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Jun
15
2017

Journal by Jennifer Lichtner

Posted by Maria Johnson on Thu 15th Jun 2017 12:15pm

The Hospice Nurse & The Hospice Patient

Posted by Jennifer Lichtner on Sat 8th Aug 2015 12:39am

 

I'm not exactly sure if I am putting this entry in the right place, but I figured since this is called a "Life Journal," I will put my story here. Having a family member in Hospice can be a very difficult time for the patient and loved one. I have been an LPN for 5 1/2 years and I am a new hire to the HOCO team. I love my job on the ICC! Working as a Hospice nurse is painful at times, but it is also the most rewarding speciality I have ever had the pleasure of working in.

 

Recently my 93 year old grandpa was admitted into Hospice with End Stage Renal Disease. This guy, let me tell you is a spectacular human being. He was in the 101st Airborne during WWII. He jumped out of planes into enemy fire and fought for our countries freedom. He has many honors and awards and is a walking, talking, history book. He fathered 7 children who then had 18 grandchildren and the great grandchildren continue to pop up. :)  Until recently he could recount many memories from his lifetime, but that has slowly started to fade.

 

As a young girl I did not have a father figure and my good ol' grandpa decided to step in. At the age of 3 he had me shooting dice and playing poker. (Really, true story!) I followed him around everywhere. I helped him mow the law, do wood working in the shed, clean the house and of course steal all his money in a round of poker. He is the sole reason I became a nurse and more than likely the reason I am a stubborn, strong-willed individual.

 

He bought me my first car and then paid it off because he felt I needed the money for nursing school. He danced with me in the kitchen from dancing atop his feet to clogging. He was my biggest supporter and on a very special day three years ago, he walked me down the aisle.

 

Unfortunately many years ago he developed macular degeneration, an eye disease that slowly took his sight. He recognizes my voice when I get close to his face and always smiles and says, "There's Number One." Number One is my nickname that he has called me my entire life because I was basically his eighth child.

 

So after that long story letting you know a little about myself and my grandpa I wanted to make this point. I am a Hospice Nurse and my grandpa is a Hospice patient. This journey would be a difficult one for any person, medical knowledge or not. Working for this company for such a short time has been incredible. I have not an ounce of fear when it comes to his care and the way he is being treated. I am able to assist my mother and comfort her and let her know what is going on and she reads the provided pamplets, which have helped her immensely.

 

The HOCO staff goes above and beyond for every single patient and it is such a heavy burden off of my shoulders. I stop at his place of residence before work and after on a daily basis in between work and school. They are always available and I cannot begin to explain how wonderful that is.

 

To say my grandpa is important to me would be an understatement. He is the reason I am a nurse, the reason I am strong-willed, the reason I'm good at school ( his beliefs :) ), the reason I am stubborn and opinionated, but most of all he is my number one.

 

{Just dont tell my husband.}

 

I hope whoever reads this got a little laugh and is able to rest easy with their loved ones in Hospice. I expect nothing but the best for my grandpa and HOCO provides that everyday.

 

- Jenn