COPD and Other Stuff

This is a patient-to-patient blog to exchange information and resources...from COPD to Arthritis to Cellulites to Sarcoidosis to Sleep Apnea to RLS to Psoriasis to Support Groups to Caregivers and all points in between.
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Posts Tagged ‘small business owner’

Lymphedema Patients toss the dice – Podiatrist or Pedicurist

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

What does it take to keep vulnerable senior patients/any patient reasonably cared for in a rehab setting?  How many oversee patients when a podiatrist comes to call and cut toenails?

Is it true that Pedicurists aren’t trained well enough for Lymphedema patients to take a chance on them.  Really?

….I believed it might be true even though I had never seen bloody toenails from a pedicurist cutting nails during my career as a cosmetologist in Washington and California and a small business owner here.  What do I know about medical things?  I’m learning that one thing can and does frequently lead into another.

The comments from a trusted Lymphedema medical professional was enough and I stopped going to a licensed pedicurist I liked who cheerfully gave me well trimmed and bright, jazzy colored painted toenails.

And, like Jacks Beanstalk, my toenails grew … until months later I overheard that a Podiatrist would be available to cut toenails – just’ line up.  I waited until mid-afternoon, then ‘got in line.’

The crowd finally thinned in the hallway. Finally, there was room inside where he and an assistant were working with patients in a semi-circle. I was escorted to an empty seat at the far end of the semi-circle facing the doorway.  Many of the patients were in wheelchairs and I noticed as he made his way around to the left of the circle, some of the people wore band-aids on their toes.   I watched him tap, tap push something against a toe then put the band aid on.  As he got closer to me, one or two chairs away I TOLD him I had lymphedema and COULDN’T GET CUT because I too easily was infected.   I had been fighting the last session almost a year.  Almost nothing, I have experienced compares to the pain of lymphedema.  Nothing.  He did not reply.

That said, many of the bare toes left behind the Podiatrist sprouted Band-Aids as he moved along past the chairs/wheelchairs.

My visions of getting up graciously, majestically and quietly walking away before he reached me did not happen.  I sat there like a stump off a log while he worked his way around to my chair and began cutting my toenails.  I didn’t say a word as he finished one foot and worked on the other.  I watched him get something and go tap, tap, push on the end of my big toe then placed a band aide over the end.  He said something as he moved away and I was escorted out of the room to the wheelchair I pushed away down the hall.  To the other end of the hall elevator and down to the next floor..  I rolled into the physical therapy room where I had an appointment and told the therapist what happened.  I was shaking and she said she would find the nurse on duty when I couldn’t tell her how bad it was – only that he cut my toe.

The nurse pulled the Band-Aid away to see it and said ‘that’s not bad.’  The trouble with Lymphedema – for me, if not most of us – a simple scratch or bruise can develop into a big deal infection.

In addition, I mentioned to her the room upstairs was full of Band-Aid covered toes on patients – some in wheel chairs.  What if they got infected and had to UNNECESSARILY deal with infection caused by cuts on their feet from a podiatrist?  I suggested they check the patients.

I asked her to take photos for me because I couldn’t see it.  The photos were taken, the Band-Aid replaced and I had my physical therapy session.

To be absolutely clear.  I was loaded with antibiotics at the time.  My toe healed nicely.  No lawsuits then or now.  I don’t know how the other patients faired.

My point here is to ask  how you know your loved one is not being cut leading to an infection when a trained podiatrist cuts their toenails.  You don’t know.  Go watch a time or two – check these things out.

Patients be aware – patient centers too.  Make sure that podiatrist is competent.

Who is watching?

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara


Will Employee Health Incentives Work? Should They?

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Chris Henry is writing a story of health, businesses and employees.
I could not stop myself from responding and decided my thoughts from my present patient standpoint and past small business owner belonged here too.

The fact is patients are not given enough information in my opinion.

Chris Henry, reporter says: “We all know what we should do to take better care of ourselves — eat healthier, exercise more, reduce stress (good luck on that last one). Employee wellness programs aim to get workers practicing better self care, but are they actually effective?”

Sharon, patient says:
If the velvet gloves are removed and employees are SHOWN (get patient volunteers) examples of life with different medical conditions caused by -smoking is one example- I’d guess a good percent of the present or wannabe employees might well change personal habits to reflect self preservation and to keep a good job.

If I had a small business today and included paid medical insurance for my employees, I would have a checklist for prospective employees to answer and incentives for present employees to get in the fitness lineup.

Blunt words and visual frankness works.

Years ago a good friend and 30 year smoker read a Reader’s Digest article showing photos of healthy lungs next to a chronic smoker lungs.
My friend told me he felt sickened and stopped smoking immediately.
He also showed me the article, yet I went on to smoke another 20 years or so.

Obesity is a despised condition by seemingly everyone, yet the productivity of an obese person can be double the effectiveness to the business of a ‘normal’ sized person.

I once had someone tell me I needed to get rid of one of my employees because her appearance did not reflect well on my business.

Why not?

She was fat…way fat…obese…truly a genuine tubbyette.

I told him I could not. For one thing, I liked her and she had worked for and with me too many years, since she finished school. She had also become the most productive employee I had.

The day came when she asked for another raise. She was at capacity. She was well worth a raise, no issue there.
The trouble is the way my pay scale worked I couldn’t give her one without losing money.

Therefore, to give her a well-deserved raise, I figured out new prices to her clients and I became a business with two price tiers and cost percentages within the tiers.

The reason for this little story is twofold.

1. Look beyond appearances.

2. Knowing what I know today about health issues, I would never have hired her based on her unhealthy size and lost out on getting to know a remarkable, artistically talented, kind, thoughtful individual. She became family.

http://pugetsoundblogs.com/kitsap-caucus/2010/05/18/employee-wellness-programs-do-they-work/

More later…Sharon O’Hara


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This is a patient to patient blog to exchange information and resources...from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) to Arthritis to Cellulites to Sarcoidosis to Sleep Apnea to RLS to Psoriasis to Support Groups to Caregivers and all points in between. Written by Sharon O'Hara.

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