Sitting back in a recliner on a sunny afternoon, with magazines and a cup of tea on the table beside her, and a vase of sunny wildflowers on the other side of the room, Michele Street nee Logan is relaxing after just having a facial and her nails done.
“It sounds terrible, but it’s been like a holiday, I’ve been so pampered.” Michele is talking about her experience being admitted to the inpatient unit at Nelson Tasman Hospice in February.
Michele has a heart condition, pulmonary hypertension, and was admitted to the inpatient unit after being in the hospital. “I started getting my pills mixed up, it happens to a lot of people. It’s very hard when you’re at home and you’re trying to get your pills sorted and get it in the right mix, and I just went downhill.”
She says her time at the inpatient unit has helped stabilise her in preparation for going home. “Their caring is great. I’m moving, I’m walking, I’m doing everything I couldn’t do 10 days ago so they’ve brought me this far.”
“I’ve got my meds down, I know where I’m at and I’m going home. That’s the most important place for me and my kids and my family, just to get home,” she says.
Michele has had family and friends visit her during her stay at the inpatient facility. She says people shouldn’t be afraid to visit, even if the circumstances are sad. “It’s lovely for the patient and people connected with the patients”.
“Once they’ve been here, they’ll realise that this is a very nice place – it’s not so bad, not all this clinical stuff. It is welcoming, it’s just a beautiful place to be.”
Michele’s heart condition can’t be reversed, and what’s important to her now is to enjoy as many more months as she can.
“I feel great at the moment because of what they’ve got through me here.”
She says her time at the inpatient unit has helped immensely. “I’m just making the most of my life as it is. It’s so great for the community to have the support here and it [the hospice] belongs to the community, and they’re such a great group of people.”
Now that she is feeling stable Michele is looking forward to a family trip, “I want to get to Kaikoura with Dad because it’s one of the places we grew up, going to visit my Nana and Grandad. That will be nice for dad and me. It was a beautiful place to go and I always remember it, so it is just something to look forward to, now. I’ve got my head focused on that.”