March 24 2019
Written By
Barbara Karnes
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I Hear You, But I Don't Understand

I Hear You, But I Don't Understand


Sandra Stedinger - December 14 2019

Barbara — Thanks for creating all these wonderful educational materials to help families through this most difficult transition period. We lost my dear Mother a year ago, and I gave your blue booklet to those friends and family members helping with her care. Although having been a Dermatologist for 25 years, I had never had to deal with this degree of care right up to the end. My brother wanted to hire a personal nurse to hand feed her more calories, when she was already on the downward path. Reading your material explained simply why this was not a good idea. I appreciate all the support your books gave us during this time. I also tell friends, to call Hospice before you think you need it. Kaiser medical plan wanted to drag their feet until her albumen fell to a certain level. We finally got her signed up a few days before she passed, so we did not get full benefit of the services. I suspect their plan was based on who gets to bill for services. Also they were short staffed, they said.

Jennifer - April 08 2019

Barbara, I have been a hospice nurse for many years. One of the first things I teach a new hospice nurse is that that 90% of problems can be solved with taking the time to provide good education and good communication with the patient and family. Thank the Good Lord for special people like you who advocate for the dying. I desperately wish there was something I could do to educate and prepare the general public for end-of-life issues before patients and families are in a crisis situation. There are way too many hospices out there which consider hospice a business and not a service who pay more attention to the bottom line instead of providing quality services including education. Thank you for all the educational material you have authored through the years. I use quotes from your books and videos almost daily to help families understand what happens during the end-of-life process.

Barbara - March 27 2019

Hi Karen, thank you so much for sharing your experience of the lack of understanding that occurred between your family and the medical professionals. Unfortunately it is all to common an experience. It is like there is a language barrier and we need a translator. I’ve said for a long time that we need an advocate (another pair of ears) when we go to the doctor. I’m going to add that the advocate needs to know how to translate medicaleeze.
Blessings! Barbara

Karen Tullis - March 27 2019

Thank you for your continued insight. I have several of your books and have shared them with numerous friends. We are all grateful for the clarity they’ve provided.

My own insight now: I Hear You But I Don’t Understand would be an excellent topic – with that exact title – to add to your series of books. It captures to a T the experience my sister and I went thru recently as my dad went very quickly from rehabilitatative care to (quite surprisingly for us) end-of-life care. We had a full complement of doctors, nurses and other caregivers giving us a lot of information – which we could “hear” but didn’t know how to interpret because we had no context for understanding what they were alluding to but not actually telling us: that my dad was, in fact, rapidly reaching the end of his life. If we had known how to listen to what we were “hearing”, it would have made things so much easier so much sooner. We spent way too much time trying to figure out the right questions to ask, and of whom, as we tried to understand what was going on so we could respond and plan accordingly, and help dad understand too.

Claudia Hauri - March 26 2019

As always Barbara your comments are right on target & very helpful, except for one word : medical. As nurse we are not part of the medical team, neither are Social Workers, Registered Dieticians, Physical Therapists, Psychologists…….we/they are all health care professionals.
Medical means physician only…..also a hlth care professional.
Nurses will never be considered a profession until we demand respect, sever the outdated Nightingale servitude to medicine & act as professionals.
I believe that the hlth care system is like an umbrella with all the spokes signifying each profession. And who holds the umbrella?
The person seeking care…after all whose life is it anyway? CMH

angie duet - March 26 2019

Barbara, thank you and your team for your continuing effort to educate the public on hospice. The tools you publish are vital to our team and we appreciate all you do. Sincerely. Angie

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