Vulnerability & Home Health Care

If you happened to miss Part 1 of this series, please read that first and it will lead you back to how I came to be involved in Home Health Care and how it has changed my everyday life:

In Part 1, I discussed how acute my new symptoms were when I recently became very ill. I feel comfortable with home health care, especially after realizing that I did/do currently truly need it.

A recent hospital visit

I was in the hospital for a myriad of reasons including malnutrition due to Crohn's disease, continuous dehydration, and altered mental status. The mental status was due to so many episodes of syncope because of the extremely low blood pressures I had been having after my first hospitalization and coming out of the ICU.

More on this topic

I know I mentioned this earlier, but in case you missed it, yes, you may have guessed it - it turned out to be a major onset of a POTS cycle that just hasn’t gotten better (well, quickly enough for me, anyway).

Unable to work due to complications

In fact, I’ll be honest, it was probably not even two weeks into home health care that I still thought it was absolutely ridiculous that I had to do physical therapy and occupational therapy. I was told I'd have to see my doctor in a month(!) to be cleared for work, likely with restrictions. I don't work a lot of hours, which for me is only 20-30 hrs a week.

When I was working, I was healthy, I was happy, but most importantly, I felt like I was making a difference again in serving some of our community's most vulnerable people - something I can relate to in a way, with the medical and mental struggles I have gone through and continue to push through. Being able to go back to work for the first time in 3 years was a huge milestone for me. I was so proud and felt filled with hope again.

A need for home health care

But that came crashing down pretty quickly and my big bubble of hope was suddenly popped when I wasn't able to recover appropriately after leaving the ICU. In fact, I became sicker than I had been in the ICU. Thus, the loads of people that were added on to my care team once home health became involved.

I have felt mad, I’ve felt angry and like many of us, I felt like my body completely betrayed me, and not just in one way. All of my illnesses quickly became affected by the widespread inflammatory response. But the moment I knew I absolutely needed these services wasn’t until I crashed very, very hard in our kitchen getting a glass of water in the middle of the night, just barely missing the cement, corner of the kitchen table and countertop, which would have all definitely cracked my head open.

Accepting defeat when sick

I remember the first time I had syncope due to coming off TPN so quickly and leaving the ICU. I remember it vividly like it was yesterday. I was coming up the stairs with a gallon of milk (hindsight is 20/20) and I fell coming up the stairs. I remember being 75 pounds soaking wet and carrying what felt like a massive jug of milk, which I probably should have left for mom or dad to do.

But when you're sick, sometimes you don't realize how sick you are... and you want to continue living the way it was before you got sick.

It’s hard to accept help.

It’s (expletive of your choice) hard to be vulnerable.

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