Thursday, October 31, 2013

31 October 2013 Again

I noticed since Monday GPC gave me the same portable suction machine and on Tuesday and again on Wednesday.  It is suppose to be cleaned at the end of each day.  I suspect they are short handed because I heard that the $100,000 highly trained nurses are calling in sick because they are so traumatized over them beating me. Or maybe it is a signal to management that they oppose what they are doing to Randy and I. I hope this is the case.

Anyways I did see Randy in the piano room closet Wednesday and he still wanted to go home with me.

I was disappointed not even angry as I suspected that neither Dr. Dunne nor Dr. Haye would come and talk with me.  I also asked the RT to come and see me so I can discuss Randy's suctioning with her and she did not attend as well.  Tanu attended as she explained that Randy did not need a blood thinner as he was active.  He is no more active than when he was at VGH and they instilled the fear in me that a blood thinner was necessary. I sent a email to both Dunne and Haye for them to tell me how sick Randy is.  I want written reports and I want xrays.

And above all I asked a RN from Ward 2 if the RN was afraid of me.  No, I was told.  Last time I was banned it took me over a year to ask the residents and the staff and visitors if any of them were afraid of me and the answer was always no.  In fact they didn't even know I was banned.  Other people areoften banned or threatening with banning all the time even the residents/patients so they can't visit other residents, so it is a common occurrence but no one talks about it.Visitors are the curse of the nursing profession.

If Randy is so sick that there are doctor orders saying that Randy not be moved from GPC then I should not be told I cannot see Randy.  In fact in Randy's directive to GPC in January 2013 it was written and witnessed by a lawyer that this be done.  So now GPC is saying Randy has no voice in his care.

This afternoon Thursday October 31 2013  after leaving GPC because staff said Randy couldn't get out of bed because he was sick and I couldn't go to his bedside although Randy requested it.  Via a friend he said he didn't want to get out of bed but he did say he wanted me to be at his bedside. Alternatively, he wanted his bed transported to the music room so that we could be together.  GPC refused. On October 30 Randy is not imprisoned but on October 31 he is imprisoned again.
 



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Not Allowed to Talk to Me, I am so Sorry


If Randy is as sick as GPC says then I should have access to his bedside. He is chronic and he can die any moment and I was told over a year ago that his life expectancy was two years. While crying I told Randy's social worker of this conversation with this doctor and his comment was the doctor shouldn't have told me this. Apparently, the policy of GPC is to never tell anyone the truth. How stupid am I not to make the connection as to why VCH were rationing his treatment and pushing and pushing for DNRs.  They had nothing to worry about me as after Randy is death I would be gone and who really is interested in an old woman and a non-productive patient who was draining the medical system. How could I be so stupid.

I just got off the phone 604-322-8370 I wanted to know how Randy was.  I tried to call Ward 2 yesterday evening and no one answered the phone.  The nurse I spoke to at 6:13 am told me that she was not allowed to talk to me and she said that she was so sorry.  Am I to understand this: a RN is not allowed to talk to me.  A RN that makes $100,000 hasn't the discretion to talk to me.

I spoke to a Paladin Security Guard and was told that they while in the employ of GPC are not allowed to TOUCH anyone as they would be fired; so why did they assault me on October 21 2013.  This isn't the first time.  One time which shocked me was in November 2012 when I returned Randy to GPC because he had a fever and before I even had a chance to say a word, they they attacked me and said that I was not allowed on Ward 2.  I remember pushing Randy's wheelchair to GPC that evening and Randy holding down his wheel begging me not to return him to GPC.  I told him not to worry as I would stay with him until I knew he was safe.  I was forced from him as I entered Ward 2 without a chance of saying that Randy was sick.  They took him away and  Randy ended up the next day at VGH acute.  At that time Marty, a nurse, and Bob, a security guard, sat on me to prevent me from moving.  When I asked to see the incident report a few days later there was no report.  I told Ro.  I never heard anything further about it.  It did happen as the police attended and there is a police report.

