Today I picked up the printed copies of the next Newsletter that will be sent out next week. I took the printed copies into the office and as I hadn’t been there since last Thursday (today is Easter Sunday) there were fourteen messages on the telephone answering machine. In case there was any urgent issues to deal with I played them back and although there was no message that needed to be urgently dealt with I did have thank you message from a Case Worker from the Deaf and Blind Society.
The Case Worker, let’s call her Angela, had phoned me two weeks ago regarding one of their members who is aged 81. He was living in a Care Home in the UK and was both deaf and blind. For thirty odd years he had been receiving monthly injections from the visiting community nurse and was managing to live more or less a normal life.
“The problem is that his family have contacted me” Angela told me on the telephone. “A new doctor has insisted that his injections should be every three months rather than every month but the family notice a marked deterioration after just a month and by the time his three-monthly injection is due he is unable to get out of bed and doesn’t want to do anything other than just lay there. Once he’s had his injection he is fine for another four weeks and then he starts to deteriorate again. The family have asked me to contact you to see if you can help” she said.
It was the usual story of treatment according to a guideline rather than according to the need of the patient. I related how our members are being treated and I remember her remarking that “this is barbaric” which I agreed with. I told her that the only thing she could do was to ask the doctor for a “Therapeutic Trial” of monthly injections but her member would more than likely be offered anti0depressants. “Oh! They’ve already offered those” she replied.
Anyway, this morning there was a lovely answerphone message stating that the gentleman’s family have asked her to telephone me to thank me for all my help – “the doctor has agreed to the therapeutic trial for six months” she said before adding “the family are over the moon and are so grateful to you for your advice”.
Not a bad start to an Easter Sunday