Help when it’s needed

Growing old together is such a beautiful experience. Each new day my bride and I find that our love for and devotion to each other grows stronger. When one of us becomes ill, the other willingly takes over household duties and lovingly provides care around the clock. “In sickness and in health.” We believe in this.

But what happens when the sick spouse experiences a problem that the well spouse is ill-equipped to fix? Unpleasant experiences in the past have demonstrated that a trip to the emergency room can be a dreadful experience and should be avoided If at all possible. Our primary physician is available part-time, only on certain weekdays.

During the past few days and nights, my dear bride has suffered disturbing reactions to a newly prescribed medication. We had begun to breathe easier as these showed signs of diminishing, but this morning, she began suffering different troubling symptoms and called me to her side for help. The problem persisted for about 15 minutes, then subsided. Whew.

But I am left with the crucial question that haunts me: To whom shall I turn when a problem arises that I can’t fix? I’m not medically trained.

We live several miles along a complicated route from the office of the specialist who currently is prescribing medications to help her sleep. Getting a message to him or his nurse can be a challenge, we have found.

Seeking a solution, we have just now entered into a new relationship with a physician who specializes in geriatric care and whose office hours run Monday through Friday. Our first appointment to see her is three weeks away. We fervently hope that she can become our primary medical provider. We are pinning our hopes on this physician, new to us, for an effective answer to our need, a reachable, knowledgeable professional who will take our call and offer compassionate help when we need it.

We are grateful that we live in an area known for its excellent medical care, and we have made good use of its availability through the years. But we haven’t found a workable solution to our current issue — whom to call when the loving spouse lacks the skill to fix the problem that suddenly occurs. I am certain that we are not alone in this.



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