Coping with illness, palliative care and dying well

At some point in our lives we have all felt discomfort when the body is sick; sometimes even how the vital force weakens and consumes us in a state of alert and imbalance until agony. An exhausting state for those who experience it and for the patient’s family.

Let us remember that we are all terminally ill beings, we all have to face death at some point; some accidentally, others unexpectedly, others consistent with the cycle of life, others beginning to live… Death is a common axis to humanity and all its aspects.

What is palliation? It refers to support. Within the framework of chronic and degenerative disease, we find physical symptomatology associated with the underlying disease that requires medical attention and a therapeutic model that allows the patient transit the disease with dignity. Painless

‘Pain is inevitable suffering is optional’

It’s a phrase I paraphrase whenever I begin to forget the power of the mind in life experience, and a phrase I share with my patients, especially those whose lives have been consumed by lack of pleasure and interest in life itself.

The body is an instrument, a temple, it is the motor of life, the channel of my evolution. Honoring the experience of life through the body is a true act of love. This is why physical pain takes on so much meaning on a spiritual level, it becomes a slope where the energy within us wears us out, and that is how life begins to get heavy.

According to the WHO, the definition of disease is that of “alteration or deviation in the physiological state of one or more parts of the body, due to generally known causes, manifested by symptoms and characteristic signs , and whose evolution is more or less foreseeable”. “. now well pain is a signal from the central nervous system that something is wrong with our body. It is an unpleasant sensation, such as a pinching, tingling, stinging, burning or discomfort, more or less pronounced, which makes desire and enjoyment impossible.

Sickness and death are words we interact with, but we seldom or rarely stop to understand the dimension of the dying process, unless we have experienced seeking death.

The psychological implications of death

“Die”, a word that the ego struggles to digest and who prefers to quickly turn the page before understanding the dimension of this act of departure, simply cease to be in this dimension. Western culture finds little appeal in revealing, through death, the experience of life itself. Countries like Mexico have evoked a culture around death which, beyond the celebration, symbolizes the dramatized face between caricatured catrinas while the association with death symbolizes the openness that the Ego refuses to present, a benevolent gesture that she: La muerte, who waits patiently for tea time.

However, in the therapeutic context, death has several aspects. I meet patients who suffer from incredibly bothersome phobias about the possibility of dying, healthy people suffering from a thought that calls them to death and that is so ingrained in their system that their joy of existing itself has deteriorated considerably.

I meet patients going through different terminal processes, cancer in all its manifestations, some with the courage of the process of dying, of letting go of life with love. We all go through different processeslargely depends on the perception I have of the different situations I face, the psychic resources at my disposal, the support networks that allow me to more easily accompany my deterioration of health, my self-image, my beliefs, my ability to connect with myself, among others.

Fear is a full-time companion during this time of sickness and good death. The important challenge of palliative programs is to take care of people in an integral way, betting mainly that the time they have in their lives counts with an adequate quality of life, which is why the role of palliative doctors is essential for the good to die Today, traditional medicine has a close approach and through pain-relieving and pleasure-enhancing medicines, they facilitate the management of pain, functional, bioenergetic and earth medicine is in love with the experience of the pain of the patient, botany is and always will be the medicine that mother earth gives us as children who come from the earth and today, fortunately, it has acquired greater importance in the fields of medicine and health , which is the goal of medicine: to promote the care of life in all its spheres

The social dimension of the palliative act

The patient’s family and support networks have a fundamental role in the person’s dying process, whatever the age and the life cycle in which he finds himself, care, closeness, speech, humanization is the key to crossing the threshold of life, illness and death. The family has the important role of caring for and supporting the patient emotionally and emotionally.

Continuing to humanize palliative programs is one of the key issues, betting on integral, complete, humanized, close palliative programs, centered on the patient’s quality of life, including all dimensions of the human being: body, mind and soul/spirit.

Accompany the patient in understanding the disease, in maintaining his anxietyallowing him to integrate death into its immediate dimension, to leave unfinished business, to have conversations with people and to make symbolic closures, to understand that the body is exhausted, that life is coming to an end, to make every effort to deliver physical well-being and alleviate pain.

Caregivers need to be taken care of

The main caregivers of the terminally ill patient enter a phase of chronic burnout, it is very common for families to end up delegating the care of the patient to a few and it is a regrettable situation, where more and more isolation from the joy of life slowly fades away from the patient’s energy. This is a subject that must be treated with particular attention and responsibility. The family como eje must define care strategies for the patient, so as to avoid the possibility of a burnout syndrome of caregivers.


There are many possibilities to prolong physical life, modern medicine believes in it, but beyond being alive because the physical systems work, we must be alive because our soul is integrated by the purpose of life and in this process of death, it is even more sharpened communication with the spiritual plane.

We face many situations in our lifetime, all evolutionary cycles bring with them significant challenges, but this is the grand master, the true master; the act of dying Your understanding of it will make it easier or not how the cycle is transited, so try in your life experience, connect with yourself, breathe, have deep conversations, live, build, put him in life so that death doesn’t take him by surprise.

As a therapist, I am currently accompanying people and families who are going through the process of the disease, I have developed a program that I have called ‘buen vivir, buen morir’, it is a program with a palliative vocation and which is aimed at people and families who are going through a chronic illness, bereavement, loss or situation close and underlying death, we seek to deconstruct the ideas that contain the suffering of the sick person and their family , and walk the path of illness with its nuances with compassion.

The therapeutic practice with a palliative aim is a very good tool that makes it easier for patients and their families to focus on the quality of life in a pathological process and to go through bereavement in such a way that suffering is not the protagonist. of this story. And remember; pain is inevitable, suffering optional.

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