“You don’t realise what a wonderful place it is until you need it”
Barrie Tumber is one of our patients. Here, he explains how your support allows us to help him manage his feelings through counselling, art and music, and helps him look forward to Wednesdays:
“When a doctor first mentioned palliative care, I thought it was only for people with cancer. I’ve got Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) but when another doctor explained the positives of coming to St Catherine’s Hospice I decided to give it a try.
When I came here I thought it was last knock ins
St Catherine’s community nurses recommended Day Hospice after they visited me at home. I wasn’t keen at first but they thought I was depressed. I didn’t think I was – I’m the liveliest guy you’ll ever meet.
I’m living on and don’t feel like I’m going to pop off anytime soon but the hospice is very different to what I thought it’d be. When I first came, I didn’t know what to expect so I was apprehensive but I’ve been surprised by the care on offer.
I’ve been helped in lots of different ways
Jackie in the Welfare Team has helped with benefits, which has made a big difference as my wife’s retiring soon, and I’ve had counselling too.
Counselling’s really helped. I can say what I want to say without being disturbed and I never feel rushed. I can’t do anything anymore and I get angry and frustrated but counselling has helped me manage that. I shout at my wife less and people have noticed I’m much calmer – that’s all thanks to St Catherine’s.
I’ve always been creative so I enjoy my one to one art sessions and music therapy with Ann, St Catherine’s music therapist. I love music and Ann sings songs or brings in music videos for me to listen to. Whatever music I talk to her about she goes out of her way to get hold of. Like the time I told her I’d like Seasons in the Sun by Terry Jacks at my funeral and she found it. I’m a big Arcade Fire Fan too, and when she found out I liked Suburbs she played it.
I find coming to Day Hospice very rewarding
I really enjoy meditation. The first time it was on I walked out. I didn’t think it was for me but then I thought I should give it a chance. I find it very calming and just switch off now. Graham, the volunteer who does it, is amazing. I have a laugh with him and it’s people like him who make Day Hospice. All the volunteers go out for their way for us and I think it’s marvellous that they give up their time to help.
It’s upsetting when we lose people.
There was one lady I really got on with; me and another patient used to sing to her and have a laugh, but one Wednesday, she asked the nurses to make sure I said goodbye to her before I left. She died that Saturday but knowing I’d said goodbye and given her some good memories helps.
I really look forward to my Wednesdays at St Catherine’s. You don’t realise what a wonderful place it is until you need it, but if you, or a family member or friend, is ever given the chance to come here, go for it!”