After my late husband was totally paralyzed several years ago in a terrible accident my life changed as did those of our children and friends. But life for my husband, who had been a marathon runner, tri-athlete and long distance bicycle racer, completely changed. With that tragedy came great grief and difficulties but it also brought love, compassion and self-reflection.
Had it not been for a lot of help by home care nurses or caregivers I could not possibly have done what I managed to do for him, our children and me all the years he lived. We had been married 13 years but had divorced when he was hit by the car that was going 65 miles an hour and he was in a bicycle lane. The driver took her eyes off the road for just a few seconds but that’s all it took for her to slam into him while he was riding his bike in a bike lane on Pacific Coast Highway. To put it mildly, the life he had known for so many years as a triathlete-marathon runner-long-distance bicycle racer was over. In fact, life completely changed for our two children and all his other relatives. He went from being so active to not being able to care for himself at all. If a fly landed on his face he couldn’t do anything about it and he had to rely on others for all of his help.
That being said, while he was never on hospice or being permanently in a skilled nursing facility but I want all of you to be aware that hospice services are available in the mountain communities. Without help from other skilled nurses, physical therapists and other medical personnel I cannot imagine what we, as a family, would have done. My experience is one where I can say that I know what care by clinic staff members can make in the lives of those who need them.
For information on the programs that are available or to make an appointment or referral call 1-800-969-4862. Services are available to residents in Arrowbear Lake, Blue Jay, Cedar Glen, Crest Park, Crestline, Green Valley Lake, Lake Arrowhead, Rim Forest, Running Springs, Sky Forest, Sugarloaf (in Big Bear), Twin Peaks and Valley of Enchantment.
As someone who knows how help can make an enormous difference to not only the patient but those trying to care for them, if you need help you might want to call and get more information. The VNA Hospital and Palliative Care phone number is (1-800-969-4862).
It’s certainly worth a telephone call if you need services.