I told Uncle Ali I was going away for two weeks. He looked disappointed, but wished me a happy holiday.
"When I returned from my leave, my colleague told me Uncle Ali had called looking for me. Uncle Ali was my homecare patient for two months. He was admitted frequently for fluid overload and gout attacks. His circumstances at home were very sad – his family had disowned him, leaving him to struggle alone. He did not understand that his health was declining. We talked about what he could do to maintain his health, and I did whatever I could to help him manage his condition.
On the day that I bade farewell to Uncle Ali, he had tears in his eyes as I left. Even though I knew I've done all that I could to help him, there was still much more work to be done for him. I quickly engaged our dedicated social worker and therapist to ensure that Uncle Ali could cope with his daily activities.
At our last coffee session, I told Uncle Ali I was going away for two weeks and that he should call my colleague if he needed anything. He looked disappointed, but wished me a happy holiday. That turned out to be the last time we spoke."
Rachel Marie Towle
Senior Nurse Clinician (APN)
Singapore General Hospital