I have four more days to work from home until the State is assured I am not full of Covid19 germs from Minnesota.  I was trained last week in the computer platform we will be using for telehealth.  Even when I return to the office, face to face therapy and  psychological testing are to be done only in an emergency, and l will either reach out to clients via phone or the telehealth  platform.  There is some glitch in my work computer that I will need our tech guy to fix, as my screen freezes, usually with my face with a weird expression.  The audio works just fine.

Daughter is doing 5 hours of telehealth sessions a day, and she even figured out how to have the children she sees use their own toys to facilitate play therapy.  (“What feelings do your different color leggo blocks have?  Make a sad building with blue blocks. Why is the building so sad?  How does that red leggo block feel?”)   I wish I was as flexible and creative as she is.  I really don’t like doing therapy remotely, and I don’t think my clients like it, either.  Not all insurances will pay for telehealth sessions. I know that some of the more active and aggressive traumatized preschoolers won’t do well with it at all. I think I will mainly be offering behavior management and therapeutic response suggestions to the foster parents.  I imagine if I do sessions from home,  the cats will wonder to whom I am speaking and will want to walk on the keyboard to see what is going on.

What are your feelings regarding telehealth? What have you done remotely?

37 thoughts on “Telehealth”

  1. Maybe you could use your cats to facilitate therapy, by holding up a cat to the camera when you speak. Your clients might be receptive to therapy from a cat.

    Liked by 4 people

        1. Interesting, because Nimue isn’t even remotely interested in my working set up in here. She doesn’t even come into the studio while I’m telecommuting, although she does love the come in when I’m doing arts and crafts and play with the ribbons.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Rise and Look at the Camera, Baboons,

    I will have to write more about this later, but briefly, I am doing telehealth to see clients and for meetings from home. It is an initial adjustment, but it works well. Next week, depending on the situation and updates, I may go back to the office because several very anxious clients want in-person sessions. They will need to wear a mask, as will I. Our offices are small and easy to sanitize.

    I must now go to get groceries during “old lady hours” then I have to mail out all the masks I made this weekend to family and medical people. Then I will write a blog post about it.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Got all the chores and mailing done. As ever, the USPO is slow and tedious, but we got everything mailed off.

      Telehealth is a great resource. I do believe, though, after using it for 5 years, that a hybrid system is most effective. In person creates the most effective relationships and you cannot replace that. However, the on-line services really offer effective ways through bad weather, an old lady’s desire to not fully retire yet be in AZ part of the winter, and through health issues and a pandemic.

      While in AZ this winter I got a certificate in Telehealth medicine, which includes phone sessions which also can be effective in as one tool in the toolbox. Medicare is lagging behind, as ever, not allowing group sessions via online services to be paid. This is a big mistake on their part which will allow vulnerable people to drift.

      All that said, I vastly prefer working in-person.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. Later this morning I will take a call from my rheumatologist to discuss my arthritis medications. That will save me three hours and the frustrations of dealing with Metro Mobility. We can do everything on the phone we could do with an in-person visit.

    Meanwhile, my regular physician seems unhappy with me for not coming in. Two weeks ago I canceled (with his cooperation) a visit to check my blood. I’ll try to call him today to iron out our differences. Wish me luck. I visited that clinic in December and was infected with an eye disease. We handled the eye disease, but if I visit and catch CORVID 19 it will be a death sentence for someone with my medical issues.


        1. That is absolutely my preference. I’m not eager to die, but I actually have a higher concern. If I went to the clinic and got infected, I could bring this virus into a large building where virtually every resident is an easy target for this opportunistic virus.


        2. I just talked to my clinic. Turns out the snippy comments about my coming in were from a new doc, not my doc. That’s a relief, for I like him. She didn’t know my history.

          We have a new deal. I will go to the clinic and not loiter in the waiting room. I’ll go directly to the lab for a blood draw, then leave. I won’t wait an hour for the doc to discuss my results; we can do that by phone. My exposure to the clinic will be minimal.

          This seems fair. They can’t monitor my blood unless they sample it now and then. The quick in-and-out seems a reasonable risk, all things considered.

