Recover in Comfort with Home Health Support
Hi, I'm Naomi Johnson, and I live in Arlington with my husband. I'm kind of a full-time volunteer. In small towns, there aren't that many people that aren't employed full-time. And there's some of us that are able to volunteer. And I do a lot of that a lot of different organizations.
How did you find out about home health services?
Well, it was very happenstance, I happened to sit across from Sheri Kleinjan, one of your home health care nurses, just randomly at a high school graduation party this spring and we were playing catch up with each other. And I happened to tell her I was going to be having a knee procedure done, a total knee replacement. And right away, Sheri didn't miss that marketing opportunity. She said, Naomi, have you ever thought about having home health care? And I paused for a moment because I thought, well, maybe I don't really qualify for that. Or maybe because I live in the country. No, she said no to all of those concerns. And so, when I got to my hospital in Sioux Falls, that was a request that I made of one of the nurses there when she was planning my discharge. And that's how the whole process began.
What services did home health provide?
They, first of all, established a great comfort level. I knew my home health care nurse, Kris Zobel, she has been in Arlington just about as long as I have been. Then I believe my occupational therapist was Jamie. And then my physical therapist became Karla. And again, I like to visit with people, I like to ask about their stories. because number one, they're coming into my house, I want to know a little bit about them and what qualifies them to work with me. I apologized for having a dog in the house. Nobody seemed to be bothered about that. But the occupational went up the stairs with me, where my husband and I sleep and where our baths are at and such. And she double-checked my showering arrangement, offered to bring me a smaller bath chair that would fit better in my shower unit. Watched me go down the stairs, helped me with my walker, adjusted it a little bit. And the physical therapist, of course, we got to be real good buddies after two weeks period of time. And she did come I believe it was three times a week. Kris Zobel came twice a week. And I was a little squeamish, especially with Kris about having to change my own bandage. My husband probably would have done things like that. But that wasn't really something that he was comfortable with. Plus, I did come home with a pain pump. And it's a very tiny little wire. And I had to course take my necklace that they called it with me everywhere I went. And it did start to do a little bit of draining after it was almost time to be removed. So, I was so glad again for Kris, she was there, she took it out, changed my bandages a couple of times. So, I just felt like whoa, this is a drop-dead fabulous experience. And I didn't have to get dressed up and clean up and go anywhere. I was right at home.
How did the home health services keep you comfortable in your home?
Well, it helped me because there is no place like home, we all know that when we don't feel good, or there's something else that arises, you don't want to be around people, you don't want to try and be something that you're not. And when people have a major surgery, like what I did, and I did opt for total anesthesia, I know from past experience that it takes me a while to kind of really get all of that out of my system. So that's why it was just unbelievably positive, that I would become a recipient and not have to go out for a couple of weeks.
How did the nurses and therapists support you?
Well, they took an interest in me, I asked them as many questions as they asked of me. Never at any point in time did I feel uncomfortable, embarrassed. Maybe I wasn't having a good day, maybe I hadn't even brushed my teeth that far that morning, or something else that under regular circumstances, oh, you don't want anybody to run into you that way. But it was...I just can't emphasize enough the comfort level. My physical therapist certainly never did anything that hurt. She was very conscientious of my level of being able to do things. I just felt that she really cared. And she did work me though, she was not a piece of cake, let's say. I knew what I had to do with her. And I just thought the more I do what she tells me to do, the quicker I'm going to get back on my pins again and get to drive and get rid of the walker, get rid of the cane. And that's why I really felt that they cared about me.
What did you appreciate most about home health services?
I would say that they geared it to me, that they tuned in on me very quickly. Again, if I don't like something, I will ask you about it or I will question you and I was not afraid to do that with these three very professional women. So, I would say for anybody who is looking out there having an upcoming procedure, ask. They answered all of my questions. They went over meds. Actually, everyone went over meds and I appreciated that because for the occupational and the physical, if any of my meds are prone to cause dizziness or anything of that sort they needed to know that because that would affect my care as they were coming into my house. So, I have just A plus-plus grades. Because again, it was such a surprise to me. And it started way back at high school graduation, with just this chance meeting with Sherry, who was a great promoter who really opened the door for me I would never have thought of home health care on my own.
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