Whether you’re the decision-maker for someone receiving care, the main caretaker, or both, you never quite get used to those moments when a medical professional wants to speak to you about a loved one’s care—or the “hall conversations” as they’re frequently portrayed. Even if your loved one receiving care is also in the room, you may feel all alone and that the weight of the world is on your shoulders.
In these moments, it is important to take a deep breath and remember a few different truths:
- You’re not alone.
As the decision-maker, this comes with a kind of emotional heft that makes it feel as though you’re not only in charge of making choices but also seeing them through. If you’re feeling alone and under immense stress, take a moment to breathe and remember the many people you have on your side.
There’s a good chance that you have other family and friends willing to help you shoulder the emotional and logistical load of being a deciding caretaker. If friends and family are sparse, you have a team of medical and caretaking professionals who are there to not only treat your loved one but also to make sure you’re thriving as well. In addition to these, there are many support groups—online and physical—with people who know precisely what you’re going through and who are willing to help.
- Avoid the temptation to catastrophize any situation.
“We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.” — Seneca
The only way humans have survived as a species is to be on high alert whenever situations become tense. In caveman days, this was how we avoided predators and harmful conditions. These days, we retain much of this mental wiring even when situations are not as dire as we make them out to be.
As a loved one, there’s a good chance that your mind has quickly jumped to many worst-case scenarios. The doctor’s knock on the door to discuss care may make you jump and your palms sweat. But how frequently do these conversations upend everything? Likely not very frequently. And even if the news isn’t favorable, it is still important to recall that you’re not alone.
- Lean into the plan.
For many, most anxieties emerge from not knowing what to do next. It can feel like whenever you hear bad news from medical professionals, they’ll simply toss up their hands and walk away like they might be portrayed as doing in TV and movies—leaving you to spiral into a state of overwhelming confusion. Well, here’s the good news—they won’t. They will present you with your new marching orders.
Even when the news received in these conversations isn’t favorable, there will always be a corresponding strategy for you to help execute. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by these plans, but let them give you purpose. Allow them to be your compass or North star. When you feel lost or confused, consult the plan and make sure you’re doing your part. Again, if the plan feels overwhelming for you, remember that you are not alone.
Professional Hospice Care in Tulsa, Oklahoma
When we say that you’re not alone, we mean it. If you or a loved one will need or is in need of professional hospice care, look no further than Cura HPC Hospice & Palliative Care.