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Patient Journey

Our journey as a patient and our interactions with Doctors, Nurses and other Care Providers and the role of family, friends and well-wishers

It’s been a while since I was on these pages… Over a year back, in an earlier blog I wrote about the five determinants of health. I will take a deeper dive and unpack these five determinants of health in a forthcoming blog.

While I pursued that thread, we put Sigmify Health in front of as many people as we could.  And that gave us a closer to the ground, practical look at our interactions as a patient or as a caregiver with doctors, nurses, hospitals, clinics, laboratories. With our healthcare system.

Most of us are fortunate to spend most of our time away from the healthcare system. Generally speaking, we are well and we go on with our lives without much thought to doctors and hospitals.

We are glad they are there, and thankful for all that they do. We are happiest when we don’t need their help! I am sure that is true for most of us.

However, we do need them. We need them all the time. Let us look at those times.

We fall ill, have a minor affliction. We may self medicate or ask someone in the family or one of our friends for advice. If that does not work we will consult our Primary Care Physician for their advice and medicines. And nurse ourselves back to health with this advice. Sometimes we may need to follow a regimen of a combination of medicines, exercise, lifestyle and diet. Once again, our family and friends may step in to help us with it.

We may have a more serious episode, a fracture, a cardiac event, some surgery; episodes that may require hospitalization and maybe rehabilitation. We go to the hospital for a few days and then are back home for recovery. We go back a few times for the doctor to check on how our recovery is progressing. But then w e are done. Recovered. Once again, our family and friends play a big role in our recovery. We lean on their help and support, both in the hospital and out. There are times when even the doctor will enlist their help for our treatment.

Some of us may develop a condition that requires longer-term care. Heart or lung or liver disease. Cancer. Diabetes. In such situations we engage with experts for their advice on a more regular, longer-term basis. As we undergo this longer-term treatment, whether at home or in a hospital or rehab facility, our family and friends play a huge role. They help us stay the course, make sure that we eat the right stuff, that we exercise, take our meds, do all the simple but really important stuff.

It is pretty clear that we need family and friends for their help and support in taking care of ‘stuff’. Add the emotional support that we get from them, and it magnifies their importance. It shows very clearly how significant a role they have in helping us ‘take care of our health’.

As the importance of caregivers… family, friends and well-wishers in nurturing us back to health, and in keeping us healthy became clearer I decided to go out and ‘interview’ a few people and getting their take or giving and receiving care. After all we are all patients as well as caregivers at some time or the other.

These interviews gave me some amazing insight into the issues I will write about it in my next blog… 

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