Getting organized at home …

By | December 23, 2014

Over the next few days, I’ll try and get caught up on reporting about my hospital experience. It was a mixed experience, certainly not all positive but I had some pretty terrific nurses and nurse assistants, and a pretty terrific husband caregiver too – which made it go much better than it otherwise would have.

When we got home one of the biggest challenges was figuring out all the medications and a process that allows us to create an efficient process. I can now better appreciate why it felt like the nurses were giving me various pills on an almost hourly basis. Someone asked how many? I’m at 17 different meds, with 11 different dose times – the goal in setting up a schedule was to optimize pain medications and reduce the number of times in the day I’m taking drugs, while still respecting various drug interactions. This isn’t something that is easily done by the pharmacy, as the pharmacy doesn’t deal with all the over-the-counter meds that are also prescribed (e.g. I’m prescribed certain vitamins which aren’t provided by the pharmacy). I think this pictures shows well how Scott was feeling when he first started to tackle the problem.

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After several hours and a phone call to the last floor I was staying at in the hospital, he was able to prioritize drug interactions (it was impossible to meet some of the requirements), and create a spreadsheet of when to take which meds. It actually would have been a lot more useful if the hospital had printed out my medication schedule for the last 48-hours I was in the hospital. That would have given Scott something to work with. I cannot imagine how the average person could even manage this!

Initially we had not included my asthma inhalers. In the hospital, a separate respiratory tech would visit me (I think twice a day), to give me one of my asthma inhalers – actually the one they gave me was different than what I normally take – the hospital often would make substitutes to align with their systems and availability. Since it wasn’t what I normally took, I didn’t think about it when I got home. Then after dinner, I suddenly had an asthma attack. I had Scott and my in-laws rushing around the house trying to find inhalers and pillows and whatever to try to reduce the pain induces with the sudden onset of coughing and wheezing. It was NOT fun. I then realized why they were proactively giving me an inhaler while in hospital. So, now we have added proactive inhalers to my list of meds…

So far, so good …

 

2 thoughts on “Getting organized at home …

  1. jennymackness
    Fantastic news that you are OK, despite all the difficulties. Wishing you a very speedy recovery and all the best for 2015.
    Reply
  2. Scott Johnson
    Great to hear you are at home! We were lucky when I was released to be sent directly to Home Care for a translation of the pharmaceutical puzzle. Can’t imagine doing it on my own:-(
    Recognize that look on Scott’s face, after this filing dual tax returns will never seem difficult again.
    Reply

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