About 6 weeks ago I saw a patient for the first time, and unfortunately have not been scheduled to see him again until yesterday (other nurses have been seeing him). When I saw him the first time I was certain he was not long in this world. He was very weak, disoriented, resisting care, looking non specifically ill. I wanted to send him to the ED. I had called the doctor that day and the doctor urged me to speak with the family about hospice, which I did. His elderly wife gently refused, insisting on therapies nursing and swore she would find her husband a new doctor. I left sort of shrugging my shoulders, almost admiring her spirit but assuming the doc knew best.
Well, since then he has established with a new doc, started on a new med, and is alert, oriented, strong, eating well and nowhere near ready to die. His wife was beaming when I expressed my enthusiasm for his improvement. This woman saved her husband's life by not being willing to give up!