It was the happiest Jeremiah Skaggs-Bradley has ever been after getting a blood draw. And the 5-year-old from Warren has had his share of anxiety-ridden needle experiences.
“It’s so bad. It’s horrible. It breaks my heart and sometimes I have to leave the room,” his mother, Melinda Skaggs, said about her son’s typical blood draw routine. He receives one at least every three months because of a thyroid condition.
She said it takes up to three nurses to assist him in staying still.
“It’s an all-around stressful time for everyone,” Melinda said.
Home Health changes Jeremiah’s routine for the better
Enter the circumstances surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, and a creative solution worked even better than anticipated.
Melinda and Jeremiah were online with his endocrinology nurse practitioner Melanie Shoaf during a routine telehealth visit when she suggested enlisting a Home Health nurse to do his next blood draw from their home.
“I liked that idea because with his health I’m nervous to take him out,” Melinda said.
“The nurse who came to the house was amazing. You could tell she had kids of her own,” Melinda said.
She was afraid at first because Jeremiah’s house is his safe place, she said.
“At the hospital, he knows the room and gets anxious when he sees the chair with the armrest. He knows what he’s there for,” Melinda said.
At-home nurse visit was a ‘whole new ballgame’
Home Health nurse Joanna Perez, RN talked to Jeremiah face-to-face and he sat there calmly, his mother recounted. She drew the blood and by the end of the experience he turned around and said ‘thank you’ to her.
“I sat there with my mouth open and said, ‘Are you serious?’” Melinda said. “She made it so comfortable for him.”
Before Joanna left, Jeremiah gave her a big hug.
“It was freaking awesome. This is a whole new ballgame,” Melinda said.
Jeremiah’s blood draws test specific levels to determine the dose of medicine he needs for his thyroid. As he grows and gains weight it needs to be constantly monitored to ensure the proper dosage.
“This poor boy has been in the house since March. I refuse to take him anywhere because I’m concerned about his well-being,” Melinda said. “I’m so appreciative of Akron Children’s because I wouldn’t have taken him to get this bloodwork done if the home health option wasn’t available.”
Talk to your primary care physician and your health insurance company to learn if telehealth visits is an option for your family.