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Elderly Health Screening Service, Inc.


Our Wonderful Clients


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Our nurse practitioners have many occasions to follow up on a client after they have discovered a severe abnormality. Here are a few of those stories. Obviously, due to client confidentiality, we haven't used our clients' real names.


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Ann has been coming to EHSS since the service was first offered in her town twenty-two years ago. In the beginning, she was very sad and under a great deal of stress, as she was the sole caregiver for her husband, who had Alzheimerís disease. Several years later, his condition deteriorated to the point where he had to be placed in a nursing home. Shortly thereafter, he died. Slowly, through new-found interests, Ann began to fill the void in her life. She began singing in her church choir, and to swim competitively for the Senior Olympics.

Seven years ago, Nurse Kaplan found a lump in Annís breast, and urged her to have a mammogram at once, as she felt the lump was suspicious. Although Ann did go for the mammogram and a biopsy immediately, she refused to go for surgery on her malignant cancer until after her swim meet in North Dakota. She set 3 World Records and one National Record in her events at that meet.

When she returned to Connecticut, Ann underwent a lumpectomy and had radiation therapy for six weeks. Once the therapy was over, however, she resumed her very active lifestyle. Ann will be eighty-two on her next birthday, and still comes to EHSS for her annual preventive health screening. She also continues to break records at her swim meets, and to sing in the choir.


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Mr. & Mrs. Albright came in together for a health screening a year ago. They wanted to be sure everything was in order before they left on a long-planned vacation.

Mrs. Albright was examined first. Mrs. Kaplan, our Senior Registered Nurse Practitioner, discovered a very suspicious lump in Mrs. Albright's breast. She urged the client to see her physician that day, and to get a mammogram as soon as possible. Mrs. Albright refused, as they were leaving on vacation in two days. The nurse then called Mr. Albright into the examining room. After a long discussion, Mrs. Albright agreed to see her doctor that afternoon. Mr. Albright did not have his health screening that day, as he was distraught over his wifeís condition.

Several months later, Mr. Albright came in for his health screening, and brought a bouquet of flowers for Nurse Kaplan. His wife had gone for the mammogram and a biopsy. She was immediately admitted to the hospital, and had a radical mastectomy, followed up by chemotherapy. The flowers were Mr. Albrightís way of thanking our nurse for saving his wifeís life.

The Albrights are now planning another vacation.


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Last month, Mr. & Mrs. Peterson came to one of our clinics together. Mrs. Peterson was screened first, and at the end of her health screening, told Ms. Burkus, a Registered Nurse Practitioner, about some problems she was having with her husband. Previously, the Petersons had led very active lives, which including square dancing. For the past several months, however, Mr. Peterson had lost all interest in their former activities. He was "lazy," and just "moped around." She had also noticed that his breath smelled bad, and thought that he was neglecting to brush his teeth. She had given up hope, thinking that he was experiencing the onset of senility.

When Mr. Peterson came in for his health screening, the nurse noticed several things. He was stumbling. His breath smelled "fruity." His speech was slurred, and he was perspiring profusely.

Nurse Burkus noted that the medical technician had found a high glucose (sugar) level in Mr. Peterson's urine specimen. Also, when the blood test results were returned from the laboratory the next day, there was a high glucose level in Mr. Peterson's blood.

The nurse immediately telephoned the Petersons, and told Mrs. Peterson what the test reults showed. She advised that Mr. Peterson see their family physician at once, for further diabetic testing. She told Mrs. Peterson that her husband's problems might stem from diabetes, not laziness or senility.

Mr. Peterson did follow up with a visit to his personal physician, and was indeed diagnosed as a diabetic. He is currently under treatment from his physician which includes medication, diet and exercise.

The Petersons are going square dancing again.


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In the winter, Mrs. Jackson came to us for her first health screening on the recommendation of her physician. She walked to the senior center in bitter cold, in the snow, with the aid of two canes. She was incontinent of her urine, and the urinalysis revealed that she had a large amount of blood in her urine. The nurse also discovered a large cervical polyp during her pelvic exam, and the Pap test found scattered groups of endometrials, which can be indications of a pre-cancerous condition. Also, Mrs. Jacksonís hearing was severely impaired in both ears, and she was morbidly obese.

During the course of the health screening, the nurse counseled Mrs. Jackson on the importance of diet and exercise, and advised her to see her gynecologist as soon as possible. She also referred Mrs. Jackson to the senior shuttle in her town, which would have driven her to the health screening at no charge.

Mrs. Jackson did see her physician, her problem was corrected by a D & C, and her condition was found not to be cancerous. She also visited a hearing specialist, and was fitted with hearing aids.