          Liked by 2 people

      1. A young lady we know, former college student, got trained and hired as a phlebotomist this winter. She’s now deep in all this. Told me last night her clinic is becoming an acute care ward for Covid / respiratory illness. So she’s got constant exposure and pretty much knows her summer is over.
        Sure didn’t expect this when she got into it.


      2. The clinic just down the road from my neighborhood has a tent set up in their parking lot so they can separate those who might have exposure or symptoms from the rest of the patients. As the weather gets warmer, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more tents popping up. They might start doing lab work outside the buildings.

        Liked by 3 people

      1. I wonder if most Baboons caught a line in a Strib article yesterday. Because of the degree of compliance with social distancing guidelines, a research group that predicted Minnesota would suffer 2,000 corona deaths is now predicting 923.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. i think the zoom life we are all living will have a long lasting effect
    i like personal interaction but if i can avoid those 2 hour drives to and from an appointment and say hi on my phone instead all the better

    the ability to zoom has made the option available i. not all but certainly a bunch of instances where the difference between in person and in zoom don’t mess it up i believe teleconferencing will become the go to.
    i think officing from home will be much more
    prominent and the transition will be quick and huge


    1. We are on the same page, tim. Like you, I keep wondering what permanent changes might result from the pandemic. Will movie theaters exist in ten years? How many small restaurants will survive? Will teleconferencing become the norm? Fifteen years from now, will people still go to grocery stores to buy food? What will be the impact of this on cruises? How will Sherrilee’s job be transformed?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sure there are some things Telehealth will be great for, like the one Steve mentioned about working out details of medications. I think there are some things that are much better in person (like play therapy with little kids…) but I’m not yet clear about which ones.

    I am about to try out Duo with a couple of book club people to see if it will work for us. Will get back to you.
    And we are hoping to revive Skype with step-son’s kids… esp. since they now have a new baby that we can’t get our hands on.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I certainly see the value in telehealth as well as teleconferencing for work rather than driving or flying five or ten or twenty or hundreds of people to one location to accomplish what can easily be done remotely.

    We’ve been “zooming” like crazy here. Family, book club, friends, and tomorrow, my Twin Cities Sisters in Crime monthly meeting. I don’t mind that, but to me, social Zoom visits are virtual cocktail parties, and those are my least favorite form of socializing–idle chitchat for far too long.

    Zoom has a 40 minute time limit (mostly) for free chatting and I wish it were half that time. I’m good for about ten minutes, then I’m ready to say, “I need to make dinner, so it was nice talking to you, etc.”

    An upside to that is a lot of old folks–grandparents especially–are getting a tech lesson and becoming comfortable with things like online conferencing and telehealth. Learning something new is rarely a bad thing.

    Stay healthy and positive.

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I am happy to call or message with a health care provider, and have done that numerous times. One of my clinics, though, has made it impossible for me to sign in to my account, because I have an old computer with an old browser. My technology has failed to keep up with the standard. So I have to call them on the phone.

    I have been looking at the Minnesota COVID-19 dashboard, and found that the oldest person who has been tested positive is 104 years old. From the statistics available, you can ascertain that this person has not died or been hospitalized so far.

    That means that someone who was alive during the 1918 pandemic is (so far) a survivor of this one as well. How many people can say that?

    Liked by 3 people

      1. My Grandma’s oldest brother died in that epidemic. He took my grandma to her host family for the week, (she was a teacher in a one room schoolhouse), and fell ill on the way home. He died. That resulted in the family needing to move off the farm to town, so it was a devastating loss for them. My aunts told us about it repeatedly, and told us about how badly my grandma felt that he fell ill helping her get to school.

        Liked by 3 people

  8. I, too, much prefer phone calls or emails to actual office visits, but there are certain things, such as drawing blood, that you can’t do remotely. I know full well that my doctor will not renew my medications without an annual blood test. I wouldn’t expect her to, and, in fact, I wouldn’t even ask her to. She is protecting both herself and her patients by insisting on certain protocols. Once she has the data in hand, and we know what we’re dealing with, then we can both make informed decisions about what course of action to take. On this we don’t always agree, but at least we’re both starting out knowing what the current situation is.

