My Care – My Comfort (Bring back the SMILE on the face (A true story & reflection)

I am an ENT Specialist turned Palliative Care Specialist. For the past 11 years I am working as a Palliative Care Specialist with Lakshmi Pain & Palliative Care Trust and have treated many persons to improve the quality of life
Dr. Asoke Mathew DLO., Certificate in Palliative Medicine
Palliative Care Specialist
Lakshmi Pain and Palliative Care Trust, Chennai

Mrs. R, 74 yrs was diagnosed with?? ‘Ca Sigmoid Colon’ and was suffering from severe pain and occasional bleeding PR. Her elder son reported to us. She could not be brought to the clinic as she was bed ridden. The son broke down at the clinic and said he cannot bear to see his mother suffer like this with pain. He requested us to do something in order to reduce her suffering & also theirs. Hence we at the center decided to conduct a home visit.

I, along with the staff nurse paid a visit to her house and found the lady all rolled up in pain on the bed and not responding to our questions. A trial of morphine was given at home and she responded well, her pain scale came down from 9/10 to 6/10 with the trial. Hence she was started on 10 mg Morphine 4 th hourly with 15 mg in the night. She was followed up regularly by the palliative care team of the trust (Lakshmi Pain & Palliative Care Trust –Chennai) She was very comfortable as the pain was reduced and quality of her life and those of the family improved. As we have learned that pain is not only physical but there are also other components of pain, we explored on further issues and understood that she has psychosocial and financial issues. Her younger son, about 35 years is mentally retarded and her worry was on his future after her death. Added to it, she had no financial backing to support him. Further to our counseling by our team she was assured that ‘WE’ are there to help her any time & whatever happens. Then we found that her worry and pain completely disappeared as she was assured of our presence and our promise that we are with her always.

Hence we say Palliative care given with Competence and Compassion brings back the smile on the face.