Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

New Podcast Chat with Sean Herriott

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicSean Herriott is the former host of Relevant Radio (Catholic Radio)’s morning program, “Morning Air.” Over the past several years, I was a regular guest on Sean’s program, talking about health and faith an all sorts of topics. He now has his own podcast, “Faith As a Second Language,” and I am a guest on his latest podcast. We covered a lot of subjects, but especially pain, loss and faith as a support – with a good mixture of humor, too! If you’d like to listen in, here’s the link:

http://www.hipcast.com/podcast/HtK5Kh2Q

Blessings for the day!

Maureen

Chronic Illness: Too Many Moving Parts? Here’s Help!

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author Pic  This doc wants bloodwork and so does that doc, but the appointments aren’t on the same day, so you end up with 2 sticks instead of one. Then, the first doc needs more blood and another test, and a third doc insists you need another test, but at a different facility from the first one, so you end up criscrossing the city…on a hot, blazingly sunny day…at lunch time…and you’re running out of gas, to boot. The following day, one doc orders two tests, but your insurance won’t cover both if they’re done on the same day, so you have to schedule in another visit to accommodate the billing system.

Sometimes, we might have one doc appointment a month. Other times, we have multiple appointments and by the end of the month, our arms are sore, our patience is depleted, and we want to sleep until, well, the next appointment all-too-soon!

Irk!

The more chronic conditions one has, the more complicated it can be to get the care, tests, and information we need to managing the whole picture effectively. (Notice, I didn’t say, “Efficiently?”, for in many cases, efficiency is nonexistent!)

Is there anything we can do to streamline such situations? Sometimes…

One tremendous blessing for me is to have held onto the same, key members of my medical team. Communication is so much easier if I see the same doctor visit after visit, and that they know and respect each other makes communication easier between them, too. I’ve often met with one doc and gotten his orders for bloodwork, then gone to another doc who will draw the blood and added the first doc’s orders to the second, so that there’s only one needle stick.

Understanding the tests and what is or is not covered (and how) by insurance – ahead of time! – makes “day of” problems less likely to occur, and it also means that you, the patient, will be more knowlegable about what is being ordered and why.

Good organization also helps, both on the patient’s part and on the doc’s part. So, when you go to the doc appointment, you have a list of questions, meds, and symptoms, at the ready – and you share this with all of your doctors so they, too, know what’s going on and what your concerns are.

Yes, often there can seem to be too many moving parts to managing our care. But with some patience and advanced planning, we can help things move more smoothly!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

TLC Tuesday: Look for Light

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of bigjom/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of bigjom/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“One more doctor visit” bringing you down?

Last week, I had two doc visits in one day, both of which were delayed and difficult. But, at the second one, a “God thing” happened –

An older woman, using a walker, sat down beside me in the waiting room. She was carefully and nicely dressed, but clearly worn and tired. After a few moments, she asked me,

“Have you been waiting long?”

“About forty-five minutes.”

She grimaced. “When was your appointment?

I sighed. “Forty-five minutes ago. The doctor is running late.”

The woman grimaced again, rearranged herself in the chair, and started to talk about how “This isn’t right.” “No doctor should make you wait that long.” “I can’t believe this…”

I was not thrilled with waiting, either, but complaining was not bound to speed things up. How to turn this situation around?

I prayed up. And looked down.

First, at my blue and white slip-on shoes. And then at my neighbors…very same, blue and white slip-on shoes!

I caught her eye. I smiled. I pointed down at her feet. She looked down, her grimace turning to a puzzled look. I pointed at my feet. She looked.

And she recognized the shoes and broke into a big grin.

“At least we both have excellent taste,” I said, smiling.

“Why, yes. Yes we do.”

And we began to talk about how comfortable the shoes are and other things – lighter and of light.

When the nurse called me into the inner office, my neighbor, still smiling, said, “God bless you.”

Today, TLC Tuesday, look for even the slimmest glimmer of light in a dark place. Fan that flame into true Light, until even the darkness cannot compete!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Chronic Illness: When Everyone Has Their Own Ideas

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Don’t you just know, one person’s rheumatoid arthritis is another’s “Oh, it’s just aches and pains?” Or, one person’s propensity to infection is another’s “Don’t worry, I only have a little cold, you can be around me.” Or, one person’s furry pet allergies is another’s, “Oh, really, no one’s every complained about Fifi or Fido before!”

Back when my high school class went on its class trip, my two roommates wanted to smoke in our hotel room. They knew that I had severe asthma, but, they thought, it would surely be all right for them to smoke if they brought along powerful disinfecting spray and used that to “cover up” the smoke! Oh, not so very, very much!

Yes, often, no matter how well we explain to other people what our situation is and what our restrictions and “special needs” are, others have their own – and very often downright uninformed, silly (or stupid) ideas.

What to do…what to do…

First, of course, we have to do what’s healthful for us. If we have to explain, again, we do that. If we have to leave the situation, well, we do that, too. (In high school, I asked for and was given another room.) Yes, it might create a “kerfluffle,” but, well, that’s life with chronic illness.

Second, well, we have to keep in mind that, although we know what’s going on with us health-wise, most people are just not “in the trenches” like we are. Try explaining lupus to someone who has no experience with it, and watch carefully for the eyes glazing over and confusion to set in. So, to a great extent, “spreading the word” wisely and well is, yes, up to us. How we communicate – and when and to whom – can make a huge difference in helping others understand and act appropriately.

Third, even if you are patient, kind, and very articulate, be prepared for someone to be offended. Fifi or Fido’s owner might still harbor the grudge against you if you hesitate to coo over his or her beloved pets. The cold-carrier might still think you are being anti-social for not coming close. And those high school classmates might, well, never “get it.”

But you? Hang tough, brother and sister. Keep the faith – and stay your course!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Previous Posts

TLC Tuesday: Feeling De-feet?
Ah, the bliss of putting my feet up! Throughout the day, our feet take a beating. And if we have joint issues "higher up," in the knees, for example, or the hips, thos

posted 1:42:47am Oct. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Food for Thought: Refresh Me, Lord
Many of you know Lisa J. Copen as the Founder of RestMinistries, an online resource for people living with chronic pain and illness of the invisible kind (www.restministries.org). Each year, Lisa sponsors an "Invisible Illness Awareness Week," and I've been honored to participate in it several tim

posted 1:32:33am Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

A Praying Spirit: Do you forget, sometimes?
I was looking forward to the day ahead. The sun was shining, my usual aches and pains were at a minimum. I started my morning routine, all happy and uplifted. And then, wham

posted 1:04:40am Oct. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Chronic Illness and Pain: The Gift of Planning Ahead
Next year's birthday cards - done! This year's holiday gifts - done! Yummy chicken soup prepared and in the freezer ahead of cold and flu season - done! I've often written about how hard it is to make firm commitments to things in the future. Chronic illness and pain have a way of interferi

posted 6:59:57pm Oct. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Chronic Illness: Does Ebola Scare You?
It seemed so far away. Until now. As I type this, a second person in Dallas has been diagnosed with ebola, and more are being monitored.  People are talking about it on the news and elsewhere, and asking the question, "How bad can this get?" And those of us with chronic illness, and especially thos

posted 1:40:36am Oct. 15, 2014 | read full post »


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