Jennifer’s final stop for the morning was to visit a long-term patient who has Neuromyolitis Optica (NMO), a degenerative disorder that is similar to multiple sclerosis but it attacks the spine rather than the brain. Patients diagnosed with NMO usually live no more than 5 years after diagnosis, and Francesca P. was diagnosed five years ago. The disease has taken its toll. She’s now blind in both eyes and is a quadriplegic. Additionally, she developed two pressure ulcers as a result of chemotherapy treatment – part of the treatment regimen for the disease. One ulcer recently closed after two years of treatment and the dressing for the other ulcer is changed every day.
In today’s visit, Jennifer changed Francesca’s wound dressing with the help of her home health aide and she sorted out the multiple daily medications in a pill box so no one gets confused about which pills to take when. Sorting the medications took 15 minutes alone! Jennifer also checked on an ingrown toenail and promised to order new sterile gloves.
Francesca’s elderly mother not only takes care of her daughter but also helps with Francesca’s 10-year-old son. As a single mother, Francesca’s only wish is to stay home to watch her son grow. VNSNY has allowed this to happen with 24-hour home health aid services and social workers who work hard to allow her wish to stay true.
Jennifer has been with Francesca for two years, and though Francesca has moved out of Jennifer’s health area, Jennifer still goes to see her every day — another sign of Jennifer’s dedication to her job and to her patients. It was great spending the morning with Jennifer, and I hope to follow more of the VNSNY “frontline staff” to show you what it’s like to spend a day in the life of the home health care professionals treating New Yorkers every day.
[...] about Jennifer’s final stop of the day: helping Francesca diagnosed with Neuromyolitis [...]— A Day in the Life » Blog Archive » A Day in the Life of Jennifer Morales: Part 4 / November 27th, 2012 at 12:57 pm