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Airports, Doctors, and other Caregiver Hazards

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
November 30, 2022 3:30 am

Airports, Doctors, and other Caregiver Hazards

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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November 30, 2022 3:30 am

Tips on reducing the drama when flying or dealing with doctors. 

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As caregivers, we have so many things that hit us all the time, and we can't always nail these things down by ourselves. Who helps you?

What does that look like? I'm Peter Rosenberg, and I want to tell you about a program I've been a part of now for almost 10 years, and that's Legal Shield. For less than $30 a month, I have access to a full law firm that can handle all kinds of things.

If I get a contract put in front of me, if I got a dispute with something, doesn't matter. I've got a full law firm that can help me navigate through all the sticky wickets that we as caregivers have to deal with. Power of attorney, medical power of attorney, I will.

Every bit of it. As a caregiver, we need someone who advocates for us, and that's why I use Legal Shield. So go to caregiverlegal.com. Look on the left-hand side where it says Legal Shield. Just select it.

It turns purple. It says, pick a plan. It'll give you some options.

If you don't need any of those, don't select them. Check out and be protected starting today. That's caregiverlegal.com. Welcome to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio.

This is Peter Rosenberg. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. How are you doing? What's going on with you?

That is the question for us as caregivers. How are you doing? You see, healthy caregivers make better caregivers. Are you healthy? Do you feel healthy? Are you moving towards healthiness? Are you making healthy decisions today? Notice I'm not saying happy because I think sometimes we get confused with happy and healthy. Healthy is attainable. Happiness is episodic, but healthiness in a healthy lifestyle, spiritually, emotionally, physically, professionally, financially, relationship-wise, all of those things are available to us to make healthier decisions.

Healthy caregivers, of course, make better caregivers. That's the point of this program. Hopeforthecaregiver.com. I want to address something very quickly.

There's a video out. I put it in our Hope for the Caregiver group. You're welcome to go out and join and be a part of it.

As a member of this audience, you get automatic access to that. It's a free Facebook group, Hope for the Caregiver. I put a video of a conference I did the other day in Baltimore, Maryland. It was a great time. It was a Zoom conference, which I like those because I can still stay here and be a caregiver at home while doing these things.

We had a pretty good crowd there too online at Zoom, which is different. It takes a little bit of getting used to, but we had a good time doing it. I wanted to share something about that. I don't spend a lot of time talking about tips on this program, caregiving tips, because I figured once you got it, you got it. A lot of people do spend time on that.

They have all kinds of seven things you can do as a dementia caregiver kind of thing, and that's great. There's so many resources out there, and once you got it, you got it. Where I focus on this program is really equipping people to withstand the day-to-day onslaught of things that we don't own. We're constantly having to fight against the resentment, the guilt, the fear, the despair, all those kinds of things, because if our hearts are settled, then we make better decisions.

But if our heart's a train wreck, then we make lousy decisions. That's where I land on that particular issue. A friend of mine said, you just assume that a lot of people know how to do some of these things that you just rattle off that you do every day, and you might want to give some thought to that. I said, okay.

He's a very close friend of mine. I said, you know what? If you bring it up, then it needs to be brought up. There are things that I do and have been doing as a caregiver for so long that I mistakenly think that it doesn't have maybe as much meaning to talk about to other people because it seems so mundane to me. The things that I struggle with daily are those matters of the heart, of keeping your head and your heart calmer.

But you know what? Part of that is learning to do some of these tasks. So I'm going to, if you'll indulge me, I'm going to divert into a couple of those things for a little bit today. Then I've got a special part of the program I'm going to bring to you, the back half of the program.

One of those things is just travel. And I'm getting ready to head back to Denver with Gracie. She's going to have her, that I can count, 84th operation. They're going to take some screws out of her femur.

She broke it a year and a half ago. When they repaired it, not in Denver, they repaired it in another hospital in Montana, they put longer screws in there to anchor it, which is what they're supposed to do into that rod that goes into the femur. But when you have an amputee who wears a prosthesis, that thing is going to squeeze a little bit.

