A captivating speech by Dr.M.R.Rajagopal, chairman of Pallium India about Palliative Care motivated me to join Pallium India as a volunteer. Their volunteer training program gave me very good insight into the organization and its activities. The direct exposure to the lives of patients suffering from life limiting diseases and undergoing palliative care made me realize how blessed I am, and this exposure stood me in good stead to face the harsh realities of life.
At the age of 83, my father was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The news hit us hard, as a bolt from the blue. The workshop on “Dying with Dignity” organized by Pallium India that I attended, emphasized the need for giving extra love and care to patients undergoing palliative care, as far as possible in their homes which is what a majority of patients would wish to opt for as opposed to being left to the mercy of the hospital staff. Thus our family decided against having my father undergo surgery (which was the only option) when that could not guarantee his recovery. He enjoyed the care given to him at home and we also had the satisfaction of serving him when it was needed.
Didn’t he deserve such a farewell at the age of 83? Rather than be faced with haunting memories, we are very happy that his farewell left us with happy moments to be cherished in our lives. We will make appropriate decisions only when we learn to empathize with people around us. Here comes the role of organizations such as Pallium India.