“Tracy”, 39, has been receiving treatment for colon cancer. She lives with her sister, who helps her look after her twin 6 year old boys. Additional help is provided by Tracy’s mother and ex-husband.
Intensive chemotherapy has left Tracy feeling very weak and nauseated which, in turn, has contributed to moderate depression. Although she has a strong network of friends and family for emotional support, mounting medical bills are causing her great anxiety about her financial situation.
Tracy has received three visits from her home health coach. During the first visit, Tracy expressed interest in learning more about good nutrition, and the kind of foods she can eat following the colectomy and ileostomy surgeries she has received. Her coach was able to provide Tracy with the United Ostomy Association guide to nutrition, and talk through the information with her.
At the second visit, Tracy reported feeling particularly overwhelmed by the raft of medical bills she has received and asked for advice on how to organize them. Her coach suggested using an excel spreadsheet to detail each account and amount owed, enabling Tracy to track payments and payees more easily. The coach then emailed Tracy a blank spreadsheet to help her get started.
During the third visit, Tracy was concerned about being able to attend medical appointments, as her family is not always able to take her. Her coach provided information about medical transportation services, and talked Tracy through the application process.
In response to Tracy’s difficulties with sleep, and her worries about not having the energy to play with her young children, the coach also provided her with the contact details for the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) Warmline, a non-crisis peer support line that assists callers with their thoughts and feelings by providing support and encouragement.
“Tracy’s doing much better physically, but is still struggling with the emotional impact of her illness,“ reports her coach. “Luckily, she has a strong support network to help keep her positive during this challenging time in her life.”
* Not client’s real name.