Now is not the time to ignore your health for fear of COVID-19. If you have chronic health issues or develop something acute, do not delay having a check-up. Please do not ignore physical signs due to fear of the unknown. If your concern is going to the hospital, rest assured that they are taking extra precautions and no one will get in unless it is serious. When a person calls 911, the EMT will assess the situation at the scene, and if it can be handled at home, transport to the emergency room will not happen. These days, hospitals are only for sick people: no visitors, no family, only the patient, nurses and doctors. Hospitals now supply patients with special numeric codes to give their family and friends to obtain information and to protect their privacy.
Most doctors’ offices are conducting ‘virtual’ visits for routine concerns. This may not be enough if one is developing new symptoms. Yes, medication can be discussed along with description of new concerns, but nothing is as good as listening to heart and lungs or feeling a body part that may be uncomfortable or causing pain. This “hands-on” approach is just not possible over the computer. Currently, some doctors’ offices have resumed in-person visits like before but with strict protocols. Patient drop-off sites, admittance only at scheduled appointment times, requiring masks, hand sanitizer and temperature screenings prior to entrance, along with posted signs about how to help prevent sickness, are now the norm at many offices and facilities. Expect family and friends to be asked to wait outside.
As the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine progresses, the worry of leaving our homes may soon be abated. However, shortage of the vaccine and limited administration sites is a reality. This prevention method is going to take some time to reach us all. In the meantime, do not neglect chronic health concerns or symptoms that “pop-up.” While we still remain in a public health crisis, do not turn it into a personal crisis as well. Seek the medical attention you need quickly. Everyone’s goal is to get on the road to recovery as soon as possible. Seeking medical help when needed to ensure your health is clearly a step in the right direction.
Patricia Ryan is a board-certified adult nurse practitioner and founder of Crossroads to Care in-home medical services. She can be reached at (760) 668.1654 or www.crossroadstocare.com.