Palliative care is comfort care given to a patient with an illness that cannot be cured. It is normal for someone who is sick to feel uneasy, restless, afraid, or anxious. Certain thoughts, pain, or trouble breathing may trigger these feelings. Comfort care helps patients cope with these feelings.
You might feel:
Your body may express what you are feeling with:
Think about what worked in the past. What helps when you feel anxious? What happened when this feeling started? Can you do something about that? Did it start with a pain, and you can take pain medicine?
Use the energy of the feeling to do something, such as:
To help you relax:
To prevent feeling anxious:
Many people find they can prevent or manage these feelings if they can talk to someone they trust.
Your doctor can give you medicine to help with these feelings. Do not be afraid to use it the way it is prescribed. If you have questions or concerns about the medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Call your doctor when you have:
LeGrand SB. Anxiety. In: Walsh D, Caraceni AT, Fainsinger R, et al., eds. Palliative Medicine. 1st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2008:chap 151.
Updated by: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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