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In July, Mrs. White came to us for her second health screening. She had a $1,000 deductible on her insurance, and was not yet on Medicare. She couldnít afford doctors, so she made annual appointments for health screenings.

This time, the urinalysis revealed a small amount of blood in her urine. She was advised to see a doctor for further testing, but was reluctant to go because of the cost.

Our nurse vigorously pursued the matter, calling the client several times to speak with her. After a month, to induce Mrs. White to agree to consult a physician, our nurse made a deal with her. EHSS would re-test her urine, free of charge. If there was more than a small amount of blood in the test results, she agreed that she would see a physician. The new urinalysis showed a moderate amount of blood in her urine, so Mrs. White kept her end of the bargain, and went to a doctor.

Further tests showed that she had cancer of the kidney. Her kidney was removed. She made arrangements to pay for the part of her medical expenses that were not covered by her insurance.


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Agnes Smith came for her first health screening with EHSS in January. During the course of the glaucoma examination, Nurse Burkus found a hemorrhage in Mrs. Smithís right eye, which neither Mrs. Smith nor her husband had noticed. Ms. Burkus referred her immediately to an ophthalmologist. Mrs. Smith did go that day, with her husband.

Nurse Burkus made a follow-up call a few days later, to ensure that the client followed her recommendation. Both Mr. and Mrs. Smith thanked our nurse profusely for saving her sight. Mrs. Smith is still under the doctorís care for the hemorrhage, and the doctor also found macular degeneration. This client would have ignored this problem if she had not come to Elderly Health Screening Service. She is very grateful to EHSS.


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Mrs. Fuller came to her first EHSS health screening complaining of dizzy spells. She was immediately referred to her physician, who was called from the screening site. Later that same day, St. Maryís Hospital Laboratory called us with her blood test results. Mrs. Fullerís blood glucose level was 722!! Normal blood glucose level is 70-120. Mrs. Fuller had no idea how ill she was. She had been driving her car, and providing transportation for her sister. We donít know how she managed to do this, as this level of blood sugar is nearly always fatal. Not only could she have died, but if she were driving her car and had a dizzy spell, or fell unconscious, she could have caused a terrible accident. Mrs. Fullerís physician placed her on medication that day. She is alive because of the health screening.


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When Mr. & Mrs. Johnson came to our health screening, they were each 75 years old. The elderly couple lived alone, and saw their son occasionally.

Our nurse, Linda Burkus, found that both Mr. & Mrs. Johnson had very high blood pressures. Mr. Johnsonís was 176/110, and Mrs. Johnsonís was 200/90. On questioning, the nurse found that the Johnsonís private physician had left the area two months prior to the screening. They did not have another M.D. Also, the blood pressure medicine they had been taking ran out two weeks prior to their health screening. They had no more medication, and no physician. The nurse referred both of them to the emergency room for treatment that day for their high blood pressure, and reports of dizziness.

During her follow-up call the next week, Nurse Burkus spoke with the coupleís son. He assured her that the Johnsons had gone to the emergency room, and were treated. They did find another physician, and were restarted on their medication. The Johnsons and their son were very appreciative of the nurse and our agency because of the care and follow-up that was provided.


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Mrs. James came to EHSS for her health screening, and although she insisted there was nothing wrong with her, Nurse Kaplan could tell that she was terrified that the screening would find something wrong. Unfortunately, the nurse did find an abnormality. She found a lump in Mrs. Jamesí right breast. She told Mrs. James she must have a mammogram and see her doctor. Her husband insisted that she go. Mrs. James had a mastectomy followed by a course of chemotherapy. Several months went by, and the nurse followed up with Mrs. James. She is now doing fine, and is under the care of an oncologist.


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We hear from our clients and their families before and after their health screenings. Some of them keep in touch with our nurses to let them know how they're doing.


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Dear Elderly Health Screening Service:

I am William Smith, husband of Mary Smith. First I want to take this time to thank you and your staff and the sponsors of Elderly Health Screening Service for giving her this much needed examination. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I know my wife is VERY SICK. For eighteen years she has been the picture of health, very seldom even a cold. Now since July of this year, 1991, she has gone downhill. Her arms and legs are so thin. Mary has worked as a nurseís aide for most of her life, and now to me she looks like some of the elderly patients she bathed and fed.

Early July 1991, I was very ill, and went to Waterbury Hospital. They said I had a small virus on my lung. I was put on medicine and within a few days I felt good again. Just maybe Mary caught the virus from me, Ďcause itís been since July when she started to lose weight. When she visited me at the hospital, I put her on the scale, as well as myself. She weight 124 lb. Five months later and look at her now. Mary is a VERY QUIET person. She OKs this message to you and that makes me happy. I pray it helps you to help her.