I asked to speak to Dr. Dunne and Dr. Haye yesterday about Randy's medical condition.  No show.  I then emailed them that one of them attend to speak to me this afternoon at 1:00 pm.  I suspect that they have been instructed by Napolean Ostrow, the CEO of VCH, not to talk to me as well.  How can I possibly be able to advise Randy as to what is best for him (as he relies on me) when his doctors won't talk to me.

I have had a friend of mine and Randy's visit Randy each morning especially last week when I was banned from entering GPC property on threat of police arrest for trespassing and my fear of being physically assaulted and he told me yesterday that staff is still contaminating Randy by recycling suction catheters and using not sterile gauze to wipe the catheter before inserting it again therefore possibly infecting him again. At VGH they do not have gauze for this very reason.

My friend also said that for the past few days he has been asked to leave as the staff does his toilette (his personal care) for an hour at a time which is ridiculous as the most it should take is 10 to 15 minutes to do it. Doing this restricts Randy's visiting. And forces my friend to end his visit.  Also they removed a chair from Randy's bedside so that my friend has to stand.  My friend has problems with his feet so he cannot stand for a long time.  They will just do everything to deprive Randy of his quality of life until he suffers a respiratory failure.

GPC isn't protecting its residents, visitors and staff from me.  They are only instilling fear in them not to say or do anything as look what happened to Randy and Audrey... And these are where your tax dollars are going: to nurses who bully, and the public trust in the medical system is being further eroded.

Since Randy is under a death sentence there is no reason for me to be quiet.




Tuesday, October 29, 2013

29 October 2013

Went to see Randy at 1:10 pm.  He wasn't too happy but like always in the second hour he wanted to go home as he was pointing his thumb towards the door.  When I said I could not take him home yet because he was not well, he threw everything on the floor.  I do not understand why they are still insisting Randy is too sick to go off site especially when I am told by the nurses that he is okay. He looks fine to me.





Monday, October 28, 2013

My Randy

I just got a phone call from George Pearson Centre.  The phone was lifted to Randy's ear and I was told that upon hearing my voice, he started to cry.

All I get from the medical system is quality of life, quality of life. Randy they say has no quality of life so I should let him go.  It is Vancouver Coastal Health who is making sure Randy does not have a quality of life.

The threat of Linda Rose comes to mind when she said that I would never be allowed on Ward 2 even if Randy was on his death bed....what a bitch. And today Tanu said the same thing to me.

I went to see Randy from 1:00 to 3:00 at GPC.  I am very worried about him; he was so desponent. Towards the end of the second hour he was starting to become normal what normal is for him. We were in a family room which was boring as hell.  He has been in the hospitals for sixteen weeks straight and he looked like a man with no hope.

If Randy is as sick as GPC says then I should have access to his bedside. He is chronic and he can die any moment and I was told over a year ago that his life expectancy was two years. While crying I told Randy's social worker of this conversation with this doctor and his comment was the doctor shouldn't have told me this. Apparently, the policy of GPC is to never tell anyone the truth. How stupid am I not to make the connection as to why VCH were rationing his treatment and pushing and pushing for DNRs.  They had nothing to worry about me as after Randy is death I would be gone and who really is interested in an old woman and a non-productive patient who was draining the medical system. How could I be so stupid.

The only way I could get Randy back to GPC from VGH was to promise him that he would be able to come home every afternoon and instead he has been imprisoned.  He doesn't trust anyone.

When I called Ward 2 604.322.8370 to inquire about Randy on two different shifts the RNs who answered the phones would not give me their names although I had to give them my name.  I recognized their voices (Stephanie and Nereda) and I thought how stupid of these professional RNs who make $100,000 a year.  Both were part of the herd from Monday.  I was advised that Randy was fine and he was getting the best care available.   What a joke as I was reminded that one of the nurses not the two who make $100,000 could have infected Randy by reusing a contaminated suction catheter. Such bad use is not a one time event on Ward 2: it is deliberate: it is to save money. This is why family members should have 24/7 access and also educate themselves to some of the protocols to make sure staff is doing things according to protocol.  But according to my information there is no official protocol as to best practices to suction in VGH.  No wonder every resident it seems from GPC has pneumonia.

