Four years ago, Sandra Fernández Carvajal arrived at the Hospital San Juan of God as the companion of her husband, who fell a victim to cerebral ischemia.
A few months later, she ended up being the patient.
The radical change in his life by becoming the sole carer of her husband, his obligation of dealing with all the medications he takes and the problems of memory, added an emotional and physical toll is too heavy.
Sandra recalls how he changed the character: I was more sad, she got angry easily and began to lose interest in the activities that before were excited.
The doctors in charge of her husband realized, and was referred to the area of Mental Health, where he attended Sonia Montero Lobo, one of the nine nurses who specialize in Mental Health and Psquiatría of the Saint John of God.
Sitting in a small lounge, two years after receiving therapy with Flowers of Bach with Montero, this neighbour of Homeless, of 61 years, says his life is another.
Monday, April 24, he reached his monthly consultation with the nurse.
“I loft with Sonia. I tell him everything. And gives me my Flowers of Bach”, he says.
This is one of the additional therapies to the medical treatments they receive several patients in this hospital, one of the centers of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS) that are incorporating complementary therapies into their services.
The San Juan de Dios, for example, have conversation sessions with breathing therapeutic; art therapy with color and logotherapy, which become tools for patients to be able to face by themselves the difficulties of life, in addition to the disease, he explained Marielos Fernandez Incer, nurse, head of Unit, Mental Health and Psychiatry of that hospital and also a specialist in this area.
Fernandez clarified that these consultations will never replace the medical treatments you receive, for example, people who are sick of cancer, heart or neurological problems.
Behind the symptoms
The Bach Flower remedies are flower essences that will help the patient to control emotions such as stress, depression or anxiety.
Should only be provided by individuals who have been trained and certified in that technique, as Sonia Montero, who paid for the account own your training and provides out-of-pocket supplies that he gives to his patients.
For this nurse with 25 years of experience, the opening of the headquarters of the hospital for this type of practice allows the San Juan placed at the height of other health centers in the world, they also have been incorporated.
“In hospitals of the first world that they are doing this from several years ago. Of the hand of an expert, you are able to make interventions in crisis and help the patients to express their feelings. It is especially useful in situations of domestic violence,” said the nurse specialist.
Sandra Fernandez Sonia handed him a cup with the essences that you will need to put on your tongue several times a day for the next month.
The substances, formed by the flower essences will help you to feel more peace and tranquility in the tasks that now must take with her husband sick.
In the case of the San Juan, patients such as this lady arrive by two sources: by the outer query or the Emergency services, and hospitalization.
“They are referred by physicians to Mental Health. Here is involved with a technique that we use: the Interpersonal Relationship of Assistance (RIA), and crisis intervention. Through the development of this technique, we have various interventions that lead the patient to improve the emotional part of your life.
“What do we mean? A patient anxious because she was diagnosed with an illness and left the children alone. If you arrive here this stresses you, and all of the external factors add more pressure.
“There is where they call us: we provide crisis intervention, give him a therapeutic process while you are an inpatient. If we see that it requires follow-up, we give reference to the outer query”, explained Fernández.
Anxiety and stress violence
90% of the stories that they see you have a background of domestic violence.
“People came by liver disease and studies for diseases that never lies, and when we started to look we see that the patient is a victim of violence. Violence harms all”, adds Fernández.
Last year alone, the area of Mental Health St. John of God, in charge of Nursing, gave 8.300 queries similar to the Sandra Fernández.
“Establishing therapeutic goals with patients. And from there, define how many sessions. It is normal to be eight to ten, because the goal is that the patient will not last longer than two years. The idea is to give them tools for life to learn how to solve their problems,” said Fernandez.
Hospital workers have also been included in this process.
Luis Guevara, a nursing assistant for ten years, he participated in a workshop organized by Nurses for the management of stress.
“We were very overworked and exhausted mentally. Nursing is 24 hours a day with the patient. It has cost us to make time for this, but it was worth it. Teach us how to deal with the sick and with the other fellow,” said Guevara.
This staff will give you a technique for breathing, and teach them to set boundaries in such a way that does not hop meal times and are able to comply with the multiple tasks that demand the hospital.
Health in the water
While in the San Juan ‘prescribe’ some patients breathing and relaxation techniques alongside medical treatment, in the Hospital Calderón Guardia incorporated from three years ago hydrotherapy for various ailments.
Although the majority of the ‘clients’ here are people operated by fractures, herniated disc or wear of the knee and hip, the use of the only swimming pool in a general hospital in the country also extends to patients of other specialties other than Orthopedics.
The specialist in Physiatry, Vanessa Ucles Villalobos, commented that five years ago there assist the patients to whom they have been extirpated the breast for cancer and other cancer patients.
They don’t let them make your chemotherapy or radiotherapy. However, here, they stimulate the relaxation of body and mind to speed up the process of recovery.
This pool, which is located in one of the houses which the hospital rents in the vicinity of the main building, in San Jose, also attending patients with HIV / aids and patients who were at some time in Intensive Care.
The recovery is accelerated not only by the therapeutic effect of the water at the muscular level, but also because it is considered to be part of a ludoterapia, with the development of in-water activities that will generate a feeling of pleasure to the sick.
To Grettel Obando Zuniga, 52 years old, found on the 26th of April in the turbulent waters that are adjacent to the main pool.
It is part of your treatment to regain the mobility in her arms and legs after the third operation of herniated disc.
“I was paralyzed for eight months from the neck down. I had hydrocephalus. This therapy restored his life because I was in a wheelchair and I was told she would never walk,” said Obando.
Keylor Rodríguez Baltodano, one of the therapists in charge of the therapy in the swimming pool, he witnessed the start of Obando, when it came to crying because she couldn’t move.
The change has been 180 degrees. Today, says Grettel, already can mobilize single by San Jose and even going to the beach.
Inside the jacuzzi, on her side, is Leonardo Garcia, who collects the last three years trying to overcome a herniated disk that keeps him away from his professional activities.
He has 34 years old, and today puts his faith that the water will be able to help with your recovery.
The supervisor of Physical Therapy, George Fernandez, reported here serve up to six patients per hour, Monday to Friday, 7 to. m. to 12 m. d.
“The priority is the newly-operated, particularly of spine, hip replacements and knee surgery, and neurosurgery. With the physical therapy conventional, the recovery time is greater,” says Fernandez.
The floating effect of impact and displacement to decrease the possible sequelae in the joints of the extremities.
The intention of this service is to grow in the coming years to incorporate patients from other specialties to the benefits of the therapy in the water.
Journalist of Health. Master’s degree in Journalism from the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain. Specialized in health issues.