"They show they really care"

About: Ayrshire Hospice

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

The story of my illness goes back to 1994 when I was diagnosed with polycythaemia. My life didn’t change at that point; I had to attend hospital every 3 months, but didn’t take medication. The next year I had a heart attack, and needed a hysterectomy the following year. I was then diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, which is managed with medication. It has been a lot to deal with.

I had been told that the polycythaemia symptoms would ‘somersault’ after 15 years, and in 2011 I was diagnosed with myeloid fibrosis. My health really began to suffer at that point, I went right downhill. I took really ill in 2014, almost becoming a cripple I was in so much pain. This was put down to the myeloid fibrosis.

I came into the hospice for 3 weeks to have my pain sorted out, and after I came out I attended the hospice day service at Solas - I would recommend this place to anyone. The treatment and care that goes on here – oh my. It has changed my life. We are all here together - we have a chat, then go off and do our different activities. It has changed my whole life, and how I feel about things. You come in on a Monday morning – you might have to force yourself out of bed, but you do it because you know you’re coming here. I look forward so much to a Monday. With cancer you sometimes think no one knows how you feel, people would cross the road rather than speak to me, but here people do understand. You get so much encouragement and care from the people here, they show they really care, it is so good.

The first time the hospice was mentioned I thought ‘Oh no, I must be going on somewhere soon’, but now I know that’s not the case. There are people who have been coming here for years. I would recommend this place to anyone in the same position; there are no faults at all.

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Responses

Response from Margaret Cassidy, Ayrshire Hospice

Thank you very much for taking the time to tell us your story, it sounds like you have had a lot to deal with. I am really pleased to hear that the hospice has been able to help you manage your pain. I am also glad that you are enjoying attending day services and feel that people understand and show that they care, I will pass your kind words on to our team.

We are very conscious that people often feel anxious when the hospice is mentioned, but as you quite rightly said, it is not always about end of life, we also support people to live with their disease and to manage their symptoms whilst maintaining and improving their quality of life for as long as possible.

The length of time people attend day services at Solas is very variable, that decision is based on the needs of each individual. I hope you continue to enjoy your Mondays, meeting other people and taking part in the activities.

I would like to thank you once again for your very positive feedback, your comments are really important to us.

Best wishes

Margaret Cassidy

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