Healthier Stay


#A4Amonth Day 4: Surprise! Bet you didn’t know…Introvert to Cheerleader!

Posted in #A4Amonth,Newer Posts by Healthier Stay on August 24, 2012
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Day 4: Surprise! Bet you didn’t know…Today’s post theme is all about the reveal. What’s something people would be surprised to know about your life as a caregiver or your loved on. Uncover it and elaborate upon in stream-of-consciousness-style.

One thing that has especially surprised me as a caregiver, is how much I have really grown as a person. One thing that I have been able to do is overcome my crippling  shyness. I really have a hard time in crowds and around a lot of strangers. It’s very easy to just live like that when it is only effecting me, but once I learned that you have to speak up at the hospital or risk your patient’s care, I started talking. I started introducing my patient and myself and writing down the Doctor/Nurse/Tech/Aid’s name and remembering it the next day. I started asking about their day and their families, how they decided to follow medicine as a career and I got to know them. Complete strangers! If I was at a party, I would be stammering all over myself or just smiling and nodding, hoping to see someone I knew. 

This change seemed to come about because I am (unfortunately for me) much more willing to exit my comfort zone to help someone I love than to better my position. It’s worked in many ways though, when my Mom was in a rehab center, she had an awful infection caused by her radiation treatment. She worked so hard to be strong and work on her rehab every day but she kept falling behind. One day we got word that the insurance company was sending her home and she was on her own…I was fit to be tied so I started calling the insurance company myself, I called the helpline and her case manager and found out that we had one way to appeal, her doctor could present her case and if he was persuasive enough and had enough documentation he could buy her some time. I went to each of her care groups, Physical and Occupational Therapy, Social Services, Case Workers, Nurses, Aids and her Doctor, told them what had to be done and withing 2 hours we had a plan of attack and the doctor was able to plead her case the next day. WE WON! They gave her another week without prejudice and tracked her progress from after her infection, not before. Our team would not have been able to work so fast if we had not had a rapport and/or if no one was there to stand their ground.

It’s not just me, I’ve seen it in so many family and care advocates that it continually astounds me, but it definitely makes me so proud! Go Patients, Go Caregivers! Go Team!

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#A4Amonth Portrait Post

Posted in #A4Amonth,Newer Posts by Healthier Stay on August 21, 2012
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I have decided to take part in the WEGOHealth blog carnival this week because I think this is a fantastic and fun way to blog. I have also had a very harsh year and I would like to use this opportunity to kick start my blogging again. I’ve missed you guys!

August 21 • Day 1: Portrait Post
Write a descriptive portrait of your loved one. Share qualities that make them, them – and include an image! (A photo or
creative work of them!)

I am writing about the two people I have advocated for the most {other than myself} my parents, Melissa and Dick. It may be a bit different from other caregiver blogs because they both passed away due to their illness. My father left us in 2005, and my mother just moved on in May of this year.

 

These are pictures of my parents as I remember them, healthy, vibrant, happy and enjoying their lives whole heartedly. I was privileged enough to be there to help my Dad as he fought Crohn’s disease and my Mom as she battled Cancer. I learned to be the person and writer I am by watching how they lived, loved, raised a family, fought for their strength and how they left us. I learned to advocate for myself through my Dad and I learned how to fight for and care for others from my Mumsy. These lessons are etched into my soul.

I have to admit, my grief is still suffocating me and I’m crying on my laptop right now, so this will be a short entry. Before I finish, I want to explain something to the other caregivers out there: We fight for our patients and we fight the disease and we do all that we can to navigate the healthcare world, but fighting until the end is NOT a failure. We are there to help them in any situation we can, up to and including having their backs until they go. It’s depressing as hell, I know, but it’s the truth. Do your best, give it your all and never regret being there for your patient!


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