My father passed away on 15th Jan 2018 due to Asthma – A condition where patient struggles to breathe constantly especially in winter or condition of cold and cough. He has been suffering from Asthma for 20 long years. My father had a TB when he was 35 years old. When he grew older several other complications with his lungs developed due to the TB and kind of the jobs he did. We have consulted several doctors, but due to age and condition, they suggested it’s not curable but only can be controlled. In one of the recent test, we learned that his lunges were just effective 20%-30%.
He had to face several financial and physical health problems in his adulthood and that too for a considerably very extended period of his life. When I think about this, I feel very sorry for him pushed me every time to do something big in my life so that I can provide my parents a life that they genuinely deserve after such a long struggles. To give them a better life has been one of the goal I have been hustling in my life and his values and virtues such as honesty and hard work has helped me achieve more than I goal. My father was introvert and my mother is extrovert, and I am ambivert as a combination of both. My father’s introversion has helped me always to calm down and focus on the purpose and my goals.
In the blinks of the time, I have realized my father is not anymore. There was lot happened on that day and a few days before. While I was thinking about the time I have spent with him, I have been constantly thinking about what I could have done better to save my father. I still feel that if I have acted promptly and correctly at few events, the situation could have been different and this would stay as biggest regret and guilt of my life but I would feel a little better if I can save few lives by sharing my learning from this failure. If you have someone in your family with a particular disease, please read and remember all these things for him/her sake.
- Consult at least 5 doctors before coming to any conclusion – I don’t doubt on the judgment or ability of a particular doctor, but I have found every doctor I had consulted to my father they all had slightly different opinion and suggestions for the cure and treatment. In case of my father, I think we have consulted more than five different doctors and tried each one very patiently. That has helped us to understand his condition better, and we found few of the doctors we consulted later had been very useful.
- Study the Atmosphere and Surroundings – Do your study well about the atmosphere and surroundings of the patient that affect the disease positively and negatively. Consult the doctor for the favorable surroundings for the patient. I would highly advise and humbly recommend to relocate to the patient in some favorable atmosphere if that’s in your power and possibility. When my father was in Bhavnagar (another town), his condition was getting worse due to coastline weather and surroundings. But when I have decided to move him in Ahmedabad, there was a significant improvement in his condition and he was feeling much better.
- Don’t feel relaxed with small/early improvements in the condition – When my father’s health started to get better a few years ago we all missed that he still has the monster diseases. Those small improvements had made us little less attentive and bit more relaxed and we literally ignored few deadly symptoms like a cough and cold. We should not put ourselves in the relax mode and should stay alert for any signs and we should also keep doing the routine check-ups and necessary tests even if the patient feels better.
- Don’t miss the deadly early symptoms – Every patient has few triggering symptoms which can lead to more significant complications with main out of danger. In case of my father, it was cold and cough. If my father gets cold or coughs, it could lead to more complex breathing problem. Before that day, he had a little cough which we have missed to diagnosed on time. If we would have treated his cough promptly, probably he would have lived for few more years. So, never ignore that fundamental disease which supports or compliment to the primary disease. Also, if those small diseases are easily spreadable through air or infection from other then that needs to be managed more sensitively. My father stayed few days at my brother’s home and my brother had a cough and I have learned that my father somehow got infected with a cough from there.
- Prepare for Emergency – If you have the patient with some monster disease, always get yourself and everyone in family prepared for the emergency situations. We were not fully prepared in my father’s case and later we realized several miss and mistakes. Again, if we would have prepared for the Emergency, we could have done it better for sure. You must have the checklist of the emergency situation. And everyone in the family should get trained and educated to run the checklist in the case of emergency. The checklist could be particular to the condition of the patient and it’s also advisable that your doctor should verify checklist. If I have to think of the Checklist for my father, it would be like this.
- Make it comfortable – Open the doors, windows to have the fresh and enough air so that he doesn’t feel the suffocated and can breath easily.
- Call the Ambulance – If patients condition is critical then I would suggest calling the Ambulance as the first thing. The ambulance is trained to handle both critical patient and situation so I would recommend to keep it as the first choice but also make sure the Ambulance can reach quickly. We have realized we should have called the Ambulance first but we decided to take our father in our Car which was again a wrong decision.
- List of Hospitals – You should also have the list of the nearby hospital which is open 24 hours and has the emergency unit and care. Keep the address and phone number handy.
- Call the Doctors – Keep the contact details of 2-3 doctors handy to call in the energy. Those doctors should be able to reach the place of the patient within 15-30 mins and call those doctors immediately and ask for the home care.
- Call the friend/family – It’s always good to call one of your friend or family who is nearby quickly. You can’t do much alone and having few persons besides you will make the things quicker and accurate.
- Apply Home Care Kit – You should ask your doctor if something happens in an emergency in the middle of the night or day then how should we home care to the patient? We can indeed run few things by ourselves till the time medical help arrives. That “Home Care Kit” can consist of the medicines to give, things to apply and positions and postures to be maintained to keep the patient out of the danger. Keep this home kit handy so that you remember to use it in the emergency.
- Do the drill – I think, it’s really very very important that you do few mock drills to handle this kind of emergency situations. In case of my Father if we would have done few mock drills then it could have been beneficial. Example: I had to take my father in my car and my house is on the 4th floor. My father didn’t have any strength in his body and struggling for the breath. We asked him to walk out from the house through lift instead we could have used the revolving wheelchair that we had at our home. If we had managed to make our father seat on the chair, I could have dragged the chair in the lift and into the car that would have been a lot better.
- The Don’ts List – You should also keep “The Don’ts” list so that you don’t get end up doing things in haste which can create more complex complications and make sure everyone in the family is aware what not to do in that situation.
I have been managing the projects and business for several years, therefore, I would advise in that terminology. Consider this is a very important project of your life. Some advance planning and preparations, family teamwork, continues learning and training, observing the key milestones carefully, preparing yourself and your team (family) for the emergency, constant consulting from the doctors are some of the things if you take care very well, you will have the very satisfying result that will be worth a life of the someone. I will always feel happy to discuss, advice and help more in this regard. Feel free to reach me and will assist as much information as needed to plan and prepare you and your family to prepare for any patient you in your family that needed the attention.