    Today HealthPartners called to check on whether or not I needed to come in for the post-cataract surgery exam that was scheduled months ago. They wanted to see me only if I was having problems. Well, I can’t see well enough to read a book with regular size print, but that’s not really a problem. I have had difficulty with that for years. I’m happy to postpone my eye exam till it’s safer to be out and about, so my Thursday appointment was cancelled.

    Don’t know if any of you saw my comments at the end of the day yesterday, but the film is worth checking out.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. It dawned on me the other day, Back in February I was asked to light a show opening early May. While normally I don’t take on extra shows at that time of year, this was a special Situation and I had promised to help them whenever needed. Just didn’t think it would Be May when they needed it.
    So I said yes and tried to assure myself it would work out with two other shows opening about the same
    time that I WAS involved with already. Plus spring farming.
    And with commencement in May and not wanting to find myself with cellulitis in my leg again, reminded myself I’d need to get rest and not wear myself down.
    And here we are- no shows, no commencement, time for fieldwork.
    Didn’t mean I needed a global pandemic to do that though.
    Sorry about this.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. OT – I know this song is called Summer’s End, nevertheless, I think the lyrics, especially the last verse, seem apropos right now. The singer, who also wrote the song, is Garnet Rogers, but I’m sure you all recognize that glorious voice:

    Here are the lyrics:
    Summer’s End

    This night is still and quiet
    Summer’s almost past.
    There’s a cricket with a socket wrench
    In the dry and dusty grass.
    Above our heads a breath of wind
    Is rattling the leaves.
    The last swallows of the season
    Have fled their nests beneath the eaves.

    And you and I we sit together
    In the dark beneath the trees.
    I move my chair close to yours
    As we sit and drink our tea.
    We talk together in the quiet
    And try to reckon up the cost.
    And bind our wounds and count the scars
    From all that we have lost.

    And the days they hurry by.
    Running on together.
    Until you can’t recall a time before sorrow touched your heart
    And left its mark on you forever.

    So maybe somewhere precious rain falls
    On a parched and barren earth
    Maybe somewhere in a house filled with love
    There’s a mother giving birth.
    A small child’s fever breaks.
    Parents breathe a prayer and sigh.
    And a soul somewhere in deep despair
    Lifts his eyes unto the sky.
    And I look the heavens
    And I stare into the black
    And I laugh at those who say God shapes the load to fit your back.
    There’s no Golden Throne beyond the Veil.
    No angel choirs above.
    And Hell is just outliving everyone you’ve known and loved.
    And all of those who we have loved and lost from near and far
    They’ve left us here to carry on
    Beneath cold indifferent stars.

    And the days they hurry by…

    And so for now we muddle on.
    I guess that is the way.
    And try to look a little further down the road
    And not just day to day
    I know you’ll look out for me
    As I look out for you.
    And we’ll live in hope for better days.
    It’s the best that we can do.

    And the days…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ve seen him several times in the Twin Cities. The first time was at the Cedar where he performed with John Gorka. During that performance he managed to get himself banned from the room for reportedly using an expletive on stage. Garnet denies doing it, but was banned nevertheless.

        He performed several times at the Ginkgo Coffeehouse, and I have seen him there twice. He claimed that Cathy treated both him and the audience shabbily, so he no longer performs there. The second time I saw him at the Gingko he seemed to have an off night, and was projecting a hostile attitude toward the rather sparse audience. Since then I’ve seen him once at the Celtic Junction which is really a much better venue for him.

        Garnet is a man with strong opinions about a lot of stuff, and he’s not afraid to voice them, but I like him a lot. He has mellowed somewhat with age, but he could be a piece of work when he was younger.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Had two zoom meetings today, was only able to be there by audio, but input is fine. Video part of my webcam seems to be working intermittently, or maybe I’m signing up differently that I did before – I don’t know, and I give up for now.


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