God bless you.
Sincerely,

William Smith


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This was Mary Smith's first health screening. Blood test results showed that Mary had leukemia, tragically discovered too late for treatment to be effective. Leukemia can't be cured, but prompt treament can often put this disease into remission, allowing the patient to be free of symptoms for a time. This can prolong the patient's life, and can allow for a better quality of life.


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Dear Elderly Health Screening Service:

I was very pleased with your service. It was at this last screening that the nurse discovered a slight mass in my right breast, and suggested I check it out with my medical doctor. I attended to that at once, and it turned out there was a malignancy that resulted in a modified mastectomy. I am doing beautifully and am ever so grateful for the part your screening performed in my life. I am under the care of my oncologist, who checks me out every three months, therefore I am not in need of your service. Thank you so much for sending this questionnaire so I can convey my sincerest appreciation, it shows you care. Keep up the good work!
Very truly yours,

Mrs. Craig


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Dear Mrs. Kaplan:

That morning at (your health screening) was one of the darkest times in my life. I could tell by your compassionate manner that I was in big trouble. So I went home and called Dr. ...........ís office, and they arranged a mammogram and an ultrasound, and you were right - - it was cancer, and it was in a milk duct. So they did a lumpectomy. I also had some CAT scans - - one of my chest, where they found a spot on my lung. Of course that complicated everything - - so I recently had a wedge taken out of my lung, and thank God it was not cancerous. Now Iím taking tamoxophen and will start radiation probably next week. Thanks to you, Mrs. Kaplan. Iím very grateful that your educated fingers found the problem and your gentle insistence made me go do something about it.
Thank you,

Mrs. Dunne


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Mr. & Mrs. Franks came to EHSS for a health screening several months ago. While examining Mrs. Franks, and speaking at great length to her, Nurse Kaplan realized that Mrs. Franks was in a state of depression. Nurse Kaplan suggested she make an appointment with a psychiatrist as soon as possible. Our nurse also spoke to Mr. Franks about his wifeís problems. Nurse Kaplan subsequently received the following two letters.


Dear Mrs. Kaplan:

Just a short note to thank you once again for your kindness. You have no idea how much it meant to me to be able to talk to you and have you be such a fine listener and be so supportive and helpful.

I will talk to my doctor when I see him in two weeks to seek some help. I only hope I can take medication. I will also try to change some of my ways, but I realize that will be very difficult at my age. Still, I realize I must try.

I hope it gives you some pleasure to know how much your kindness meant to me. I will write you again when I have something to report. Until then, my deepest thanks and best wishes are sent your way.
Most sincerely,

Mrs. Franks
Dear Mrs. Kaplan:

When I saw you at the Senior Center, I told you I would ask for the name of a psychiatrist when I saw my gynecologist for my 6 week check-up. But I became so depressed I couldnít wait that long, and saw Dr. K. two weeks ago... He put me on Paxil and Clonazepam immediately. He is also requesting I walk 4 miles a day, which as yet I canít do, but will work on it.

Dr. K. said not to expect too much before 3 weeks and more again in 3 months, but the pills have already made a difference. Some days are better than others, but I no longer fear Iím going crazy. It was the most horrible feeling one can imagine.

Thank you again for your encouragement. I should have done this 30-40 years ago and saved myself so much pain. But if I can live without depression and anxiety for the remainder of my life, I will be grateful.

Wanted to keep you posted as I promised. Again, my thanks and best wishes to you.


Most sincerely,

Mrs. Franks


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We also hear from clients when we receive our follow-up and survey forms back from them. Many of them don't just fill out the form, but tell us something of what has happened to them. Here are a few we received from clients who were screened recently.


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Mr. Henry wrote:

Ten years ago you detected blood in my urine. Subsequent follow-up by a urologist resulted in my having my left kidney removed because of a cancerous tumor. If you had not detected that, I may have eventually lost both kidneys. I now go regularly to my physician. Also, you detected a swelling of my wifeís throat. Here again, my wife was found to have a thyroid (problem), resulting in her using medication daily as prescribed by her doctor.


Yours truly,

Mr. Henry


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Mrs. Rollo wrote:

The Elderly Health Screening has been the first time I ever received an EKG. My last test showed there was a problem. Without this test, I would not have known. I shall discuss this with my doctor.
Sincerely,

Mrs. Rollo


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Elderly Health Screening Service, Inc.

161 North Main Street
Waterbury, CT 06702-1405
USA

Phone: 203-753-9284
Fax: 203-596-0640


Elderly Health Screening Service, Inc. is a private, nonprofit, 501c3 tax-exempt agency.


All donations gratefully accepted.

Copyright © 1999-2002 Elderly Health Screening Service, Inc.

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