I can’t see.

Who are you, I try to ask. But just as the darkness around me persists, so does my inability to speak. I have no idea where I am, and I’m scared.

The voice comes back, “Ok, it’s time to roll on your side.” I feel someone tug on my left side and roll me onto my right. A new beeping starts: this one sounds angry, like something’s wrong. I want to ask but I can’t make the words come out. I feel what I think is water and a washcloth on my backside and I’m overcome with embarrassment.

Why is this stranger washing me? I feel the sensation of rubber being dragged across my left side as I hear a different voice say, “Hey, I’m dropping her here. Are you almost done?” There’s a little push on my back and the rubber stops tearing at my left side.

click here to continue reading.

Looking for Something to Read?

If you are looking for a new book to read and have an interest in how the humanity of patients and families can be maintained while under hospital care, you may wish to check out Through the Valley of Shadows by Samuel Morris Brown.
Through the valley

Using insights from cognitive psychology, Dr. Samuel Brown discusses new approaches to reduce suffering for patients and their families when they need high levels of care, including concrete strategies to apply before, during, and after a serious illness.

Click here to continue reading.