Each month, we feature a member of the One Degree Shift community. This month we are featuring Pat Collins, owner of MedAdvocate. She is making a tremendous difference in the lives of caregivers and their aging loved ones. Pat is a Pharmacist who believes, “Getting older doesn’t mean feeling bad or being sick.” She has often found that the drugs her clients are taking are making things worse. Pat is on a mission to improve her clients’ quality of life for the time they have left. Read the touching story she shared when I asked her, “What’s your WHY.“
CASSANDRA: Hi Pat! Tell us a little bit about you and your journey.
PAT: I grew up in a small town called Etowah, TN and graduated from Samford University School of Pharmacy in Birmingham, AL. I worked as a retail pharmacist for over 23 years, and now I am in the information and troubleshooting side of pharmacy.
CASSANDRA: The information and troubleshooting side of pharmacy. Tell us more. What service do you offer?
PAT: I work with families that are dealing with the declining health or mental state of aging parents. Most are caregivers that are overwhelmed and frustrated. They may have full-time jobs, a spouse, and kids still at home or in college. They don’t realize that their loved one’s treatment plan may be making the situation worse. I “put it all together” for them and develop an action plan they can work from. It’s about addressing the unique needs of their parents and taking a whole person approach to treatment. I show them what to deal with first, second, third and so on, and what they need to do to control the situation instead of being controlled by the situation.
I’m passionate about helping people understand that they have choices, and that there is someone out there, a medical professional, that will listen to their concerns, needs and issues. I’ll do the research and present them with options. I have been there wanting to help my parents get the best care possible, and I know how difficult it is when you are juggling a job and a family of your own. I help families provide the best quality of life for their loved ones for the time they have left.
CASSANDRA: What you offer is so needed today. We’re living longer. You advise on the dangers of multiple medications and help families talk to care providers to revise care plan if necessary. As a caregiver myself, I’m definitely looking at quality of life for my uncle. Where can people find you online or how can we reach you?
PAT: You may reach me online at http://medadvocate.net/ or call me at 865-684-8771.
CASSANDRA: In a recent One Degree Shift community call, we talked about the importance of knowing your WHY – why you do what you do. Tell us your WHY.
PAT: I have experienced the stress and frustration of medical issues with my mom. I am a pharmacist and my brother is a physician, but in our parents eyes we are still 10 years old. They don’t want to bother us, and they sure don’t complain. I know that there are sometimes multiple doctors and multiple issues, and nobody is taking the time to look at everything and put it all together. The physicians are not communicating with each other, and in my case, my mom couldn’t tell them everything and the volume of information given by healthcare providers is overwhelming. It is just too much information, and they don’t explain it very well. My dad did the best he could to listen and understand, but he couldn’t relay it to us, because he didn’t understand all of it.
We can only process so much information at a time, and when we are under stressful conditions we process even less. Our brains do a protective “thing” and only let us deal with little bits at a time. You may hear all of the information, but you cannot process it all at once. It doesn’t matter what your profession is or how smart you are because in that moment you are the child of a parent in need. You are not thinking rationally, you are reacting and in survival mode. I get it. I take some of the stress away by providing the information that you need to help your loved one.
CASSANDRA: You take a lot of the stress away. Caring for your loved one especially in critical care situations is enormously stressful. I’m glad you’re there to help us make sense of the situation. Pat, what wisdom have you been given to share with us from your own personal experience and story?
PAT: I had to find out the hard way that I couldn’t do it all – at least not all at the same time. My mom was in critical care. I was working 12-hour shifts at the pharmacy. My brother was working at his urology practice. We both had kids. My dad was staying at the hospital, and my brother and I were visiting as much as possible. I would shut the pharmacy down at 8:15 p.m. just to make the last visit. If I didn’t catch the doctor at the time of the visit, I knew nothing and nobody would tell you anything. Sometimes, if my brother or I were there late, the nurses would let us look at the test results. But, most families would not have access to that information. Sadly, my mom didn’t make it. I do what I do in her memory. I want to help other families get the information before they get into a critical situation. Prevention of complications is my ultimate goal. Yes, we do have to get older, but we don’t always have to feel bad or be sick.
CASSANDRA: Thank you Pat for so bravely sharing your personal story. I love your message: “We don’t have to feel bad or be sick just because we are getting older.” One last question, you’re a member of One Degree Shift – actually you’re our first member. Tell us the biggest value so far of your membership?
PAT: I enjoy being able to discuss situations with the group and finding solutions to problems. I like that others feel passionate about what they do to help others. Learning what worked and did not work for them in their business is a great help to me.
CASSANDRA: Thank you Pat. This has been an informative spotlight. I’m happy to introduce you and your business to others. I’m glad you’re part of One Degree Shift, and I’m excited to support you in making a BIGGER difference for others.
What concerns do you have about the dangers of multiple medications or revising the treatment plan for your loved one? Leave a comment for Pat.
Join Pat and other One Degree Shift members as we make a shift to greater results, a bigger difference, and higher purpose. Find Out More!