This is the third chapter in Katrina’s story.  The previous two are down below.  As always thank you!

Katrina and her sister moved into their new apartment.  After several weeks, they were settled in.  Katrina seemed more alive.  She and her sister were no longer homeless.  And more importantly, they were reunited and working towards a brighter future.  Katrina was making progress.  She was attending counseling regularly, getting dialysis treatment weekly, and participating in services consistently.  Finally, things were turning around.    

Part of a mental health clinician’s job is helping the client - if they have medical issues - with making and maintaining appointments, reinforcing doctors’ orders, going to the pharmacy.  The purpose of mental health support services is to promote growth and progress.  Of course, it would be easier to do the work for the client, but it’d be a disservice.  We want them to not have to use our services.  To be independent and manage their illness.  They long to be regular, functioning individuals.  We aim to help them achieve this goal. 

Katrina was too proud to be open about her recent spells.  I would ask how she was feeling, discuss proper diet, etc.  She would pretend everything was okay.  I found out through her sister she was passing out.  That Friday, our focus was calling her doctors and scheduling appointments.  First thing Monday, we saw her endocrinologist.  He explained her kidneys were becoming worse, and suggested increased dialysis.  With her being on the donor’s list, there weren’t any options unless she became so severe that she had to go to the hospital.  She was not bad enough to be hospitalized yet.   The plan of action was increased dialysis, better diet, and hanging on with the hope a donor comes through. 

That Friday, I went to her apartment for a pre-scheduled appointment.  I knocked.  No answer.  I knocked again, and again, no answer.  Never in my life had I wanted a client to be non-compliant so badly.  I called her and her sister’s phone several times to no avail.  I had a bad feeling. 

Sunday, I received a call back from her sister. The previous Thursday, Katrina had become dizzy in the bathroom.  She passed out.  Hit her head on the toilet.  She found her when she came home from school.  Katrina was in the hospital.  She was in a coma. 

-RMV

 

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