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Simple tips for brain injury, illness, aging, injuries, patients … Do you have an advocate? Part 1 of 2

No one can be totally prepared to handle a medical crisis alone!  How can you be the patient and advocate along with a body in crisis?  Some are better ready than others, yet these are too very different roles.  If you’ve never been ill or injured you may think you will never need an advocate.  Trust me, everyone NEEDS an advocate! Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Again? Thank you for the prayers.

Advocacy.  Listening.  Persistence.  Life.  Health. POA. TPN. SICU. Ventilator. Disability. Rehabilitation. Healthcare. These are just a few terms that one’s dear friend is learning by experience.  An experience no one wants to find themselves in.

First I do want to thank everyone for their prayers for the person who has shared our home for the past 4 years and I’ve known since age 5.  In her struggle for life she found “healthcare is good if you never need it!”  She never needed it before, but when she had developed progressive problems no one seemed to hear her complaints. A common complaint to many!

Over a short time she became worse.  Finally her body would no longer go regardless of how hard her mind pushed.  Her life came to a stand still!  She was no longer well enough to work.   She feared loosing her jobs.  Now, all she wants is her health. We all have hope and prayer.

IMG_6965 It’s been a tough month, but something I’m familiar with … on all levels!  I was saddened to see how healthcare professionals expect everyone (regardless of education) to know exactly what was happening and to totally understand everything in their time of crisis.

It seems like no one has time to educate.  What’s more important than health?  It’s been a time to constantly educate and that’s kept me busy in a way I’d rather not be but I’m comfortable with this yet exhausted and overwhelmed.  There is no routine.

My dear friend is entering territory that no one wants to enter.  Her future looks bleak, so it’s day-by-day … but hopeful!

Persistence saved her life. Albeit, quality of life altered significantly.  Five attempts at getting proper healthcare. Finally someone heard her desperate plea for help but most importantly they did blood work. She’s never been sick in her entire life.

The next thing I knew she was calling to let me know they were preparing her for the  first emergency surgery.  I arrived within the hour at the emergency room.  After two surgeries and a number of medical procedures she is now off a ventilator but continues to struggle for life in an acute rehabilitation center with many medical complications from multi-system failure.

It’s unbelievable that she survived and I know anyone who had visited during this time feels the same. Her outcome is unpredictable, and only time will tell.

Education has been out but others don’t act upon it.  I just want everyone to make sure they clearly know what they need to do in a true life-altering medical emergency. Do you have a Healthcare Power of Attorney?  Do you have a Financial Power of Attorney?  Don’t wait till this happens. Every second counts when dealing with life-threatening illness and injuries.

Do you have a place where updated telephone numbers are easily accessible?  Do you know what your loved one wants?  Please have these discussions.  It’s your responsibility and its your life!  Time is of essence when dealing with life-altering illness or injuries. It’s a time of action and support, and not time for discussion.

Who are your advocates? Being prepared makes these crisis easier to handle.  Are you ready if it happens in your family? If you panic in crisis do you have someone who will react calmly to the most devastating news?

**********All material presented on Brain Injury Self Rehabilitation (BISR) is copyright and cannot be, copied, reproduced, or distributed in any way without the express, written consent of Edith E. Flickinger, BSN RN. 

 

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Simple tips for brain and spinal cord injury, illness, injury, aging, children, adults, everyone … Questions to ask your healthcare professionals

When you come across health issues there are a number of questions you and your advocate need to ask.  It’s difficult to know what questions to ask when your world is turned upside down and you are not familiar with healthcare systems. Either the patient or the advocate, or both should ask these questions.

The best outcome to all health issues is dependent on the educated patients and advocates. Asking the following questions will help you take control, eliminate some stress and struggles with healthcare and focus on ones optimal level of functioning.  This is a comprehensive but not all inclusive list of questions to ask your healthcare provider. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Simple tips traveling by air with TBI, aging, and other physical and mental challenges

Do not let your physical and mental challenges stop you from traveling when you want or need to. You can get preferential seating by Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Missing in Cleveland, Ohio Part 2 of 2

Police were at the door of this home.  There was  “no answer”, but that does not mean suspicion.  It’s a right and as much as we know that the police were knocking at the door where these three young women were being held captive they were not there because they knew the women were there.

What If

There will always be those “what if” thoughts.  So, what if the police shouted out “Police” we could speculate the women may have started pounding on the walls.  On the other hand, they could also believe they were being “tested” and not respond at all.

They were at this house because of an unrelated incident that happened during the employment as a school bus driver.  Yes, it was a missed opportunity but it’s unlikely they would have detected anything unusual.  If the suspect’s own brothers did not know anything he obviously figured out how to cover every thing up, until he made this one mistake a week ago.

