Stay, Breathe with Me: The Gift of Compassionate Medicine

Stay, Breathe with Me: The Gift of Compassionate Medicine

Stay, Breathe with Me: The Gift of Compassionate Medicine

Stay, Breathe with Me: The Gift of Compassionate Medicine


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A Palliative Care Book of the Month: IAHPC (International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care)
From a medical insider comes a plea to renew medicine’s mandate to relieve suffering. The philosophy and practice of palliative care shows how this is possible by easing pain, by embracing the human side of illness, by inviting patients to be full participants in their care, and by incorporating the wisdom of these injured storytellers to guide healing hands. Informed by the voices of the seriously ill, their families, and the lifelong experience of a palliative care nurse and medical social worker, Stay, Breathe with Me, illuminates the power of the art of care and the need to bring heart and compassion back into health care. Written for both medical professionals and general readers alike.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631520624
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication date: 06/07/2016
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Scottish highlander by birth, Canadian by home, Helen Allison was born with healing hands and a caregiving heart. During her long career as a palliative nurse and medical social worker, she pursued a person-centered approach to champion the ill and their families. She is senior author of Social Work Services as a Component of Palliative Care with Terminal Cancer Patients (Haworth Press). She now shares her life’s learning that to ease suffering, the art of care must embody patient wisdom.

Former technical author and teacher, Irene Allison is a graduate of Humber College’s Creative Writing Program and Simon Fraser University’s Writing and Publishing Program. She is honored to join a growing movement that invites heart into health care and compassion into people’s lives.

Table of Contents

Foreword xvii

The Gift of Compassionate Medicine 1

"All I ask is to be heard and understood" 9

The Person Left Behind 9

"Who will walk my way?" 11

Humanitarian Principles of Palliative Care 13

The Management of Advanced Cancer Pain 13

Art and Science 15

Children in Need of Palliative Care 19

Anatomical Puppets in the Art of Care 21

The Anguish of Childhood Awareness 23

Extended Family Members at Dunira 24

A Child in Crisis 25

Wisdom Shared: Dave's Story 29

Silence without Meaning 29

Institutional Care 32

Communication Breakdown and Paternalism 33

The Negation of Suffering 36

Paul's Journey 43

Who Will Understand? 46

Paul's Discovery 48

Dunira Hospice: Rite of Passage 51

Palliative Care Services Reviewed 55

Mrs. Lambie, Person Unknown 58

The Hospice Team Searches for Answers 59

"An Ancient Longhouse" 65

Caring Comradeship and Harmony 66

A Wedding at Dunira 70

"Why does the night nurse wake me for my medicine?" 73

Angle's Pain Assessment 74

Emotional Pain 76

Patient Rights 77

Protecting Angie 81

Jock, Brian, and the Sea Captain 85

The Joy of Camaraderie 86

Seafaring Stories 87

"Pain as big as the universe" 91

A Vietnamese Family at Dunira 91

Minh, a Boy Made Old Before His Time 92

A Committed Hospice Team 94

Wayne's Fears: "Are you the worker that deals with death?" 97

Illness, Isolation, and Fear 99

In Need of Humanitarian Care 100

When Good Intentions Fail 103

John Steele's Story 105

Blocked Communication 108

A Family in Pain 108

Loss of Independence and Choices Removed 109

Resignation and Capitulation 111

The Exacerbation of Suffering 112

The Story of Seumas 113

Dr. Ethic's Honorable Intentions 115

A Family Affair 119

Alfredo's Story 120

Sofia's Dilemma 123

Acute Patient Care is Not Palliation 125

"Pain Is What the Patient Says It Is" 126

The Need For Awareness and Learning 131

Hide and Seek 132

Medical Myths 133

Symptom Control 134

Whose Needs Are Met? 137

Palliative Home Care 138

Respite Hospice Care 138

Altruism at Dunira 141

Patient Vigils 141

Olga's Appeal for Help 142

Mount Pleasant 147

Death Denial 148

Conspiracy of Silence 149

Grief and Loss 149

Breaking through Silence 151

Rituals Enable Us to Frame Our Lives 153

Through the Camera Lens: Emma 155

A Pristine Wintry Scene 159

Miracles Sometimes Happen 160

Lives in Progress 163

Vladie's Gift of Sharing 163

Jessies Independence 164

Mother Is Unsinkable 165

Poinsettias in Profusion 171

A Forum for Palliative Care 173

Interdependent Relationships: Heather 179

Suffering Identified 182

Surgical Injury of the Brain 183

Unmet Expectations 185

"Mind Is the Master Power": Dora 189

A Hundred Thousand Ills 190

Building a Bridge to Reach Dora 191

"Detached Compassion": Geraldine 195

Geraldine's Intractable Pain 196

A Grieving Hospice Team 198

The Stone Thrower 199

An Unusual Experience 200

"Have we lost our sense of humor?" 202

A Time of Good Cheer 204

The Coming of Spring 209

Violet's Anguish 209

Harry and Mabel's Acceptance 214

A Catalog of Labels 219

Meg's Story 219

Roberta's Story 222

"Roberta, Are You Hiding?" 223

Trust Bestowed 225

"Miracles" of Technology 229

Social Dilemmas 231

Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Dying 232

Advance Health Care Directive: The Living Will 237

Neil's Palliative Passport to Freedom 238

Hope Beyond Despair: Victims of Injury 241

"Stay, Breathe with Me" 245

For Patients 253

References 257

With Gratitude 261

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