Then she got to scarier questions: if he was incapacitated suddenly, would he want any heroic measures taken, with machines, to treat him? Dad was puzzled. Well if he had a heart attack, yes, he would like them to try and revive him. She pressed onwards: but if it was a result of the cancer spreading? And there was nothing more they could do? Dad was quiet for a bit. Well then no, he wouldn’t want any heroic measures. She moved on: was Dad a religious person? I flinched. Dad looked confused. He had misheard her, and thought she had asked if was a belligerent person? No, he said, I don’t think so. I’m not particularly belligerent. Religious, Dad? Are you a religious person? Oh! …Dad considered the question again. … No.
That ended that. The Specialist asked a bunch more specific questions, that dealt with Dad’s stomach discomfort and suggested changes in his medications and routines that she thought would help. The low BP was nothing to worry about. In cases like his, she had seen lower. As long as he had no symptoms, she was not concerned. We had spent almost an hour with her. Dad seemed relieved. She stated that Dad was free now to call her nurse any time that anything changed or alarmed him. They would get back to him within an hour. He was in the system now. They were here for him. We thanked her and she saw us out – a compassionate, caring human being. We were just in time to grab lunch. Dad was eager to try the medication ‘tweaks’ she had suggested. They just might do the trick. Good idea, this Palliative Care Program.
Yeah, I guess, I said. Especially for belligerent guys like you.