And they didn't take that into account. And so the screws are too long and they need to come out because it's putting undue pressure and sharp, sharp pain when she wears her prosthetic limb. So we're going to take that out. And I don't know how long she'll have to recover from this particular surgery. Hopefully it's not too long because they're not having to do much more than just take it out. But there is pain involved.

And with Gracie, there's always things that can go kind of haywire. But I'm planning for the trip. I'm staying at a friend who said, well, what are you going to do while you're in Denver? Are you going to have a car? And I said, no, we have, we Uber. We have a guy that we met through Uber who was a wonderful man. And he, uh, we contacted him ahead of time and he'll come and also drive us. He does all kinds of car service stuff and he'll come and drive us from the airport to the hotel.

The hotel is right across the street from the hospital. We get, um, there's, they have a restaurant in the hotel and then they have, uh, we can always Uber eats and do all kinds of things like that. So we just learned to do this.

You put apps on your phone, you use technology to do it. And as Groucho Marx said, it's so easy. A child of five can do it.

Somebody get me a child of five. So if you don't know how to do those things, there's somebody that can teach you and it makes your life a lot easier. I have all of my apps on my phone for the, for flying and for hotel accommodations, checking in. I can tell them exactly what time I'm going to be there. And I I know the kind of hotel that I need to get for Gracie and the combinations thereof and what we need to do when we get there and how to get, uh, depending on the weather, uh, the, the, we're right across the street, but I'm not going to push her to wheelchair because if there's snow or whatever, so we'll just get a rideshare to do that. So there's all kinds of ways that technology has made this a little easier being in a different city.

I don't know what's going to happen if she's going to need to stay in the hospital at night, or it's supposed to be outpatient, but with Gracie, you never know. So I have multiple contingency plans and I can maneuver at a moment's notice on this. I have to be mobile. And this is where I use technology to help me do these things. Uh, my, uh, flying down on the airline I'm flying down on, it's very easy to change the flight. The hotel, I have a rewards program with them and they're very accommodating with me because of that. And I get to know the manager of the hotel because we go to the same hotel.

We do the same thing. All those things go into making this trip easier and less stressful. And that's kind of the whole point. Getting to the airport with Gracie is not an easy trick. And I will consolidate our packing to make sure that we don't have, um, checked bags because we're just going down there for hopefully just two nights, maybe a third if we need to. But I don't want to have checked bags because that adds more stuff that I've got to do to haul through the airport and, or to get to it. So little things like that, you pack very much accordingly. You, you get streamlined. And, and if you have a question that this prompts, please go out to my website, hopeforthecaregiver.com or to the Facebook group at Hope for the Caregiver, join it and post a question on travel tips and so forth.

But I helped Gracie get all of her stuff, you know, as tightly organized as possible so that we are compact and mobile because we have to make changes so quickly. I learned a long time ago that I don't have to spend enormous amount of money to do this well. You just have to think through it and you always get a medical rate.

Um, if particularly if you're staying near a hospital, they usually have a medical rate. So ask for one. I mean, the answer is always no to you ask, you know, and when you get a, a car service, if you're not used to doing that kind of stuff, make sure you know what kind of car you're going to get that shows up because it's got to accommodate a wheelchair and getting in and out of the car, all those kinds of things. Um, on my Uber profile, I'm in my, um, martial arts uniform.

I have a second degree black belt. So I put that picture on there so they know upfront who they're dealing with. I figured, why not? You know, cause safety is also a big issue. A lot of times I'll do things like, um, get Gracie's hair washed while we're there on the road with, uh, you know, one of the local franchises of all these different places that you just go in there and walk in and get, get her hair washed.

Cause it's easier than for her to try to do it. Sometimes, even in a hotel with handicap accessibility, those stuff, Gracie has beautiful hair and it, you know, but it requires a little bit of help and her, you know, shoulders and back and arms are all always hurting. So those are little things that you can do to make your trip a little easier.

Yes, it costs money, but it doesn't have to cost a lot of money. And so that's, that's a travel tip that you can do when you, you get there and plenty of time at the airport so that you're not scrambling to get through security. I would highly recommend and get TSA pre-checked if you haven't already, if you travel a lot, uh, it makes it a little bit easier and they will work with you, but you have to be able to articulate what your needs are and let them know that you mean business.