Teen & early adulthood vulnerable

We’ve all been through those teen years and I’m fairly certain that everyone has experienced at least one situation in their years that could have ended very differently if another took advantage of vulnerable days.

This sparked another memory with my childhood best friend.  If we were ever missing I’m sure others would have said, “They would never go anywhere with a stranger”!

I’d love for others to take a moment to think back to those vulnerable years and share one experience that could have had a very different outcome if another took advantage of the situation.  These young women need to know that they did nothing wrong.  The person that did wrong was the criminal!

An ordinary teen another example

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my example of one situation it highlights how easily anyone could fall prey to criminal behaviors because of perceived trusting relationships.  At the age of 17 and 16 respectively,  myself and my childhood best friend put ourselves in an unknowingly vulnerable situation.  Was it ignorance?  Naive? Trusting?  It likely was a combination of naïvety, trust, and ignorance.

We never even thought that anything could happen.  It simply never crossed our minds.  Now, that isn’t to say things didn’t happen years ago.  Many things did, and we both had many areas of violence in our life.  Media attention was not what it is today.

We went to see the movie “Love Story” at Parmatown mall.  We took a bus home, but it was the wrong bus line.  Instead of getting home we were lost in a dark area we did not know.  Neither one of us would have been likely to take a ride from a stranger, or from anyone we knew.  We did just what no one else would believe.

The bus driver offered to drive us to our home.  We took that ride and fortunately we arrived safely! This also points out that many people are trustworthy individuals, and simply trying to help.

Had anything gone array everyone would have said, “They’d never go anywhere voluntarily”, and you never know what you would do unless you are in that situation.  One of these teens knew the perpetrator, it was her best friend’s father.  I’m pretty certain most of us have taken rides from people related to our best friend.  That’s why we call them our “best friend”, we trust them and their relationships…until they no longer are trustworthy or we take different paths in life.

To sum up this sad situation with these lovely young women and a child.  I believe in them, and know they will become happy adults and child.  They were assessed at the hospital where my nursing career as I once knew it, ended.  It’s the best place to be with a complicated situation.  Besides, this decade of torture for these young women happened less then one mile of MetroHealth Systems.

Neighbors

The neighbors had no reason to be suspicious.  If they were, they would have reported it.  Everyone has met strange people, but strange doesn’t equal criminal!  The suspects deception was incredible.  He deceived many adults, including his own siblings so it’s no wonder he was able to deceive inexperienced teens.

Many people don’t know what is happening within their own home, their own family, so to expect neighbors to know what is happening is outrageous.  Neighbors are not to blame.   Even the most astute neighbor would not be able to detect this level of deception. The emotional trauma these neighbors are feeling must be insurmountable.  Neighbors reacted when they had the opportunity and they rescued the women when they heard the calls for help.

The slogan “If you see something, say something.” This has very literal meaning.  If you only suspect something, it’s unlikely police would investigate.  They usually never do anything unless something drastic happens.  Hence, this is a primary reason for so many deaths from domestic violence.

Police respond … a fragmented system

Police officers respond to things witnessed, but in a large city prioritizing calls may put your concern at the bottom of the list.  Even when they do respond it may be minimized. A call here and there of concern may not put the entire picture together.

If different officers respond, it’s less likely anyone will put the pieces of the puzzle together.  (Similar to a fragmented health care system issues when one has a complex case and specialists are involved or one seeks another opinion) This is another fragmented system where no one links the problems together until disaster, terrorism, violence becomes insurmountable.

Healing

It is time for this entire community to begin healing.  Their healing will help these young women, child, families and friends to recover. Pray for the three young women and child found alive in Cleveland, Ohio.  May all their emotional needs be supported.

What type of situation have you been in that no one else would suspect?

If anyone is interested in donations to these young women there is only one legal fund at this time.  Cleveland Courage Fund has been set up to help. Click on the link below:  

http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/local_news/oh_cuyahoga/cleveland-courage-fund-donations-accepted-for-michelle-knight-amanda-berry-gina-dejesus

Related articles

**********All material presented on Brain Injury Self Rehabilitation (BISR) is copyright and cannot be, copied, reproduced, or distributed in any way without the express, written consent of Edith E. Flickinger, BSN RN. 

 

 

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Does your healthcare professional listen to you? Lost and found!

Have you ever found something and you tried to enlist others to help, but no one did?  Just the thought that no one can be bothered is heartbreaking.  Certainly, if most people were missing Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Laughter as brain injury medicine …. Where did that hour go?

Weeks ago we changed the clocks.  Clocks were turned ahead by one hour.  Atomic clocks automatically reset. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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