In the context of a coercive institutional environment how can anyone measure competency.

kip.woodward@vch.ca
604.875.4719


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Picketing October 27 2013

I did my two hours at Oakridge Centre demonstrating and informing the public that Randy cannot be kept at George Pearson Centre or anywhere else against his will.  And above all he cannot be prohibited from visiting me off site if I am banned or not.

Should the readers get information that discredits me please be advised that if anything I acted in self defence to protect Randy from him being imprisoned at GPC.  It makes no difference if Randy might change his mind today. On Monday October 21 2013 he was imprisoned.  The evidence speaks for itself  GPC was guilty of a criminal act and there is no way VCH can get out of that.

In the context of a coercive institutional environment how can anyone measure competency.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Picketing Saturday October 28 2013

I will be demonstrating in front of the Oakridge Mall on Saturday October 28 2013 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.  Should anyone wish to talk to me or buy me a hot chocolate I will be there.

I demonstrated from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.  People were interested.   And from 3:30 to 4:00 I stood on the boulevard outside of Safeway and held up the signs so the passing traffic was able to read them.  And when they stopped at the stop sign our eyes would meet.

This will be repeated today being Sunday October 29 2013.

I phoned GPC Sunday and was told that Randy did not have a temperature and he looked well.  So there is no reason why he can't go off site and visit me. 

A friend of ours who visited Randy this past week purchased a $120 table heater for Randy to make him more comfortable as the ward was very very cold and Tanu told him to remove it. I have extra blankets for Randy but as soon as I would leave they would be taken away to meet a nurses tidy fetish.There is a video called Envisioning Home on YouTube evidencing how cold a patient who has since died complained of the cold. Another reason all of us have to have 24/7 access to those in a facility.




Thursday, October 24, 2013

Picketing George Pearson Centre October 24 2013.

It was comical watching these two huge security guards standing in front of the door to the entrance of George Pearson Centre this afternoon.. What a joke and a waste of money.

What did they expect me to do.  I like picketing.  You talk to a lot of people and most are very supportive.  Not most, all.  Vancouver Coastal Health has a rotten reputation and what I am doing will just add to it..  The Eden principal says that residents have to live a normal life and GPC is the furtherest thing from a normal life there is.

I was told by a nurse today that Randy was happy, not depressed,. had no temperature, and he was being given excellent care although he still wasn't put into his wheel chair.  He has suffered sixteen weeks at VGH being in bed and there is no reason for his forced bed rest now.  All he does is look at the ceiling and silently scream with rage.  Later I received two emails disputing her assessment.  Both said he was non responsive and very unhappy.  Maybe someone should remind Tanu what atrophy does. It will take him weeks to get over this psychological trauma caused by what happened on Monday and his physical deterioration from lack of exercise may never come back. The only thing Randy can be assured of is bed sores as his skin is fragile and he does not have an air mattress like he had at VGH. This is why I need to have access to him at his bedside 24/7 to make sure everything possible is being done to make Randy as comfortable as can be like insisting that he has a proper mattress. Also I was told by VGH that Randy should be on a blood thinner but GPC said that it wasn't necessary as he gets exercise at GPC. What a joke when they don't even position him. I have never seen him being positioned during the years.  He will get a blood clot and he will die and no one will even connect the fact that he wasn't on a blood thinner.

Again I tried to phone Randy on his line 604-321-5911 and it was still not ringing.  It just goes to show that they do not even read my emails or this blog or someone would have made sure the phone could ring.

The police didn't come again today although I contacted the district commander of district 4 to send someone to clear up this mess. VGH is guilty of assaulting me and imprisoning Randy without his consent.  It is just a matter of time until the media  picks up on this and there will be serious questions asked nationally as to why the police did not protect a vulnerable person from being imprisoned (and possibly medically ill treated). All the police have to do is tell GPC that Randy cannot be held against his will and for GPC to release him and GPC will have to agree.  Simple.

