Saturday, April 30, 2016

Hospital Visit

Good afternoon!

We received word from Tyler's home yesterday that he wasn't feeling very well.  Over about a 48 hour span he was barely eating and just seemed overly tired.

Here is where the teamwork I always talk about comes into play.  His agency did a great job communicating with us on what was happening.  At this point we began making coordinated decisions.  We consulted Tyler's doctor, got images of his belly, and ultimately the team decided an ER visit was the safest course of action.  Tyler's belly was firm and distended so the suspicion was that of a blockage of some sort.  

The hospital did a good job getting him back to be seen, and the ball was rolling.  The hospital staff worked pretty well with all of us and each situation was evaluated from all angles.

One important moment came when the doctors evaluated his X-rays.  The study showed a lot of gas throughout his intestines which was alarming to the doctors.  However, I know that his x-rays for years have shown a similar pattern, so I requested we pull those up and look at them together.  Immediately the thinking changed because while having that much gas is not nearly normal for almost anyone, it is for him.  Suddenly the thought of surgery was less likely.  They eventually found a blockage that was quickly resolved and the next day he was headed back to his home.

I have a tendency to look back on these things and evaluate what went right, and what didn't go as well as we would have hoped.  This is an important process for a caregiver so that each experience can hopefully be more successful than the last.  Here is what I learned:

1.  Make sure that a good communication plan is in place in case of medical emergency
2.  Assert yourself as an active participant in decision making
3.  Be well educated in test results and previous occurrences
4.  Offer concise and constructive opinions.  Make yourself an asset to the team
5.  Don't be afraid to disagree or want a better explanation.  It's your right
6.  No matter what happens be calm and polite.  Losing your emotions serves nothing

We were fortunate that this was a minor procedure and he should improve quickly.  But regardless of what was happening, I remembered to stay focused, calm, and engaged.  If you do this as a caregiver, you will be happier with the results.

Be well and God bless.   Tom

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  1. So glad to hear Tyler is on the mend; we missed worshiping with him at Zion on Sunday!


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