When someone is faced with a terminal disease, there is great fear and stress that can arise, making the illness much more uncomfortable. Levels of pain can get very high, depression can set in, stress can cause more problems, and mental health can even be severely affected. Sometimes the medications to treat an illness cause intense suffering and there needs to be control of the symptoms.
Doctors Who Improve Quality of Life
There is this amazing practice in medicine called palliative care. When a person is suffering from a fatal illness or other agonizing and debilitating disease, the pain and discomfort can become horrible and unbearable. What can be done? A simple pain medication prescription is not going to do the job.
There are doctors who specialize in palliative care. Usually, it takes many different physicians to provide this care, but they all confer and work together to improve a patient’s quality of life. This is known as a “multidisciplinary approach.”
Why Palliative Care is Needed
It is pointless for one to suffer needlessly. Even if the prognosis is promising, the symptoms can be agonizing and palliative care is called for. The alternative is to leave one suffering. That is not reasonable at all unless that is just what the patient wants.
When a person is suffering like this, it actually diminishes treatment efficacy. When the patient is in a better mood and in less pain, they are more likely to comply with treatment and more likely to improve. In the event that there is no possibility of improvement, quality of life is of the greatest importance, more so than treatment sometimes.
Types of Palliative Care
With terminal illness, the use of strong and potentially addictive medications is not an issue. These drugs are made exactly for this reason, so a person does not have to suffer. The primary medication used for palliative care includes opioid pain medications such as morphine. Other medications may include stimulants, sedatives, antidepressants, and others deemed important.
In addition to medications, therapies such as massage, acupuncture, music therapy, and other approaches will be used to improve quality of life. Sometimes certain supplements will be used. In other cases, there are surgeries to ease discomforts.
How to Find Care
When a loved one is going through such a disease, it really takes the support of family and medical care to make the final days better. The best thing you can do is stay in clear communication with the doctors and nurses. Make sure that your loved one is feeling as good as they can. Consider therapy for them and other approaches.
Remember that it is best for a person to be made comfortable. The doctor treating the illness will be able to refer you and your loved one to the proper physicians to set up practical palliative care. Take the time to ask all the questions needed to fully understand and, if you are not satisfied, you can always seek a second opinion. Quality of life is important.