In this situation there is no two sides to the cruelty that happened. GPC is in a superior position and abused this power with malice and intent.  Poor Randy being in the middle and not being able to defend himself or me. GPC failing to communicate with me which is what they will regrettable allege is no defense.  Randy not being able to to talk or move and he seeing me being attacked by a group of idiots.It is like a child seeing his mother violently assaulted.  He did not deserve that. He did not ask that these strangers protect him from me.. He has always wanted me to look after him. In 2010 a letter with twenty copies was distributed at VGH of which Kim Sinclair has a copy.  So why was this directive never respected.










Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Picketing at George Pearson Centre October 23 1013

I arrived at 1:00 pm at George Pearson Centre and I picketed until 4:30 pm.  RANDY WALKER IS BEING HELD AGAINST HIS WILL AT GEORGE PEARSON CENTRE.  I was waiting for the police to arrive to go into GPC and ask Randy if he wanted to leave.  They didn't come so I will have to phone them again tomorrow.  I anticipate this episode of my life will take at least three months.  It has to be done.

As I was picketing no one would glance at me at they entered or exited George Pearson.I was quite visible with my two picket signs.  However, I did attract a lot of vehicular traffic as I could see the drivers pause and read the sign and the high school kids reading them as they walked pass me after school. 

It was a beautiful day as I reflected upon what happened on Monday.  I was set up by Tanu, as always.  I sent her an email on the weekend telling her that I was going to take Randy home as he was terribly depressed.  So she made sure to insist that her staff prevent me from taking Randy off site.  She knew if I was challenged I would fight back like a mother bear.  I keep remembering what she said the first time I met her in person.  That I was only to speak if I was spoken to and she could arrange that I never see Randy again.  And she is accomplishing it.  The next thing will be the intervention of the public guardian and trustee saying that I should not be Randy's friend or substitute decision maker and George Pearson would make all of Randy's decisions. The fact that Randy is competent is just a minor technicality which could be swiftly changed by any doctor based on the assessment of a nurse or a social worker. Believe it, it is true.

Randy hasn't been allowed to be in his wheelchair for the past few days as I suspect Tanu is afraid that I will kidnap him.  The police on Monday already attempted to charge me with attempted kidnapping as they handcuffed me.  If Randy does not sit in his wheelchair for a few hours a day he won't be able to breathe with ease and will deteriorate as he is now doing due to rationing of medical treatment.  This January 2013 Randy and I was at the centre's eye clinic.as I was suspecting Randy wasn't seeing very well.  The doctor told me that two years ago Randy was diagnosed with cataracts but it was decided not to do anything because of his age (55).  He can't talk because he is on a trach and wasn't given swallowing exercises to ensure that he would never talk and now they want him to be blind as well.  So soon Randy will have no quality of life especially now that I am banned and he will want to commit suicide which GPC will accommodate by withdrawing life support and they would even help with some morphine so it will be relatively painless it they got the dosage right..  Morphine slows your breathing so that you eventually stop breathing.  It is never recorded as a suicide but rather a respiratory arrest and no one would ever know the difference: a natural death.

One of the ringleaders on Monday was Stephanie.  A RN who on the weekend I watched as she suctioned Randy.  She did not use a sterile technique which is what VGH does.  She did not use a sterile glove and she compounded the danger when she wiped the suction catheter with a non-sterile piece of gauze and then she suctioned Randy again.  She suctioned him more than ten seconds which could cause brain damage and will cause brain damage over a period of time if exceeded as the airway will be depleted of oxygen.  After she finished suctioning Randy I asked Randy if he still needed a suction and he said yes.  Secretions left in the trach (wind pipe) could cause Randy to aspirate, that is, drown in his own secretions. Of course the secretions are also a breeding ground for infections i.e. pneumonia which is reoccurring for Randy.  There is a saying that a little knowledge is dangerous and I must therefore be dangerous to these health care professionals who do not know how to properly suction a patient. But then patients like Randy are not meant to live long.

