What should I expect when I am admitted to a hospital for a procedure-when I have Parkinsons Disease?
I don’t think anyone of us wants to be admitted to a hospital. There are times when hospitals are absolutely essential, and people are admitted due to an acute illness with a need for immediate attention. Then there are elective admissions.
Elective admissions are the ones you sign up for. The most common elective admissions are for orthopedic procedures; like a total hip or knee replacement.
When you are admitted to a hospital in an emergency, there is no time to prepare. It is always in your best interest to have the following documents in your glove compartment:
- A list of your current medical conditions
- A list of your medications (the mg. dose and how often they are taken)
- Your emergency contacts
- A copy of your living will
For an elective admission you have to have all of the above information and be prepared to have an advocate by your side if you have a condition like Parkinsons Disease, or any medical condition that requires you to take your medication at timed intervals. Most Parkinsons patients take their medications three or four times a day. The timing of those intervals is critical for them to function.
What you will find in the hospital setting is that your medication time schedule and the hospital’s ability to deliver your medications to you on your time schedule will most likely not happen. So what do you do? How do you plan?
Talk to your treating physicians and have this discussion PRIOR to your hospitalization. If your orthopedic surgeon is preparing to replace your knee joint, he or she may not have a clear understanding of how critical the timing of your medications are, and how they influence your ability to get in and out of bed, go to the bathroom, shower, or do basically everything. There are some situations where physicians can write the order for the patient and/or their family member to self-medicate those medications where timing is critical. It requires permission and cutting some red tape, but it can happen.
Being prepared is the key. Being proactive is critical. Do not expect anyone to care about your medication timing schedule as much as you do. If the nurses swear they can get your medications to you on time, let them try, with the condition that if they aren’t able to do it, they will let you or a family member take it over.
Stay on top of any physical condition you have. Learn how to be your own ADVOCATE whether you are a patient or caregiver. Keep a Journal of your condition and an accurate list of your medications!
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This article is part of a new series of general information to answer different questions sent to us by you! Please submit your questions through the web site at Contact Us. Always remember that the thoughts expressed at Sallycares.com are never intended to take the place of the advice of your treating medical professionals.