Many individuals see numerous physicians. I have a client who has her primary care physician, a cardiologist, nephrologists, psychologist and pain management physician. There are times when one physician may see their issue taking precedence over the bigger picture. For example, a pain management physician seeks to manage pain while a caregiver may also be experiencing severe mood swings or sleeplessness of the person they are providing care for. The pain management physician sees his issue as a priority because he does not have a clear picture of the experience of the caregiver who is about to have a physical and mental breakdown. Many times the caregiver can’t communicate this information to a physician clearly in the presence of the person for whom they are providing care, which complicates the situation. The bottom line is that the caregiver knows what I’ll call the breaking point. In this case a solution was needed for the severe mood swings and sleeplessness before solving the pain management problem which was important but not the number one issue at the particular point in time. There are times when individuals need to prioritize needs between physicians competing for a solution. This can be intimidating especially because physicians can be touchy when told by a caregiver or family member how they want to proceed and in what priority. However sometimes it’s necessary to preserve the sanity and ability of the caregiver.

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About Pamela Wilson

PAMELA D. WILSON, MS, BS/BA, NCG, CSA helps caregivers and aging adults solve caregiving problems and manage caregiving needs through online programs, live support groups, and an extensive caregiving library that includes articles, podcasts, videos, and webinars.

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