Hospice nurse’s frank conversations on dying go viral

Death is an experience that everyone experiences but that few people want to talk about.

“The death rattle is the most normal and expected thing at the end of life, but if you’re not used to hearing it, it sounds like the scariest thing you’ll ever experience heard,” Julie McFadden, known as @hospicenursejulie. on TikTok, says in a video with nearly 2 million views.

McFadden, a California-based hospice nurse and online educator, explains in the video how the so-called “agony rattle” is a normal process caused by a buildup of saliva in the mouth.

“I always thought my mother was choking when she died. I finally believe she was no longer in pain. Thank you,” one person commented on the video.

“I wish I could have seen/heard this before going through this with my dad passing,” another commenter wrote.

These types of conversations that make people less afraid of death or what their loved ones are going through are why McFadden started her TikTok account, she told “Good Morning America.”

“I knew I wanted to talk to people about death, just because people around me were like, ‘You need to tell people what you’re telling us,'” McFadden said, adding that his very first video focused on on describing what the last six months typically look like for a person in palliative care.

Palliative care is care that begins when a patient does not respond to medical treatments aimed at curing or slowing the progression of the disease they have, according to the National Institute on Aging, a division of the National Institutes of Health.

The support provided by McFadden and other palliative care nurses is intended to focus on “the care, comfort and quality of life of a person with a serious illness who is nearing the end of life,” according to the NIA.

McFadden said one of the biggest misconceptions about his work is that it is full of sadness.

“It’s not as depressing as people think, because you really feel like you’re really, really helping people, and then seeing your loved ones help your loved one during one of the hardest times of their life is inspiring, and it feels like an honor,” she said. “Just witnessing love every day is truly life-changing. It’s not depressing.”

Another misconception McFadden said he’s learned during his career is that death is “not the worst possible thing.” Before becoming a hospice nurse, McFadden said she worked as a nurse in an intensive care unit, or ICU.

“What I learned in hospice and critical care nursing is that death is not the worst possible thing. I think suffering is much worse,” she said. “It has changed my life, witnessing so much love that I see while my patients are in hospice care.”

Some of McFadden’s most viral videos on TikTok have focused on topics ranging from the visions people see as they die, to the phenomenon known as the “death stare,” to the spontaneous movements people make on their deathbed – like reaching out to hug someone – – whether people are starving or not.

In a video, McFadden explains what she says to patients who tell her they’re afraid of dying, saying, “No. 1, I never try to make things better or not scare them. »

In another video, McFadden says she recommends people think about how they want to die.

“Because if you know how you want to die, that will help you decide, with the time you have left, how you want to live,” McFadden says in the video. “It’s not over until it’s over. You’re not dead yet.”

McFadden told “GMA” that the most common question he gets from his supporters is whether their loved ones suffered while they died.

McFadden said that while she doesn’t know each person’s situation, she knows that many of the things that appear as suffering during a person’s final days are completely normal. She said she tries to explain to people that human bodies are “built to live and they are built to die.”

“I think there’s a lot of grief and trauma around death and dying because people just don’t understand what’s happening,” she said. “But (much of) what people describe is simply what the end of life feels like.”

McFadden continued: “What makes me so happy about this page (on TikTok) is being able to let people know that, most likely, your loved one was not suffering… it’s a biological response to the death of the body.”

McFadden added that by talking about death, she hopes to reframe the conversation around palliative care to focus on how it helps a person live their life the way they want, with support and care.

She said she also hopes that talking about death will simply encourage more people to ask questions and have open conversations.

“What I found is even people who are willing to talk about (death), even saying, ‘I’m scared. I don’t want to. I don’t want to think about it,'” he said. he declared. just saying it out loud will dispel the fear that surrounds the subject,” she said. “I think we need to start rethinking the way we view death, because it’s going to happen to all of us.”

News Source :
Gn Health

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