|Guglielmo and her husband, Jim, tour castles during a trip to England, Ireland and France.
Karen Guglielmo enjoys traveling the world with her husband, Jim. They love seeing new and exciting places so much, Guglielmo doesn't let Crohn's Disease get in the way of their travel plans.
Crohn's Disease is an inflammatory bowel disease with a number of different effects. "I'm not able to absorb nutrients from my food," says Guglielmo. "I'm constantly on the verge of dehydration." Guglielmo requires 12 hours of nutrient-packed intravenous fluids every day.
Diagnosed at 12, Guglielmo described it as an "abrupt change". "We were considering a temporary solution of an IV pole such as one you drag around the hospital," she said.
But how could Guglielmo, who's always looking for adventure, lead her life if she's hooked to an IV? "That's where BJC Home Infusion Services comes in," says Sally Adams, director of BJC Home Infusion Services. "Services are offered to patients so they can receive care at home without the daily aid of a nurse or physician."
Guglielmo has a pump in a small pack that allows her to receive fluids at home or wherever she is traveling. "The pump is the size of a triple-decker club sandwich. It's very small and has a little backpack that gives me a sense of control. I don't have to stay at home. I can pick up my backpack and go. It is pre-set to the rate of fluids I need. A couple of beeps let me know it's complete."
In the event that something should go wrong, like air getting into the line or the line getting pinched, there is no need to panic. "I call the help desk, leave my name and number and they call me right back," Guglielmo says. "If they can't handle it over the phone, they send a nurse over immediately. They don't expect me to be a nurse. And I never feel like I'm talking to someone who doesn't know what they're talking about."
"Home Infusion staff members are extensively trained so that they can help with any situation," says Adams. "Patients and family members also can be taught how to minimize the risk of an emergency."
"I have a safety net of people taking care of me. They've helped me make Crohn's Disease manageable. It's much less traumatic and dramatic than you think it's going to be," says Guglielmo, who has started training for a half marathon. "They've given me a much better quality of life. I'm never alone."
Crohn's Disease is one of many types of at-home services offered by BJC Home Infusion Services.