How can I find a stroke doctor that will be willing to make house calls?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 27, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Does anyone have a suggestion? My husband had a "major" stroke 2 1/2 years ago, no recovery. He cannot speak, right side is effected, he has chronic regional pain syndrome due to the stroke (at least that is want the doctor said) Because of the pain he was put on methadone, at the time I was able to get him into the dr every month as needed for a new prescription but as time went on he got weaker and can no longer help me get him out of bed, into the wheelchair and into the car. He went 2 weeks without methadone while I was trying to figure out what to do. Believe me that was not a pleasant time, if I accidentally touched his right side my husband just started screaming and he doesn't say words just sounds. I really considered ways of ending it for both of us. I finally found a house call dr and that was ok for about 3 months. But just today I called to get another appointment for next week (because my husband will be out of methadone) and was told he is no longer willing to come to where we live, sorry. Before my husband's stroke I didn't think a doctor could just drop caring for you but now this is the 2nd dr that has done it. I still cannot get my husband out of bed and into a car (he is 6 foot tall and is about 230lbs). I can tell this is going to be an ongoing problem. I don't think I will make it through that again. Any suggestions as to what to do? And before anyone asks, no I don't have anyone to help. Our children have just stuck their head in the sand and pretend everything is ok. When they come over every month or so (1 of them has not been over 1 year), I ask can they stay with dad so I can get some off time, just a few hours, they say sure but when I try to get a date and time they just disappear. I don't say much because I will then lose that outside contact. My husband and I were very close and just never built any real friendships apart from each other. Not complaining about that we were happy, I am just explaining because I get a lot of "isn't there a friend or can your kids help?". I am willing to listen to any suggestions.

Expert Answers

James Castle, M.D. is a neurologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem (affiliated with The University of Chicago) and an expert on strokes.

I am very sorry to hear about your awful situation.

You were very lucky to find a doctor willing to make a house call. That is almost unheard of these days.

To get the help you need, social support around you, and a doctor that can come to you, I would highly recommend moving either him or both of yourselves into an assisted living facility. You may be able to get an independent living facility as well.

I have found that there is a major stigma associated with these places, and people are extremely unwilling to sell their homes, particularly in this real estate market. However, once moved in, I have found that most people very much enjoy the experience. You will be surrounded by other people in similar situations, will have 24/7 access to nurses and often to doctors who round every week or so, and have meals prepared for you. You may really enjoy this, and I certainly think it is worth looking around at some local facilities and/or discussing the financing options with one of their social workers. Your insurance may pick up a large part of the bill for you to stay there.

I hope that helps, and good luck.