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Medical procedures solo
Old 09-29-2012, 11:08 PM   #1
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Medical procedures solo

I'm an independent sort and as I age this is a problem I've pondered : How to get medical procedures done without the need to involve friends or family. There are hotels that cater to patients near medical centers offering shuttle service to and from treatment but what to do with personal property during the procedure, or some other problem. I have an elective procedure that I need to have done in the next 6 months. This would be a good time to test a system before something non-elective comes up. Any advice or experience?
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:44 PM   #2
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I don't have any advice or experience, but I need to know too, potentially in the near future and almost certainly sometime during the rest of my life.
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:51 PM   #3
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I haven't been in this particular situation regarding medical issues.

However I will suggest a pet sitter. Our pet sitters would do more than see to our pet's needs. They offered additional services as retrieving the mail, picking up newspapers, watering plants, etc...
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:50 AM   #4
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I feel your pain, even outpatient procedures, they often require that you have someone to both drive you home and be there with you. Nursing services seem to be geared for extended care, but I would try calling them anyways.
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:45 AM   #5
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Isn't one of the good things about RE is that we have the time to help each other?

I understand independence or not wanting to bug people, but I have no problem asking friends for a ride, pick up, or whatever because I've done the same for them.

We all need a hand sometime and one hand can wash the other. Beats dealing with some agency or strangers.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:09 AM   #6
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I see I am not the only one to be pondering this question. I don't have an answer either. Many routine exams won't be sheduled or performed unless there are arrangements made to be picked up afterwards so they don't get done.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:52 AM   #7
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You may want to consider the services of a Homemaker / Companion Service in your area. For about $20 / hr someone will come in to your home and provide non-medical assistance such as the mail, groceries, cooking, until you are back on your feet.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:07 AM   #8
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You may want to consider the services of a Homemaker / Companion Service in your area. For about $20 / hr someone will come in to your home and provide non-medical assistance such as the mail, groceries, cooking, until you are back on your feet.
Are such services available in rural areas like they are in cities? In more and more cities you can also join "Villages" like the one I volunteer for here in DC where volunteers offer services (including rides like discussed here) designed to help seniors age in place.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:39 AM   #9
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This has also come up for me. Tried to set up my colonoscopy but then experienced wierd embarrassment about asking neighbor/friend to drive me to and from. I have other single friends and I am thinking about just diving in and putting the issue out there to form a loose but defined agreement to have each other's backs for situations where a spouse or child would normally pitch in. It is also, a bit, a function of being early retired that a number of my friends are still employed and are not available to help out at 11 AM on a Tuesday!
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:07 AM   #10
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Would they allow you to use a taxi to/from or is this expressly forbidden. At least you wouldn't be driving or have to make decisions like when taking a bus. Or do they consider you incompetent to tell the taxi driver where you live?
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:49 AM   #11
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Yes, they consider you incompetent/addled.
I asked about a taxi and they said a driver was a necessity. This is for any procedure where you have "conscious sedation".
So I will have to start a "colonoscopy club" amongst my friends...
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:22 PM   #12
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Actually this problem suggests a business opportunity, the arranged airport shuttle services could provide the service. Today they do call to see if the flight is on time, so they should be able to call and see if the patient is ready. Combine it with a Hotel (with room service) for the first night, and you would be in business.

Actually if you found the right hotel they might even have a shuttle to carry one to the medical place and back.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:30 PM   #13
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This has also come up for me. Tried to set up my colonoscopy but then experienced wierd embarrassment about asking neighbor/friend to drive me to and from. I have other single friends and I am thinking about just diving in and putting the issue out there to form a loose but defined agreement to have each other's backs for situations where a spouse or child would normally pitch in. It is also, a bit, a function of being early retired that a number of my friends are still employed and are not available to help out at 11 AM on a Tuesday!
When I had my colonoscopy done a few weeks ago, it was about the first time in my life that I had asked a family memeber for a ride back from the hospital. Luckily, my sister who did the driving was really flexible about her schedule. Things worked out really well as he didn't even have to take off any extra time as he just happened to have a half-day scheduled during the day of the procedure. Afterwards, I promise her (she's only about a year younger than me) that when it's her time for the procedure, just let me know and I'd be happy to return the favor.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:37 PM   #14
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I once had a procedure at a local hospital. Had to stay overnight and they let me take a taxi home. Was actually not that expensive. However, I do have a couple of potential procedures coming up, and would be nice to find someone to help. My sister lives about 90 minutes away - she would do it, but I'd rather find another option.
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:42 PM   #15
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Are such services available in rural areas like they are in cities? In more and more cities you can also join "Villages" like the one I volunteer for here in DC where volunteers offer services (including rides like discussed here) designed to help seniors age in place.
I actually live between Baltimore and Washington. Do you have any contact info for these volunteer services in the area? The Village link seems to be only for children. I'd be interested in volunteering.
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Old 09-30-2012, 03:01 PM   #16
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It seems this dilema is more common than I had thought it would be.

