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My Telehealth Experience

Louise – With Professor Dominic Rowe, Macquarie Hospital

Louise – who prefers that her surname not be used – has been living with Parkinson’s for a decade but has only been living in the Port Macquarie area for the past two years.

She discovered the local Parkinson’s Specialist Nurse Rachael Mackinnon two years ago, while reading about the service in her local newspaper.

“When I saw the piece in the newspaper, I rang and got in touch with Rachael,” recalled Louise who is in her senior years (but generally feels much younger).

“Rachael knew Professor Rowe in Sydney who is my neurologist.”

Louise was concerned that the long drive down to Sydney to see Professor Rowe had become too tiring for her. So instead, Rachael offered to arrange a Telehealth conference for Louise, with Rachael assisting in the link-up.

Louise said the Telehealth meeting was just as helpful as actually being in Professor Rowe’s surgery.

“This allows me to get the same service from Professor Rowe and it saves the travel,” said Louise. “I have a ventriculoperitoneal (VP)* shunt inserted in my brain to help manage the effects of Parkinson’s and I can also get an update on this with him in these Telehealth appointments.

“It’s so helpful to be able to get an appointment without leaving here.”

Louise has also phone Rachael for assistance on other matters relating to her Parkinson’s.

“She’s very helpful. Rachael is very, very good,” said Louise. “I’ve also got a good GP here, so I feel like I am getting assistance from a team of good people.”

* A VP shunt works by taking the fluid out of your brain and moving it into your abdomen (belly), where it’s absorbed by your body. This lowers the pressure and swelling in your brain.