I usually get a little crosswise with the TSA at some major airports invariably, but you know, that's just part of it. That's kind of the world we live in. If you want, I'll take, I'll go a little deeper and talk about dealing with doctors when we come back from the break. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is hope for the caregiver, healthy caregivers make better caregivers. We'll be right back. Welcome back to hope for the caregiver.

This is Peter Roseburg. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. We're so glad that you're with us. We're talking a little bit about some tips today. I don't normally do this, but I was specifically asked by a friend of mine to address some of these things. He said, I just get overwhelmed thinking about all the day-to-day stuff you do.

And it may be that other people are feeling the same way. And I thought, well, okay, if you want to know, I'll, I'll tell you how I do it. And then if that helps you, then I'm very glad because that's the whole point of this is to equip you. And I hope that these things will help alleviate some of the day-to-day stress you have, particularly if you have to, like in the last block, we talk about travel and the more prep work you do, the more stuff you have on your phone, the more organized you are, the smoother this thing is going to go.

The world has moved into that direction. And if you don't know how to do these things, it's a good idea to start learning how to do them. Putting a rideshare app on your phone is not hard. Once you got it, you got it.

And it'll change your life. If you live in a major urban area. Now, you know, you have Uber in cities.

Well, I'm way out here in middle of Montana. We have Goober, you know, our rideshare involves a dog sled. So, but when I go to cities, I need to be able to have some type of transportation.

If I'm flying in, I really don't want to rent a car. And that's just more drama that I need to deal with when you got rideshare. So please take advantage of these things that are out there, get it on your phone and get somebody to teach you.

If you don't know how to do it, if you need some extra questions, go out to our Facebook group, post, whatever questions you have, we'll be glad to answer it there. There's so many people there that do this all the time and I moderate the whole group. Okay. That's, it's my group. So it'll never go off the rails with that.

Or if it does, I will act swiftly, but please take advantage of that. The other thing is dealing with doctors. Cause he asked me, my friend asked me, he said, well, you know, dealing with all the doctors you deal with. And I've talked about this a little bit before on the show, but I will circle back to it again, because I think this time of year, particularly, there's a lot of surgeries that are happening. You're you've met your deductible, you're getting in some things.

These things happen this time of year. And so it's a good it's a good idea to know some tips on dealing with doctors and their staff. One of them is, is that you are polite, but not subservient.

I call this a three P's of dealing with a doctor. One of them is you'd be polite, but not subservient. Okay.

You're not going there with your hat in your hand. You're there to exchange goods and services. And you, because of your diligence, have some type of medical insurance, healthcare coverage that allows the services of this medical provider to be paid for.

Some of it comes out of your pocket with your deductible or your copay, but all of it is being transferred from one entity to another. And you are responsible for all that. Even if you're not writing the check, you're still the person responsible for making sure it gets done. So you can be polite, but you're not subservient. This is a transaction.

This is a business transaction. And you're not there to, in any way, be a doormat or be treated poorly. And I've said often on this program, we caregivers are high functioning multitaskers. We are very good at what we do, at being able to navigate a lot of things.

We're assimilating a lot of information in real time that's very, very quick. And we're all doing this without any kind of formal training really, for the most part. I mean, some in this audience are nurses and doctors and healthcare providers of all different kinds.

But for the most part, we're just civilians, if you will, doing the best we can to keep up. But we have caregiver authority. We may not know the science, but we know our loved one. How many of you all would say that after 36 years of marriage, I'm fairly adept at saying, I know Gracie. Okay. Well, I do.

And I recognize things and behaviors and warning signs and other issues that I can raise my hand on and say, Hey, we got an issue here. How many of you all think that her doctors listen to me? They do. They really do.

I've had more than one physician say, what do you think? And these are not inconsequential people. I mean, surgeons and all types of different specialists. They are very respectful to me as her long-time caregiver, because they recognize that I've been looking after her since most of them were in junior high school or even earlier. So they recognize that I bring a wealth of information and I'm able to articulate it. So I treat them politely, but I'm not subservient by any stretch of the imagination. Now, sometimes I'll get somebody that'll get a little bit snippy with me. And that's when I will play that card. And I don't mind playing it.

