Feature image of Lillians story about how HealthyLifetime changed her life in Ann Arbor

Age: 81

Issue: Wanted a nurse for regular visits to better guide her managing her symptoms without having to leave home

Chronic Illness: Gastro-intestinal condition

Result: “I was able to see that I no longer needed to feel bad because my symptoms are now much better.   I just feel so much better that I just seem to be worrying less about things in general.”

Lillian is 81 years old, retired, and now lives alone. After high school, she worked for an auto company most of her life. Lillian learned about the HealthyLifetime program from a friend who saw the program on a flyer posted in the community center she visits.

Care That’s Convenient

“I really liked the idea of having a nurse guide me and the idea of having regular video visits on my i-pad. It seemed easy and I wouldn’t have to go out of my home to use it.”

“My big problem was all the symptoms I was having because of my gastro-intestinal conditions. This all made me so nervous – I was afraid to go out because I didn’t know when my symptoms would flare up and I would be stuck somewhere. I guess I am a worrier – I have had these anxieties all my life. I talk to my doctor and he orders more tests and more pills. But now I also buy pills off the shelf at the grocery store because I just don’t feel like I get the right results with the prescriptions only. I wanted to know how to cope.”

Lillian needed some immediate guidance on her medications – she wasn’t taking the pills her doctor prescribed correctly, didn’t always remember when she took them, and often took ‘over the counter’ pills and liquids with a flare up. Her Nurse Coach went right to work straightening this all out. Lillian kept a daily log of what she was taking. Within about 3-4 days the Nurse Coach spotted the pattern that was interfering with Lillian getting her symptoms under control. With the Nurse Coach’s guidance using Lillian’s own daily log information, the Nurse Coach was able to get Lillian back on track with the essential prescribed medicines only. Lillian was able to set aside the expensive over the counter stuff that only made things worse. The Nurse Coach also helped Lillian find a pharmacy that charged much less for her prescribed medicine – and that saved her money too.

“I never would have thought I could get these symptoms under control again. When I joined the program to learn how to cope better, I thought they would teach me how to cope with having these symptoms – well they gave me a way to get rid of the symptoms most of the time! I didn’t realize what I wasn’t doing right with my medications – and the Nurse Coach found a way to show me and teach me how to do things the right way.”

Lillian and the Nurse Health Coach then got to work on some issues related to her worrying. Now that the worry about controlling her gastrointestinal symptoms subsided, she could focus with the Nurse Coach’s guidance on her underlying patterns of anxiety that were pretty constant in her life. The daily voice recordings that are part of the program really helped Lillian ‘hear out loud’ how she thinks about things that make her feel worried or anxious. Lillian learned from her own recordings what was triggering some of her worries.

“I was able to see that I no longer needed to feel that way because my symptoms are now much better. I don’t have to worry about going to the grocery store because I keep a record of my meds, I know I took them and I feel secure that they are working now. I just feel so much better that I just seem to be worrying less about things in general.”

Reducing Anxiety in a Natural Way

Lillian, like many of our clients, finds that when one important thing gets much better, many things in their life get better too – for Lillian this was less daily worry in general, a better outlook when she got up in the morning, and wanting to now do more with friends and family. On her third video session with the Nurse Coach she talked about taking a road trip with a friend and she and her Nurse Coach laid out a plan to do that. Lillian brought up an old practice of doing daily meditation which she remembered calmed her – so she and the Nurse Coach talked about bringing that practice back into her daily life. Problem solving new challenges like taking a road trip – and using daily practices such as meditation to manage the worrying – were just a few of the skills Lillian learned.

“So, what did I get out of this program? It changed my life. I feel in control again and I haven’t felt that way in an awfully long time. I feel confident when I get up in the morning that I can plan a day with my old friends, take a trip, or just relax at home without the worries I use to have about my health and my symptoms.”