During this week's hospital stay we were introduced to the Palliative Care team at Albany Med. They are careful not to describe their service as "end of life care" counseling. And in fairness they are useful apart from that aspect. I think though it's safe to characterize them as: additional care consideration with a view toward end of life concerns. How's that for diplomatic?
It was a nice relief to have a long conversation with them. One concern I have during hospital stays is the difficulty with finding one doctor with the overall big picture view given a host of specialists become involved, each concerned with mostly their own area. Add to that the rotation of doctors on duty and the idea of continuity of care can be elusive.
The palliative team might end up serving as a more consistent top level view for Lucas' on going condition in addition to the pressing emergent issues that come up.
I brought into our discussion the ideas I recently posted here under: The theoretical and the now. I think they were glad I raised the issue before they needed to find a gentle way of broaching it. They seemed very familiar with the debates family members have as to what is an extreme measure. They were encouraged to hear of Tina's and my rather detached logical view of the path ahead. (But again we're logical now, when it's a more distant possibility.)
Even if this week's episode resolves as well as possible it's hard not to see it as the begin of a deterioration trend.