And you may mind playing it and it may be awkward for you. And the first couple of times it usually is, but after a while you realize, no, I'm not taking this because you know what? When things go wrong, those people that are snippy, how many of them show up to clean up a mess? It's you doing it for the most part, particularly when you're at home.

So the margin for error is slim and we don't have time to be somebody else's doormat or to deal with all the normal nonsense. And those of you who are regular listeners to this program have heard me many times talk about how I've bypassed some of that stuff. But I also get to know them. I want them to know me and I want to know them. I want them to trust me that I am engaged in this process. I get to know all of her pharmacists, all of her primary care doctors, the nurses, the lab workers, all of them, they all know who I am. And I make a point to make sure they know who I am, that I am engaged and that they can call me and that I'm watching this thing. I try to stay above it so that I don't get down into the weeds too much and tell them how to do their job and micromanage.

And I say that, let me give a little caveat that I've done that before. I've done that many times and it's caused more problems because sometimes they'd rather deal with me than with Gracie because I'm very articulate and I'm concise. She's always uncomfortable. She's in pain. She's in distress. She doesn't feel good. None of us want to have a conversation with people and do all that kind of stuff when we don't feel good.

And she never really feels good. So she needs somebody with, you know, ample communication skills and I have them and so do you. And we have to practice at it, but there are also times when we have to know when to put our hands over our mouth. And that's an area that I've struggled with many times. So the second P is dealing with the pharmaceuticals. Stay out of that conversation as much as possible.

Just deal with logistics, but that's it. Our opinion, while certainly based on experience and intelligence is not always needed. And so you use words like, in my experience, not, I think you should. Let's get the words, I think you should, or you need to, or she needs to, or he needs to, out of our vocabulary and replace it with, in my experience, or I have learned, or this is what I've witnessed, this is what I've watched, those kinds of things. It's much better than to give our opinion.

We serve ourselves and our loved one better if we avoid using words like should and need, unless we're speaking in first person singular, I need such and such, as opposed to you need to do such and such. That is never effective. I've never found that to be effective.

It's very off-putting actually. I don't like it when people do it to me. I mean, think about it, if somebody came up to you and said, hey, you need to do such and such. Well, you need to do such and such.

Well, who do you think you are kind of thing? I mean, that's how we would respond. Well, let's be respectful with this, but let's also recognize that there are times to put our hands over our mouth when it comes to pharmaceuticals. And it's not something that is easy to do, particularly when you have so many things going on, but that's why you spend time getting to know your pharmacist.

That's why you do regular inventories, regular checks. You print out a new list of updated meds and have that ready at a moment's notice. I keep mine in the cloud. I have a document in the cloud that is updated at least once a quarter that I can download to my phone or email to someone else very quickly. And as a medical provider, I'll be in an office and I don't have time to take all this paper. I hate carrying a bunch of paper. And so I keep everything on the cloud, not on my laptop, in the cloud where I can access it from anywhere in the world if I have to at any point.

And I've had to do that from West Africa while Gracie was here in the States. So these are important things to remember, to use this technology to work to your advantage and be willing to engage with these providers, but don't tell them how to do their job. Ask them what they think. What are your thoughts? Here's what I've witnessed.

What are your thoughts? And then you start building a team because ultimately you're the team leader here. You are in the airline industry. They call it the pilot in command. You're the pilot in command when it comes to your loved one's care on many occasions, not every occasion. You're not in charge of every aspect of the life, but when it comes to these sorts of logistics, you are.

And pilots do what they call cockpit resource management, CRM. What do I have to work with here? Okay.

What are the resources that I have? And some of the resources you have are technology. So please use it. The other thing is when you go to deal with doctors, it's a professional meeting.

So treat it as such. If you are meeting with a banker, your attorney, or anybody else, politicians or whatever, business leaders, you're brokering a deal. This is a professional meeting. The same thing in that exam room.

