Home Health Care with IBD

When I was discharged from the hospital after my year-long stay, they had to send me home with a twenty-four-hour nurse.  A nurse? Why would I need a nurse?  The reason why I needed a nurse was because I was not capable of doing things on my own.  I needed constant medical care as I began my journey to get back on my feet.  The major reason I needed a nurse was because of the constant draining of my wound manager that was placed over my large fistula.  It literally looked like there was a trash bag over my wound.  Since bile would come out of my stomach and spill in the bag, my nurse would suction out the bile.  It was a pretty gross experience, but it had to be done.

She also kept the wound form getting infected.  She would clean around the wound a few times a day.  I remember when the wound would leak, allowing the bile to hit my skin.  It would burn so bad, that I would scream at the top of my lungs.  But my nurse would be right there to clean it off my skin as soon a possible.

Additional daunting tasks she had to do included walking me to the bathroom, bathing me, and helping me brush my teeth.

We are talking about normal every day activities that before I got sick was able to do without the blink of an eye.

Getting my fluids at home was just as important as getting them while I was in the hospital.  My nurse made sure that my IV fluid that replaced my electrolytes was properly hook up every day.  She made sure that my PICC line site was clean and free of bacteria.  She was able to draw blood every few days to send out to my doctors.  Finally, she was able to come with me to my doctor’s appointments.

At first I felt weird.  Even though I had gone through nursing before, it was weird because I was in the comfort of of my own home.  Wearing adult diapers was bad enough, but somebody watching me go to the bathroom was even worse.  She said, “I have to examine your stool and write down notes.”  At first I thought this lady had lost her mind.  Over time, I go so used to it; I didn’t even realized that she was watching me.

I really had a great experience with home health care.

It was a great transition back into the real world.  She helped me start walking again and complete different exercises.  She also prepared meals for me.  If I did not have home health care after my long stay in the hospital, my parents would have never been able to take care of me.  We all learned so much from her.

My family and she grew very close.  When I was discharged from her care, I had become a functional man in society.  She was able to join us on a IBD awareness walk.  I think about her everyday.  She was the best!

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