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Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Little Sale With a Big Heart

A little over four years ago, I became my grandmother's primary caregiver because our family could not afford 24-hour live-in care for her. I volunteered for this service because it was my grandma and she needed the help.

In February of '06, after many tests and blood transfusions you could set your watch by, they finally discovered that my grandmother had colon cancer and that a rather large tumor was blocking her intestinal tract. They did surgery to remove the tumor, but by this point the cancer had spread to other organs. She was given 6 months to live, and chemo wasn't recommended since the cancer was terminal and the chemo would only make her dying days worse. In August, after my grandma suffered a bad fall and couldn't get up until my uncle got there in the morning to check on her and take the trash out, I moved in to help her out. Mind, this is the 6 month point the doctor told us about and my grandmother was still walking around. I moved in just in case she fell and needed help in the night.

Over the next couple months I watched my grandmother go from walking on her own, to using a walker, eventually to needing a wheelchair, and in the last three days she was bedridden. Hospice came in three times a week to check her vitals and to help her bathe. I spent many a sleepless night wondering if she was going to have to get up in the middle of the night. I'm a heavy sleeper, or was at the time, and didn't want to not wake up if she called me. It took a week of this and then I borrowed a child monitor from my cousin who had just stopped using it with her youngest. This helped immensely but I still stayed up most of the night. For me, this was one of the hardest times of my life. I had just been discharged from the Navy and had to come back home and swallow a lot of pride to move back in with my parents. That was nothing compared to watching my grandmother die painfully.

In that short three months that I took care of my grandma, I learned that Hospice used to be able to provide much more equipment to their patients. We had to buy the adult diapers and the pads to protect the bed. A few years before we needed the services of Hospice, they had been able to provide everything the patient would need. They can no longer afford to do this. They were able to provide an older model hospital style bed and the bedside toilet, but that was about it. We bought a chair for her shower and donated it to Hospice when she passed away.

Hospice is a great service. These people get paid a pittance to drive all over to care for their patients. They never see a patient go into remission. For a heartache and a few bucks they care for the patients even the hospitals won't care for for long. They need all the help and donations we can give them. That is why I am doing this sale:

Until Sunday June 13th, which is two weeks from today, I am having a 25% off sale in my Etsy shop. If you buy anything, make sure to put "Hospice Blog" in the notes to seller to get in on this great deal. All the proceeds from the purchase of earrings will be donated to Hospice, and $10 from all necklaces and bracelets will be donated. Every little bit helps, and I have been donating to Hospice whenever possible for the past 4 and a half years. This is your chance to do your small part.

Remember, go to my Etsy shop and when you go through the checkout procedure enter "Hospice Blog" in the notes to seller. The 25% will be donated via PayPal.

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