It may be very familiar to you. You may be used to it, but dress for it, be prompt for it, be ready for it, make notes for it. So be professional. So stay out of the pharmaceuticals, be polite without being subservient and be professional as you do these things. And you're going to find that this is going to smooth this process out. It's challenging to do the things that we do.

There's no need to make it harder by what you call unforced errors, by showing up tardy or unprepared. I don't know what, you know, I don't know. We're just here. What do you want us to do?

I mean, that's not a way to talk to a doctor. Here are the thoughts we have for today. Here's the top priorities today that we need to walk out of here with some kind of action step.

And by the way, I ask that question a lot. What's the next action step? They said, well, we're going to wait three weeks. Okay. In three weeks, I'm calling. I'm making a note right now.

I'm going to call you in three weeks. Now, admittedly, Gracie's situation is really extreme. I mean, we deal with so many different doctors, so many different challenges with her, but the principle is still the same. You be prepared, you be professional, you be polite. You stay out of the conversations about pharmaceuticals when it gets down into the nuts and bolts. You let the professionals do that. I was a lousy student in chemistry.

The last thing I want to do is practice on Gracie. I'm a musician, but I know her, and it's always appropriate to ask questions. And it's really, really, really important to write them down. If you have to keep a journal, if you have to keep a journal with it or whatever, track it, however you, whatever works for you, but keep a record of it. And don't just trust that other people are going to remember it the way it needs to be remembered. Trust, but verify, as Reagan said.

So always verify it. These are little things that I do. I hope this has been helpful. This is Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. We've got more to go.

Don't go away. You've heard me talk about Standing with Hope over the years. This is the prosthetic limb ministry that Gracie envisioned after losing both of her legs. Part of that outreach is our prosthetic limb recycling program. Did you know that prosthetic limbs can be recycled?

No kidding. There is a correctional facility in Arizona that helps us recycle prosthetic limbs. And this facility is run by a group out of Nashville called CoreCivic. We met them over 11 years ago and they stepped in to help us with this recycling program of taking prostheses and you disassemble them. You take the knee, the foot, the pylon, the tube clamps, the adapters, the screws, the liners, the prosthetic socks, all these things we can reuse and inmates help us do it. Before CoreCivic came along, I was sitting on the floor at our house or out in the garage when we lived in Nashville and I had tools everywhere, limbs everywhere, and feet, boxes of them and so forth. And I was doing all this myself and I'd make the kids help me.

And it got to be too much for me. And so I was very grateful that CoreCivic stepped up and said, look, we are always looking for faith-based programs that are interesting and that give inmates a sense of satisfaction. And we'd love to be a part of this.

And that's what they're doing. And you can see more about that at standingwithhope.com slash recycle. So please help us get the word out that we do recycle prosthetic limbs. We do arms as well, but the majority of amputations are lower limb.

And that's where the focus of standing with hope is. That's where Gracie's life is with her lower limb prostheses. And she's used some of her own limbs in this outreach that she's recycled. I mean, she's been an amputee for over 30 years.

So you go through a lot of legs and parts and other types of materials, and you can reuse prosthetic socks and liners if they're in good shape. All of this helps give the gift that keeps on walking. And it goes to this prison in Arizona where it's such an extraordinary ministry.

Think with that. Inmates volunteering for this. They want to do it.

And they've had amazing times with it. And I've had very moving conversation with the inmates that work in this program. And you can see again, all of that at standingwithhope.com slash recycle. They're putting together a big shipment right now for us to ship over. We do this pretty regularly throughout the year as inventory rises and they need it badly in Ghana. So please go out to standingwithhope.com slash recycle and get the word out and help us do more. If you want to offset some of the shipping, you can always go to the giving page and be a part of what we're doing there.

We're purchasing material in Ghana that they have to use that can't be recycled. We're shipping over stuff that can be. And we're doing all of this to lift others up and to point them to Christ. And that's the whole purpose of everything that we do. And that is why Gracie and I continue to be standing with hope. Standingwithhope.com.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-30 11:52:50 / 2022-11-30 12:04:26 / 12

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