My restrictions as outlined by Richard Singleton in his letter on Tuesday says that I can contact Randy by phone between 11:00 am to noon and from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  The problem with that is Randy cannot talk so how can we contact. I am sure he got this insight from Eveline as she told me that Raandy can breathe heavy so I would know that he heard me.. This from Richard Singleton a man with two degrees and a title Director of Risk Management.

Years ago I installed a TELUS land line telephone for Randy.  And what has Tanu done, she has instructed her staff to take the phone off its cradle so Randy cannot hear whether or not I am calling him.  Even that simple pleasure is taken away from him.  Make sure all communication is cut off so the patient feels abandoned.  Of course I can't talk to Randy on the telephone but he knows that I am thinking of him when he hears it ring.  The anger I have for GPC is totally justified.

Just to inform the readers GPC is not understaffed, On Monday there were three nurses for each patient on Ward 2..

I had no intention of taking Randy home. I do not have the medical equipment, the medical experience, or the medical supplies to look after him. However, I had every intention of taking him back to VGH which I told the police on Monday and Tuesday.  I told the doctors at VGH that if Randy was not safe at GPC that I would return him to VGH. 

There is a legal document that says I am to have 24-7 access to Randy and it sits in his medical binder. I have a fiduciary responsibility conveyed by legislation that my duty is to Randy and no where does it say that health professionals can override. I told the police on Monday of the document and even with that they refused to do a simple act like ask Randy if he wanted to leave GPC with me.. From 2010 VCH knew of my covenant but they refused to honour it. Mostly I failed in my fiduciary duty to Randy as I haven't fought hard enough to make sure his rights were guaranteed and he was safe. And Randy cannot be reasonably safe if I cannot have access to him. At anytime Randy can refuse treatment/imprisonment even if it is for only a short period of time and he has a right to be involved in any treatment decision.. He is competent and the health authorities cannot override that arbitrarily.








Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Richard Singleton. Director of Risk Manager

Richard Singleton wrote me an email saying I was banned from George Pearson Centre because I attempted to take Randy Michael Walker off the grounds to go home with me. In the process I was assaulted by staff, screamed at, humiliated, and forcibly detained.  Randy is being forced to stay at George Pearson Centre although he has a history of not wanting to live there.  Since Randy can't walk or talk and there were seven out-of-control staff pounding on me I was forced to leave him there.  When the police arrived they were not too bright as they were unable to comprehend that Randy was there against his will.

I was hoping today that the police would clear it up but no.  They said there was a doctor's order on Randy which GPC did not tell me nor show me. There was nothing wrong with Randy to prevent him from going home for a few hours or from going to another hospital.  What planet did the doctor come from.  I am sure it only said to watch Randy more carefully for a week or two. It would not say that he couldn't leave GPC as that would be illegal. A doctor's order is not a jail sentence.  Randy can come and go when he pleases. 

Randy was terrified yesterday and also today when I couldn't see him and secure his release for a few hours. I was told that Randy is very depressed and he knows what is going on and he hates everyone at GPC for doing this to me. Randy is competent so he can leave a residential facility anytime he wants. 

Randy cannot talk and he has to use a wheelchair as he is a quad so it is easy to imprison him and convince him of things that are not true.  The reason Randy does not like it at GPC is that he feels it is not safe.  And it is not safe especially if I cannot have access to him. I will forego talking about his injuries sustained at GPC and the quality of life he does not have there until another time..

I am a petite seventy-four years old woman and it seems that I get regularly demeaned.by VCH and their contract employees.

Randy is 57 so he is not old.  He just had a bad accident. How can they scare him like they have done for over three years. A man who cannot talk or move. 

Years ago the subject of I taking Randy off the grounds of George Pearson Centre went to the VCH Ethics Board and it was determined that Randy had the right to do so.  So why now is this again a problem.  Prior to this week GPC never cared if Randy was well enough to go off site or not. 

During the years prior to the Ethics Board's decision Randy's freedoms were taken away from him as he did not go off site and he never saw the outside for close to two years.

