“Being Mortal” Showing in Brooksville

On Wednesday, May 24 at 6pm, the film “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” will be screened at the Brooksville Free Public Library, followed by a panel discussion. Being Mortal is based on Atul Gawande’s best-selling book and explores the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness and their relationships with …

Optimizing Healthcare Choices for Difficult Times

As a veteran hospice volunteer, my role is to support individuals who are critically ill or whose condition may be terminal and their caregivers. When I first visit, I want to know: “Who is this person?” “Who is he behind the illness?” “What did she love to do?” “What are the priorities right now?” And …

A Tale of Two Deaths

Three daughters gathered in the hospital room where their mother lay dying. This had been long expected, and the two daughters from out of state and the one who lived nearby sat together around her bed – reminiscing, sharing stories, laughing, crying, and singing their mother’s favorite hymns together. The hospital staff came in periodically …

The Nelson Family Project: Lyme and Other Tick-Borne Diseases

Maine is seeing a significant increase in tick-borne diseases, which can affect every system of the human body. While good progress has been made in education efforts on limiting exposure to ticks, there is still controvery over finding a diagnosis, identifying modes of disease transmission, recognizing multiple co-infections, and then receiving proper treatment. The Nelsons, …

Having “The Conversation” with Your Family

I was lucky. My mother had a cancer scare when she was sixty-three. During that episode, we had many heartfelt conversations about what might happen, how she wanted to be treated, and how she wanted to die. Twenty years later, when she began to experience dementia, I knew it was time to have the conversation …