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Julia Kizhner
Julia Kizhner, Physician Assistant
Category: Health
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Experience:  7 years experience working in Primary Care as well as Gastroenterology, Sleep Medicine & Weight Loss
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by a couple of them, that they do not get the flu shot

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Julia only........Hey Julia, we have those visiting nurses from Hospice, and I was told by a couple of them, that they do not get the flu shot. Now since I never go anywhere I don't get one. My uncle started getting one a couple years ago, after me complaining & him making us all sick year after year. One of the nurses came in the other day saying she doesn't get one..... how bad they are for you, and I was highly getting upset. My uncle didn't want to get them in the first place, now I am afraid with this nurse spouting off he won't get one this year. He has diabetes himself. Do you think I can talk to someone like the social worker at Hospice to only allow nurses who have had the shot visit my home? I don't want them coming in even if they aren't showing symptoms they stil canl be carriers. That same nurse told me that the flu was going around she had, had it, and the nurse that visited the week prior also had it. It is also going around in some of the patient homes. I stopped worrying about it so much after my uncle started getting the shot, now i have to worry about my aunts nurses bringing it in, it is really going to stress me out. I am also upset my uncle made a comment about putting my aunt in a nursing home. I see no need for that, I have been taking care of her myself for many years now. He doesn't do anything for her care, I am with her 24/7 he does some errands, but he runs a lot for himself. I know years ago he went to a lawyer to see what would happen to their home, I know he gets to live here until he dies if she goes first. But if he would be looking into doing it behind my back, wouldn't he have to pay for the nursing home care, or would they just take her monthly check & the medicare pay the rest?  He knows I don't want her to end up there, she never wanted to go.  He is never home he is on the go 24/7 so I don't know why it would make a difference to him.  I could go into a lot on here, but I'd rather not.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 2 years ago.

Hi Beth,

Good to hear from you!

In terms of the flu shot...I am an advocate for flu shots and always get one every year. There are people who have allergic reaction from the flu shot (those who are allergic to eggs cannot have flu shots) but a lot of people say "I got the flu shot and I got the flu after that, that's because of the flu shot". Well, that's a false statement. One cannot get the flu by having a flu shot but many people believe that and it is hard to convince them otherwise. Last winter my husband didn't get the flu shot (he always says no because he doesn't like needles) and he got the flu. He couldn't get out of bed for 5 days and then it took him extra 2 weeks to get his strength back. I think this year he will take the needle :)

Flu can be devastating for older people and I think your uncle should get the flu shot. I am not sure if you can request to have a visiting nurse to have a flu shot but you can definitely try. For sure people can be carriers and for your aunt it is very dangerous.

However, you can definitely tell the nurse that you don't want her talking bad about flu shots and trying to talk your uncle out of it. Its important that your uncle gets his flu shot.

In terms of the nursing home...I am not sure why your uncle would want to put your aunt in the nursing home when you are there 24/7. No matter how expansive the nursing home is going to be, she will NEVER get as much care and attention as she gets from you. He must have some other issues going on why he would want her to be out of the house but medically, you do way more then a nursing home would. She would decline in a nursing home very quickly. You need to try to talk your uncle out of this. I am not sure financial aspect but Medicare would only pay for short-term nursing home stay (I think up to 30 days?), everything after that will be coming out of pocket. But don't quote me on this, I think it all depends on your uncle's financial situation, supplemental insurance if him and your aunt has any, etc. I can definitely understand how upsetting this is for you!

Let me know if I addressed all your questions. I have to leave the house for a little bit but will be back tonight to get back to you.

Julia

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Julia, Well I wanted to request to the social worker that ONLY nurses that had the flu shot come to our house. I don't want them to tell them they have to have it, I just want the ones to visit that get them on their own. I was really upset at the nurse that was talking down about the flu shot when my uncle is hesitant to get them in the first place. She went on & on about the live virus in the shot, and how her boyfriend got sick from his last flu shot. I honestly wanted to tell her to shut up! I haven't called the office yet, but come tomorrow I think I will. I don't want to get her in trouble, but I want to make it clear I do not want anyone voicing any medical advice that is not beneficial to my aunt.