David Ostrow is the CEO of Vancouver Coastal Health and Kip Woodward (604.875.4719)(email: kip.woodward@vch.ca) is its chairman.  Kip is the grandson of the Woodwards Department Store family who built Oakridge..

Also see:  seniorsatrisk
email: sar.coalition@gmail.com




Monday, October 21, 2013

Slow Code

On Saturday a CBC radio program talked about SLOW CODES.  I was shocked that CBC allowed this to air.  Not because I agreed or disagreed with it but rather it rang true with what Dr. Kermit Gosnell said that a medical licence was a licence to lie.

Listen to it.  It does not create confidence in medical directives/public policy..

www.cbc.ca/whitecoat

SLOW CODE
.


.





Friday, October 18, 2013

Cutherbertson v Rasouli



EPC applauds the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada (18 October 2013) Cutherbertson V Rasouli.
who upheld the unanimous decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal requiring that doctors obtain consent from
patients or substitute decision-makers before withdrawing life-sustaining treatment where such a decision is anticipated to result in the death of the patient.


The doctors argued withdrawing life-sustaining measures did not require consent from Rasouli’s wife, his surrogate decision-maker, because discontinuing care did not constitute “treatment” as set out under Ontario’s law. For the same reason, the doctors said, they did not require permission from the province’s Consent and Capacity Board to end care.

Mrs. Rasouli is pennyless like all of us who are at odds with the medical community.  Please send money to her lawyer to help her. She has made legal history with no financial support from us the citizens of Canada.  Why is it that she has to live in poverty so that the rest of us can benefit.

Hugh Scher
Scher Law Professional Corporation
175 Bloor Street East
Suite 1803, South Tower
Toronto, ON  M4W 3R8
Telephone: 416.515.9686
Direct: 416.969.1812
Fax: 416.969.1815

see Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

LAWER

Paragraph 153 October 10 2013 Appeal of Judge Smith's judgment for assisted suicide.

{153} Counsel for the Attorney General of Canada argued that evidence from jurisdictions which allow physician-assisted dying demonstrate that safeguards are insufficient to prevent abuse.  Specifically, the Attorney General of Canada pointed to evidence of what was referred to as "life-ending acts without explicit request" or "LAWER" as evidence of how safeguards are ineffective.  LAWER occurs when a physician takes steps to end a patient's life without first obtaining necessary consent.

.


