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Afterwords: Departure

I would like to express here my gratitude for the quality of the care during that time. I have already mentioned two of the doctors and must add to them the name of our family physician, Kingsley Gill, whom she had bonded with over the years, and who was commonsensical compassion itself. Carol herself had only kind words to say about the nurses in the radiology unit of the Dixon Centre, and one or two of them said warm things about her to me.

When Milly and I got in touch with the Palliative Care Unit, the doctor from there, when he came to see her (only once, I think, since it all went so fast) was another Dr. Gill, and inspired instant confidence. Her pain was being controlled with Tylenol, apparently successfully, and the nurse whom he brought in from Northwood Homecare (for we anticipated a number of days of home care) also inspired instant confidence.

When I phoned him to report that her breathing had suddenly become laboured, he said that it sounded like pneumonia, and asked if I wanted anything done about it. The answer to that was simple, and in fact it was only a moment or two later that she passed on.

Subsequently an intelligent and sensitive woman whose name I never knew, a volunteer with the Palliative Care Unit, phoned me two or three times and in the most natural and unintrusive fashion gave me the opportunity to talk about some of the things that were on my mind. Which was a great comfort.


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