I wasn't sure how it works with a nursing home, I know as well if she goes in she will decline. My uncle is the type of person his way is always right, and there is no talking to him, once he makes up his mind. Like I said there is a lot I could say, but I don't want to put it on an open place. I know that this isn't really confidential anyone can read what is said on here, I think all questions should be confidential, or given the option anyway. I think it invades personal privacy I just am very upset he made the comment, so he must be thinking. From what he said it seems like he wont be paying anything they both are on a fixed income. So if he is wanting to put her in, he must know that nothing will come out of his pocket. His brother in law was just put in a nursing home, his sister is ill herself so she was no longer able to take care of him. She has never worked a day in her life, that I know of. She is his 2nd wife. I know she is still living in their home. I think they are also on his fixed income.

I have been having the unbalanced feeling again for a few days. Can you have chronic sinus problems with just the stuffy nose that would cause this? I don't have any other problems sometimes I do have drainage, but mostly it's the stuffiness. Today I have like a tension feeling on the right side of my head. I have been taking the 1/2 of Meclizine as little as possible. Does the Meclizine get rid of the unbalanced feeling for good, or do I have to take them all the time? I didn't know if those cleared up the inner ear issues or not. I just feel like when I walk it's not normal. It is but if feels off to me.
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 2 years ago.

I think its your right to ask for the nurses that had flu shot and I also think you should say something about the comments she made. Unless asked, she really should keep that opinion to herself. I am surprised to hear that she would be so outspoken. In our hospital, if 80% of the hospital staff receives a flu shot, everyone gets 4 hours off so that encourages a lot of participation. I always get one and will continue to do so, I do believe they help.

I think next time your uncle brings up nursing home issue for your aunt, you should at least ask why and tell him that you take much better care of her than any (even most expansive) nursing home will. I don't think there are "free" nursing homes, at least something will need to come out of his pocket but from it sounds, he won't be able to afford a nice and expansive nursing home. This is something that you will need to take one day at a time, maybe it won't happen. You always need to stay positive :)

In terms of your symptoms, vertigo, which is what you are having, doesn't always come from middle ear problems, sometimes it just occurs from no specific reason at all. But if you have chronic sinusitis and allergies, vertigo can definitely be associated with them.

Meclizine, unfortunately, does not cure vertigo, it only improves symptoms once they are present. Some people can take Meclizine only as needed when episodes occur and other people need to take Meclizine every day because without Meclizine they have recurrence in symptoms. But Meclizine does not clear up inner ear issues.

There is no danger to take full tablet of Meclizine or 1/2 tablet two to three times daily when you have the symptoms. They only problem is that Meclizine can make you sleepy but if it doesn't, no problems taking it more often. If you take Meclizine at bedtime, you should take a full tablet.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Julia, I plan on calling to talk to the social worker. I don't want to get her in trouble, so I won't mention her name, but she should have kept her opinions to herself. I had talk to the social worker about this before not wanting nurses to come in when one of them told me early on they don't have to have a flu shot if they don't want one. It looks like I didn't get the message across the first time, so maybe I will have to be a little more out spoken & not so nice this time about it.

My uncle is someone that tunes you out when he gets something in his head, he never thinks he is wrong, and he tries to make you think you are stupid for having an opinion. I have dealt with him for many years so I know. I just have to pray he has a change of heart if it's in his mind to do something like that. I gave up everything to take care of my aunt, and I am very upset about his words.

