Work is always interesting and dynamic, but I am grateful that the winter is over and the weight of its perils are off our shoulders. That being said, there is still a lot going on in our little world on the streets and programs of Pittsburgh.
I have been navigating the process of kidney failure and dialysis with one of my clients as of late. Working with him through this process reminds me just how challenging it can be to navigate the health care system. He was attending multiple appointments in different places for weeks, in and out of the hospital with imbalanced electrolytes and dehydration all while trying to learn and implement a ‘renal diet’ and manage medications. It is a wonder to me how anyone does this alone. Thankfully now he is well set up and no longer completely drained by his dialysis treatments. The chronic illnesses of our clientele cannot be ignored.
We have another resident on hospice for cancer and this experience is much more seamless than the dialysis one for us case managers. Not only have we worked with this hospice program before, but they happen to be incredible at their jobs. They are attentive, patient centered and laid back. It is a pleasure to work with them and finally feel like I can leave the side of our resident without worrying that he will be judged, misunderstood or offended by the care of medical professionals. My biggest qualm this year has been the maltreatment of the homeless in acute care settings. It nauseates me to see the judgement on the faces of pink clad residents, the eye rolls of triage nurses and the unmasked disgust of PCA’s who have to help someone get cleaned up. They are why we spend hours waiting in the ER, why I do not leave the side of my clients if they let me, why we bring people to hospital across town just because they will not treat the client like a rat in their kitchen.