February 18, 2022
February 18 is National Caregivers Day, and Somatus wants to give a huge shout-out to the people in our members’ lives whose care and commitment allow them to focus on what matters most – staying healthy!
Whether it’s driving to and from appointments, distributing medications, or tidying up, we see your compassion and commitment. This year, we are showing our appreciation for our members and their caregivers by sharing the inspiring story of one of our own.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Somatus member, Phyllis, and her son, Christopher, to hear firsthand how important a strong support network is for your health.
Phyllis and Christopher are a mother/son duo who live in Atlanta, Georgia. Phyllis joined the Somatus program in June 2021 as a result of her chronic kidney disease (CKD).
When Phyllis’s kidneys began to decline, Christopher didn’t think twice when he made the decision to leave his job, move in with his mother, and help take care of her.
Robin, Phyllis’s Somatus Nurse Care Manager said, “Without hesitation Christopher makes her his priority, and he reinvented his career to accommodate her needs. He is always polite, honest and does his best to communicate with our team. His mother is his motivation.”
Every day, Christopher checks and records his mother’s blood pressure and her weight. When he is not working nights as a med tech at a local assisted living facility, he wakes up early to go to the laundromat and grocery store, ensuring he can be back in time to give Phyllis her morning medications. When she has a doctor’s appointment, he helps her get ready by doing her hair and setting out her clothes. He attends all her appointments as scheduled and follows up with her care team if he has any questions or concerns.
“You know those helicopter parents?” Christopher laughed while describing how he cares for his mom, “that’s kind of how I am with my mom. You learn to be more careful when you’re taking care of someone else.” Christopher took his care giving duties even further by studying to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA).
Over the last year, Phyllis has made great strides in her health. She now has a nephrologist, her blood pressure is under control, and her diet and kidney function have improved.
“If it wasn’t for Somatus, I wouldn’t have known about my mom’s kidney disease, and I wouldn’t have found a nephrologist,” Christopher said. “I thank you guys for being there for me and my mom. I now know that I have a friend when it comes to being able to take care of my mom.”
What challenge will Christopher and Phyllis conquer next? “My goal is to get her back to walking around outside. Then, the goal is to have her living till she’s 150-200 years old.”
When asked what she’s most thankful for, Phyllis tearfully replied, “I really appreciate him, I don’t know what I’d do without him.”