I only took 1/2 a Meclinzine today, usually it helps me, but I have just felt like I was off when I am walking, & I can see that I'm not. I hate to take a full pill I'm afraid I won't wake up if she is crying or calling out. I think my sinus & ear has a lot to do with it, I am always so stuffy. It seems like it's that side of my head that got hurt years ago with the hair pulling that this always happens on. I just often wonder if it something from that causing it. Also I had terrible whip lash that never really got fixed years ago. I think I told you when he was fixing my neck I went a few times, and the very last time I went he gave my neck a pretty good adjustment that caused me to be dizzy for a couple days. That scared me so I never went back. I just figured it would correct itself eventually. He told me my neck didn't have any curve or something if I remember correctly. I know it's because I fell straight down on my chin. He had given me a chart with all the symptoms you can have from a poor aligned neck & back & dizziness was one of the things. I can't find it Lord only knows what I did with it.
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 2 years ago.

Good morning Beth,

 

Let me know how the conversation with the social worker goes.

 

If 1/2 Meclizine doesn't make you tired, a full tablet should not make you so tired either. It may make you a bit sleepy but not to the point where you don't hear your aunt.

Yes, chronic allergic sinus problems can cause vertigo and symptoms will vary depending on how your sinuses are doing. Because all of the ear, nose and throat systems are connected, they are all dependent on each other. If you have chronic sinus problems, you should get some treatment such as nasal spray and anti-allergy medication (like Claritin or Allegra). It will help you with breathing better and hopefully minimize the vertigo symptoms. I doubt that the "hair" accident that you had have anything to do with your current symptoms. Misalignment in the neck, can!

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Julia, I spoke with the social worker she said when they have their team meeting in the morning, all the nurses would be in attendance so she could voice my concerns. The visiting nurse just left, and she told me she did not have the flu like the other nurse had said, she had a bout of diviticulitis (?) She said she always has her yearly flu & pneumonia shot. So that gave me some peace of mind. But there are those that are fill-ins I don't know about, but I will ask them as well. Like I told the social worker I am not trying to be difficult, I just have to look out for my aunt & I, since I am her only caregiver, if I am down who will take care of her, and if she gets it also, that would be horrible. That happen in the past both of us sick, and me still going & not being able to rest. My uncle before he got the shot he was always getting us sick, and since he got the shot we haven't got sick. Thank God & knock on wood! He just didn't seem to care he would walk in the room & cough his head off spreading germs. I would say cover your mouth & wash your hands. But try to make a difficult person listen to you! It is so stressful to worry about colds & flu.

On another note thank goodness I am not in that fog or off sensation today! Again knock on wood lol!
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 2 years ago.

I am glad you had conversation with the social worker. At least, now, you got it off your chest. I am glad the regular nurse told you she gets her annual flu shots, it really is the right thing to do when one works with elderly people so much.

 

I am glad you have no vertigo today. Vertigo can be very disabling. If you get it again, try full Meclizine pill but, in general, consider treatment for your chronic sinus issues.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Julia one more question, today she said my aunt had a 2+ edema in her lower legs & feet, she said 4+ being the worst. I guess I just never noticed the pitting in her legs I just have always focused on her ankles & feet. The upper legs don't seem to have any edema or pitting. It just always seems like she has it no matter how amount of time she is up. Like when I take her to the bathroom or she is sitting up eating. I keep her legs up bed level til she is finished eating. The nurse said she herself has the edema all the time. Should I be worried or is this, just because of the immobility. The one nurse seem concerned & the regular nurse did not.
Expert:  Julia Kizhner replied 2 years ago.

No, I don't think its a concern. Your aunt has chronic swelling in her ankles and feet and sometimes swelling moves up to her legs if she has been sitting for a long time.

Most likely this is due to immobility and besides elevating her legs, there is not much that can be or needs to be done (especially if your aunt, herself, is not bothered by it). Giving her water pills will only make you work harder because her urination will increase and you will need to clean up more often. Sometimes wearing compression stockings (especially during the day) will minimize swelling so you can talk to her dr about presribing them. I would get the ones that are not very tight so that she is not uncomfortable. The stockings will help blood circulation and decrease the swelling. You will take them off at night.

Julia Kizhner, Physician Assistant
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1126
Experience: 7 years experience working in Primary Care as well as Gastroenterology, Sleep Medicine & Weight Loss
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