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I'm not putting this in the grieving section, because it's more of a general topic. Someone I knew died just after midnight last night - LaVerne. I didn't know her all that well, but liked her a lot -- she was in her early 80s and loved to travel. Everytime someone got into the car to go somewhere, LaVerne was right there with them. She'd go on cruises, by herself or with friends, whatever. She just liked to go.

For several years, LaVerne battled back pain that just wouldn't go away. The doctors tried everything, and finally began injecting her back with some kind of concoction (epidural) that seemed to alleviate the pain for a while. When they finally got around to doing the right tests, they found advanced liver cancer. Had it been found when she first complained of the back pain, she would have had a good chance of making it through. As it was, she only found out about this in early May, and now it's all over.

I'm relieved that she is no longer in pain. She had excellent at-home hospice care with her family around her almost all of the time.

And once again, I can't avoid the feeling that as advanced as medical science becomes, it is still operated by humans who screw up now and then. I hope and hope when I'm the patient that it doesn't happen to me. LaVerne was essentially at their mercy, giving them the benefit of the doubt and following doctor's order like a "good patient." Hopefully, her health care team will have learned from this and won't slough off the same kinds of complaints from other elderly people.

She will be mourned and missed by her family, as well as the many friends she made over the years, and friends such as myself who didn't know her quite that well, but whose life was improved somewhat from having met her.


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Oh, Di...I'm sorry about your friend, LaVerne. Her situation simply proves the need for an advocate when someone can't or won't persist on their own behalf.

There are too many people who "don't want to be a bother" and so despite pain, when the doc ask how they are feeling....they say, "Fine." :( Or...they simply don't push when their pain is not relieved.

Such a shame, isn't it? My sympathies to LaVerne's family...and to you, sweetie.

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