Author: C. Andrew Martin

Shake it Out!

“Shake it out, shake it out, Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa Shake it out, shake it out, Shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back So shake him off, oh whoa" -Florence + the Machine, lyrics

Two Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurses (CHPN®) live in our household. One major benefit of this is that we can both come home from a long day’s work to someone with whom we can share our days and “shake it out”, receiving and giving support and empathy for the hospice and palliative care work that we both do in our community. Rather than be sole author of this blog entry, I invited my husband, Lev, to co-author a story, sharing a local act of caring compassion from a global celebrity, recently performing in Austin, TX, who made the time in her busy performing schedule in our “Live Music Capital of the World”, which consequently made an immeasurable difference in a teen’s short lifespan. Here is Lev’s story:

One of our teen hospice patients, at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House, had given up her treasured concert tickets last week due to the weakening state of her health. In short time, her mother, our hospice staff, and Florence and her “Machine” arranged to have the band give a private concert in her room at the hospice house, with Florence sitting and singing on her fan’s bed. For 45 minutes, this young cancer patient was lifted out of her illness into one of the sweetest times we have shared at Christopher House.

Not only was the gift given to our patient, her family and friends, but also our hospice staff experienced the power of teamwork and generosity that comes from doing this important work. Thanks to a well-oiled interdisciplinary team, this teen’s dream was made real. A week later, the teen is still riding on the wave of the “miracle” she experienced that day.

Here is a brief glimpse (with all the legal authorizations in place) of that concert. I hope it moves you in your work, as it did us.

Lev Baesh, BSN, RN, CHPN®

Hospice Austin:

I hope that everyone takes the time to view the above link to Florence + the Machine’s visit to Hospice Austin’s Christopher House to experience this “miracle”; and I look forward to reading your reactions to this story by sharing your comments with our blog readers (you may like or comment by either clicking on the like icon or the comment icon found in the upper left sidebar). Shake it out!