“The current flu season has been more severe than the last three, with more doctor visits and more deaths from flu and pneumonia, federal health officials are reporting.”
When you are a caregiver then the above is so much more than a news sound bite.
Patti’s Multiple Sclerosis is all about a compromised immune system. A doctor’s visit is an odyssey with a non-ambulatory, wheelchair confined person. Cognitive problems and memory loss impairs Patti from successfully communicating and participating in her own medical care.
Even though Patti was vaccinated, the CDC reports flu vaccine failing in US.
(Excuse me for a moment; this all drove me to my Echinacea bottle for a fix.)
Wednesday, while out of town, I received a call on my cell phone from Patti’s care facility.
Her doctor while making rounds had not liked the sound of Patti’s chest and her level of upper respiratory congestion. Doctor ordered an X-ray and upper respiratory protocol which involved immediately beginning prescription nasal decongestant and cough medicine.
In the home care days this scenario as a caregiver would have been quite different. Hours if not the better part of day would have been involved, making an appointment and transporting Patti to doctor’s office, then X-ray lab, and of course stopping at a pharmacy for prescriptions. Plus periodic return trips home to change Depends and clothing for bowel and bladder incontinence.
At her care facility medical care comes to her, the doctor, the x-ray machine, and prescriptions are delivered and administered.
When you are dealing with a weakened immune system do not kid yourself and believe time is not of the essence.
Later in the day, a follow up call on my cell phone advised Patti’s chest X-ray was negative.
Over the last couple evenings I’ve been able to focus on the TLC functions like Kleenex supply, Coldeze lozenges, and of course Dairy Queen sundaes before bed.
Interestingly, Massachusetts which currently is our national experiment in healthcare reform actually has a option falling somewhere in the middle of homecare and assisted care … the ‘house call’.
NEW TWIST ON THE OLD HOUSE CALL
(also available in Blogger edition, Caregiver Blog: "Caregivingly Yours")
Caregivingly Yours, J Patrick Leer