Rejection hurts, regardless of the source. And yes, I mean even if that source is hospice. Two months ago, hospice evaluated Jamey as to his appropriateness for their program. He was rejected. To be fair, we hadn’t really put any effort into researching what all the local hospices had to offer. We did no campus tours, no interviews with various deans of admissions, hadn’t checked out the extra-curricular activities. Jamey and I researched hospice like everything else we made major life decisions about–pretty half-assed. I never really thought there was a chance wouldn’t get in to hospice. I mean, come on, this is hospice we’re talking about. I don’t think the Princeton Review offers DIE prep courses for eager applicants! But rejection was what we heard that day–“I’m really sorry, you seem like a good guy, but I looked over your records and they’re just not what we’re looking for. You’re on no medications, you’re still able to bathe and dress yourself, your heart rate and oxygen levels are fine, you haven’t lost weight. You’re just not sick enough for our standards. We can, however, put you on our wait list. Feel free to give us a call when you’ve added some meds, maybe had a stroke or two, are using a walker and you’re down to 88 lbs.” (***these weren’t the nurse’s exact words, but you see where I’m going with this***)
Now most people would’ve been thrilled at this suggestion–most people would love to hear “you’re just not sick enough for our services”, but not me and Jamey. We’re competitors, damnit! I immediately began looking up the ins and outs of hospice so we could move off of that wait list and finally gain admission. Jamey and I worked really hard to decrease his Karnofsky score, I had him sleep with 44 cell phones under his pillow to increase the sizes of his brain tumors and I replaced his morning coffee with radioactive waste. It took us two grueling months, but today, we found out all that hard work paid off! The intake nurse, Dr. Arati Desai, Jamey’s oncologist at Penn, and the medical director at Samaritan Hospice all agreed that Jamey now likely had less than 6 months to live(click if you’re interested in hospice red tape). We’ve reached the terminal stage! We’ve been accepted! We’re in!