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The Process of Death

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According to the Nurse, it is easy to map dying trajectories for terminal condition patients to suggest the process of death that a dying person goes through when a specific terminal disease is diagnosed. In most cases terminal illness like advanced cancer have a declining trajectory where the patients goes through a steady decline in health until death accrues. The nurse was however quick to note that serious chronic illnesses have a wavy trajectory with numerous peaks and valleys. Chronic illnesses will sometimes disappear and the patient will seem like he or she has recovered only to worsen after some time. According to both the nurse and the clergy, every patient’s dying process is very unique and sometimes without a pattern.

Both interviewees agreed that the dying process of most of the patients begun long before they were admitted. The process usually begins after the diagnosis of the life threatening condition. The nurse indicates that the dying process is initiated when the patient learns that there is no chance of recovery from the condition and that the process of death ensues.

The clergy envisions that the process of dying gives a patient time to work on his or her spiritual well being, since it reveals the inevitability of death and the frailty of human bodies. The clergy thus insisted that the best help that the dying can be given during the process of growth is a renewal of their faith and spiritual rigor. The nurse on the other hand believes that the knowledge that one ids dying robs a patient all enjoyment of life. To the nurse, the important thing is to give back the patient his or her self-esteem, dignity and positive outlook to life.

Both interviewees agreed though that the agenda of caregivers ought to be geared towards facilitating a comfortable, stress free and even joyous final moments of a dying patient. This is important since as the condition deteriorates, the patient experiences drowsiness, unresponsiveness, confusion about common place things like time and identity of loved ones, visions of non-existent people, withdrawal, decreased socialization, low appetite, poor bowel and bladder control, cold, loss of vision, heavy and hard breathing etc. Even at such a time, the patient needs someone to talk to them with comfort and love. The caregiver must therefore understand the experiences of such a dying process and facilitate maximal comfort.

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