I do not like confrontation. I do not like to think I'm hurting someone's feelings. I don't like to create drama.
But I am Steve's advocate for the best possible care.
So today I gathered the courage to ask our hospice agency to assign a new RN to Steve.
"Tom," Steve's nurse since we started hospice service in early July, has been antagonistic at times. For weeks I have tried to ignore his bedside manner and focus on the competent care he was providing Steve.
After discussing the situation with Steve, Dr. M and others, I decided that we could no longer overlook Tom's attitude and demeanor. He's just not a good fit for our family right now.
Twice he told me that Steve's body could be riddled with tumors. Both times I told him that glioblastomas don't metastasize outside the brain or spinal column. (The second time I was more forceful than the first.) He speculated that congestive heart failure had caused Steve's swollen arm -- even though he'd seen no vital signs or EKG results. He actually hadn't even examined Steve when he threw out heart failure.
There were many other moments during our time together when I would think, "He's making this process more difficult than it already is." There's enough difficult about Steve's situation now -- we don't need layers of stress needlessly added.
I don't want this part of the journey to be muddled with a personality that doesn't fit into our home. I want Steve to be treated with nothing but dignity. I want him to be surrounded by all the love and positive energy and warmth and compassion that he deserves.
The hospice agency's social worker and clinical director were very helpful and understanding when I requested the change. I expect we'll meet the new nurse in the next couple of days.