Keeping the home fires burning doesn't concern me as much. ie mail, plants ect., as I am thinking more in terms of out-patient procedures. Anything less than two weeks would be no different than preparing for a vacation. Anything more than two weeks would be a whole different animal.

What does concern me is more transportation to and from the medical facility, what to do with wallet, keys, cell phone ect. or if something goes wrong during the actual procedure.

I have people I could ask for help, but I tend to plan (some would argue, overplan) This has been on my mind for some time and I know I need to be comfortable with a plan should the need arise.

I have a well respected hospital close to me in a large medical complex (approximitly 30 miles away) I may just go there and have a look around at the hotels and medical facility.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:06 PM   #17
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What does concern me is more transportation to and from the medical facility, what to do with wallet, keys, cell phone ect. or if something goes wrong during the actual procedure.
I don't think that part is such a problem. Every time I've gone through this (two colonoscopies, two biopsies, and one minor surgery in the last ten years), the nurse who got me set up would just have me put my clothes, including my wallet in my pocket) in a bag, which was then put into a locker. They pinned the key to the locker on my gown (love that term) so it would immediately be available to me when I woke up.

The driver part could be a little trickier. Sometimes they would tell DW when to come back to pick me up, but a couple of times they insisted that she stay there in the waiting room during the procedure. That wouldn't really work very well for a taxi driver or limo service.

Another possibility might be someone in your neighborhood who walks dogs for a fee. That seems to be pretty common where I live, so you could get a referral from someone you know who uses a dog walker they believe is a reliable person. If they have enough time to walk dogs, they could probably work in the occasional hospital escort gig as well. Just a thought.
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Old 09-30-2012, 04:58 PM   #18
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How to get medical procedures done without the need to involve friends or family.
... but what to do with personal property during the procedure, or some other problem.
Any advice or experience?
As Col Klink suggests, call a local care manager. They deal with this situation all the time for families with elders. Even if you're just 19 years old they'll be happy to help you navigate the hospital bureaucracy. They also know far more than you do about what you need in the hospital, what you need to do for discharge, how to care for your surgical site (or whatever you had done), and how to handle your first few weeks at home.

When you arrive at the hospital you'll have a locker with a key. Frankly, by the time you get to the point where you have to deal with hospital lockers and keys, your personal possessions will no longer be among your top ten of your life's priorities.

When my father had his prostatectomy (at the age of 66), afterward he stayed overnight (they insisted). The next morning he took a cab home. He took care of his incision and all the post-op issues on his own, and even turned away our offers of visiting. If you're going to attempt this approach then I recommend fully stocking the house with food, movies, and really really good prescription painkillers.
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:28 PM   #19
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Most outpatient clinics & surgery centers have dealt with this problem and have solutions . A quick call will give you all the options. In Florida we have medical transport companies that will take you to a minor procedure & make sure you are safely home . Unfortunately for bigger surgeries you really need to either phone a friend or enlist a paid care person which can be found through any of the Home Helper adds . Since Outpatient surgery has progressed to procedures that used to have a hospital stay attached to them I would hire a Home Health aide at least for the first day ( available from the many agencies that advertise ). As we age most of us will have these problems so reaching out to others really does work.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:07 AM   #20
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For myself, I am considering the medical tourism approach. I know that some facilities are specifically geared toward the independent/lone traveler/patient.

It is definitely not a perfect solution; and, I have not actually had any medical procedures performed abroad yet. But, this is something that I am considering for myself which I have did not see mentioned in this thread.
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