RECOVER? (a Five Minute Friday post)

My patients don’t recover.

Sounds like the opening line of a thriller about a serial killer, doesn’t it?

But actually, I work in palliative care, so it’s just a fact.

I mean, there are the exceptions: those sent home from hospital for their remaining days who plateau and regain some function for a while. There’s even the occasional patient who unexpectedly improves, who we have end up doing old fashioned rehab with, going from bed bound to transferring to an armchair to standing and walking again. These are joyful moments: for them, their loved ones, and for me.

But we don’t see many like that.

I listen silently as a husband tells his wife she’s going to get better soon and hope he won’t turn to me for confirmation. Sometimes I wonder if she knows the truth but goes along with it for his sake. Sometimes I wonder if he knows the truth but says otherwise for hers. Sometimes I wish they would just tell each other what’s in their hearts. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I think maybe they don’t need to.

My job is not to give them false hope but neither is it to shatter their coping strategies. My job is to walk beside them, reassuring them that they are not alone in the dark. My job is to listen, to hold hands, to catch tears.

My job is to be Jesus for them.

(You can find more writing inspired by this week’s prompt word RECOVER here: FMF Writing Prompt Link-up :: Recover – Five Minute Friday )

4 thoughts on “RECOVER? (a Five Minute Friday post)

  1. This is very moving. I think we sometimes have this idealized view of how (if we were in this position) we’d be perfectly truthful and open – but sometimes things are a bit more complicated. Thanks for sharing a bit about that.


    • It’s definitely complicated! And we have to be aware that we are only seeing the surface of their experience. Listening and maybe reminding them it’s OK to feel like this is the best we can do.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.