Home Health Care and Health Crises
In Part 1 of 3 in this series, I'll talk about how the after-effects of a health scare became long-term new health issues. I talked about dealing with the physical and emotional toll of having someone come into my home after a stint in the ICU.
After a pretty substantial health crisis quite recently, it was determined that I would be put on home health care, while I tended to other health conditions that presented extremely quickly and escalated even quicker. The truth is, I had a severe reaction to something so rare and shocking to me, that I still have not begun to absorb it all.
It's been emotional, it's been physically draining and I've spent my time bouncing in and out of hospital stays when I'm not recovering at home, hooked up to an IV pole, or completing Occupational and Physical Therapy at home with my home care therapists.
My first experience with home health care
Today, I’m considered home-bound. I have home health care come to me so I receive everything I need from home health care to help me change my PICC line dressing every week & I tend to my fluids, meds & flushes I administer myself. While this is definitely NOT an abnormal experience I've had before (having a PICC line or midline), home health is not something I’ve not gone through before.
I know how all of this works. But, while this is my first time with home health care, it’s also the first time I’ve felt so vulnerable. As someone who struggles with many illnesses, has many providers on my care team, and so much of it being handled on my own.. this is definitely a huge change of roles for me. Even in all of my professional job titles and my current career, I've been lucky enough to be a part of, I've always been a servant leader.
Letting go of the control
I've always been in control of most things that go on. Personally, that includes how my health is handled at home, by myself. This time has been such a challenging experience for me to be vulnerable enough to receive; help walking, taking showers, and definitely help to get off the floor when I've fallen, due to an illness many of you are aware of, known as POTS.
There’s plenty this time that’s come along with this dip in my health that I have not experienced. I’m experiencing a considerable dip in hydration and being unable to maintain fluids on my own without hydration therapy.
Trying to stay strong during this state of vulnerability
Just trying to stay afloat with calories and nutrition between significant weight fluctuations has been extremely difficult. I'm going through intense periods of constipation and other periods of diarrhea.
I feel this state of vulnerability hit me so strongly not only because work was taken away from me so quickly, but my health & my own personal goals that I planned to start in 2021. That part has really thrown me for a loop.
If there was anything 2020 taught me, it was to expect nothing... but I certainly didn’t expect to be bedridden for the beginning of this year, doing occupational therapy, physical therapy, AND receiving home health care. It's been was a major realization to me how ill I actually got so quickly.
For the first time in a long time, I was scared. I had to be willing to admit that to myself and my main caretaker, my partner, due to the seriousness of my current state of health (or lack thereof).
More to come in part two of this series.
What type of IBD have you been diagnosed with?