Advertisement

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Tips for Coping with a Loved One’s Long-Distance Health Crisis

The first day of February started off as a good day for me. Full of energy, lots of plans. A completely unexpected phone call in the midst of it changed that; my father was hospitalized with heart problems.

The irony was not lost on me; February 1 kicked off National Heart Health Awareness and Education Month, and many of the plans I mentioned earlier involved writing about the personal side of heart disease.  (You can imagine I said, “Good timing, Dad,” to myself. More than once!)

Advertisement

A family member or loved one’s long distance health crisis is not easy to cope with, but I thought some of the things I find helpful might help you, too, if you’re faced with much the same situation.

First: Try to get all the information you can about the situation, but understand that, especially at the beginning of a crisis, much may not be clear or known at all.  Try to pray for guidance about what to ask and say, and try to remain calm. Provide all the information you can to medical professionals there about any of your loved one’s pertinent health information so that those treating him or her are fully informed.

Second: Respect the expertise and knowledge of the health professionals involved in your loved ones’ treatment, and ask them what you may expect in terms of follow-ups and further communication. Also, when calling the hospital, for example, ask when is the best time to call (change of shifts, for instance, are difficult times to get updates because the staff nurses are rotating in and out of their shifts).

Advertisement

Third: Before you quickly jump on a plane and go, find out as much as you can, and try to determine what is best for you, especially if you have a chronic health condition or other health problem that requires extra attention and may be aggravated by sudden travel.

Fourth: Telephone communication can be difficult, especially if your loved one is under sedation, not able to speak clearly, or perhaps already has an underlying dementia that makes any talking problemmatic.  Before you panic about what you perceive to be your loved one’s condition based upon a phone call, speak with the charge nurse, guardian, or other person nearer to the situation and ask him or her to give you a better idea of your loved one’s condition.

Advertisement

Fifth: If there is a time difference involved, let everyone know, so that you can communicate effectively (those wee-hours calls might be necessary, but they can be difficult if one person is so groggy he or she can’t be as articulate as he or she could be!)

Fifth: Pray for your loved one, those treating him or her, and also for yourself. You need comfort, support, and strength. Being so far away can be frustrating and scary. Accept God’s grace to “be not afraid,” and trust that all will be in His hands. All will be well.

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

 

Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Comments are closed.



Previous Posts

Chronic Illness and Pain: Sisters, Please Read This!
f you have just been diagnosed with a serious chronic illness, or if you have been living with one for a long time, I just want to take time out to just say something, sister-to-sister:  Please do not be angry with yourself if you find that you ...

posted 8:32:25pm Aug. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: Do You Wonder? And, Why It Matters
The clouds in the sky. A flash of lightning. A baby's giggle. A "common" cold. When you see or hear these things, do you disect them scientifically? Or, do you wonder? What are the things in your life that you try to analyze? What are ...

posted 7:23:11pm Aug. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Pain: Feeling the Heat?
Searing. Exhausting. Oppressive. These and other words are often used to describe the high heat of the summertime. ...

posted 7:06:47pm Aug. 24, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: The Choices We Make
It might not seem as if we have many choices when our priority is to stave off flares, infections, and other consequences of ...

posted 6:51:15pm Aug. 22, 2015 | read full post »

Chronic Pain: While We Are Sleeping
When our pain is severe, it can be difficult to sleep. Even if we're able to doze, we often awaken with pain, and ...

posted 6:38:56pm Aug. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.