Friday, October 11, 2013

TerrieLincoln

Terrie's Lincoln's story

For several months, I’ve been polishing the story of my recovery from the accident that brought me into the world of disability. Until recently, I hadn’t talked much about this period of my life. The memories can still make me angry. The anger isn’t about my disability, though. The anger is about the doctors that didn’t think I would have a life worth living – and how hard my family had to fight to make sure I received the treatment I needed to survive.
Folks at CDR and Not Dead Yet (NDY) have been discussing how and when to best launch this story when an opportunity unexpectedly came up. Stephen Drake of NDY was contacted by someone from “How We Die,” a website and TV series devoted to “end of life” situations. After a discussion with Stephen, the representative from the show became convinced that stories like mine should be included – the stories of people who escaped death due to families that resisted unrelenting pressure from medical staff to disconnect life support technology.
Information on the website is included below. They want more stories like mine and I know they’re out there. Please submit your stories of “near death” experiences due to negative medical attitudes – to the website below, to me and to Stephen Drake at Not Dead Yet.
How I DIDN’T Die
by Terrie Lincoln
If my family had listened to the doctors 12 years ago, I wouldn’t be able to tell you my story.
My name is Terrie Lincoln and I am a 31 year old quadriplegic. I live in Rochester, New York and work as a Systems Advocate at the Regional Center for Independent Living. I have a degree in social services and a bachelor’s degree in public administration. I am currently working on my master’s in social work.
At the age of 19, I had an automobile accident. They had to use the Jaws of Life to free me from the wreck and rush me to the hospital. After I got there, my family and friends learned I severed my spine and broke my neck. At that moment I had no idea what was wrong with me, since I was in shock and slipping in and out of a coma.
I was air-lifted to a nearby hospital in West Virginia a few hours later. The doctors then told my parents they were going to do emergency surgery on my neck — a neck fusion. They had to put a plate in my neck. The doctors also told my parents while I was being prepped that there was no way I could survive a broken neck. They said nobody lives with a broken neck. My Mom said: “We’ll see about that.”
The surgery turned out well and I started recuperating. While I was lying in the hospital bed that did not rotate because they did not want to injure me more, the doctors would come in and ask my mom if she was ready to pull the plug on me. “Why would I want to do that?” she would ask? The doctors answered, “What kind of life will she have— she won’t. She won’t be able to dance, walk, work, have a social life, or be independent.”
My mom, being the strong woman she is, asked the doctor if he would pull the plug on his own son/daughter. He walked out without answering. The next day when the doctor came in my dad was there with my mom. The doctor informed us that I was going to be in a veggie state for the rest of my life. First of all, who uses the word “veggie”? Anyway, my dad asked what veggie I was going to be because I hated green beans and would be mad if I was one.
The doctor said he didn’t find that funny and felt it was inappropriate. My mom said she felt he was being inappropriate by coming in every day and telling her to pull the plug on her daughter. The doctor responded that any good mother would pull the plug instead of seeing their baby suffer. At that moment, my mom leaped over my bed attacking the doctor.
The doctors must have known they were fighting a battle they were not going to win. They knew they were killing me slowly with the lack of care I was receiving. Within fifteen days of being there, I had no bowel movement (they were scared to roll me), aspirated, had pneumonia, and collapsed lungs which they did not want to focus on at the moment. I was life flighted out on the fifteenth day.
Once I arrived in Columbus, OH we felt I was on my way to recovery. I had a new team of doctors who specialized in spinal cord injuries. The relationships with the doctors started off more positive than the last set until the first time I died, which was about 3 weeks after I arrived. I was a code blue and they resuscitated me but didn’t offer any suggestions on how to inflate my lungs or help me breathe.
Over the weeks I got worse and worse. Pneumonia was causing my lungs to fill and I was constantly flat lining (electrical time sequence measurement that shows no heart activity). The team of doctors asked: do you want to pull the plug? They said you could take her off her feeding tube and we could induce her into a coma and she won’t suffer.
It took my mom following one of the doctors around all day and to his car at the end of his shift to get him to open up and talk. She went into his office and grabbed a picture of his family and held it up to him and asked, “What would you do? Would you let them pull the plug on the one you loved without doing everything you could?”
My mom came back to my room and I remember seeing her cry for the first time. She held my hand, said a prayer, and promised me everything would be OK. She said she would fight to the end even if she had to tear the hospital apart.
The doctors came in the next morning earlier than usual and told us they were prepping me for surgery. My mom asked what kind. He said he couldn’t sleep the night before because of her and he was going to put me on a ventilator, which would breathe for me. When I got out of surgery they had a rotating bed waiting for me. The bed helped with weight shifts and shook — to help break up the stuff in my lungs.
After a matter of weeks, my health started improving. I had color back, no bed sores, regular bowel movements, and my pneumonia was improving. I got released after 3 months from the main hospital to a nursing home within the hospital. This section was for people who were in poor condition (not expected to make it) and those who had to live with a ventilator.
During the time I was there I shocked everyone. I refused to have my feeding tube, G-tube, and J-tube anymore. I was tired of being poked and going in and out of surgery for no reason. I felt safer and healthier having the tubes out instead of in.
We started working on goals and weaning off the ventilator. We knew my health was improving and we were thanking Jesus every day. I was spending hours a day off the ventilator and the doctors were still asking if I wanted to live the rest of my life with this condition. If I chose no, they would keep me off the ventilator and I would die. I could get injected with Morphine so I couldn’t feel it.
They’d work at my parents, saying things like: “Your daughter was so active before this accident and now she’s nothing. She’s just like Christopher Reeve, she will need help with everything, she won’t be able to push her own chair. She will have to use a sip and puff device.”
Then they’d work on me. Saying stuff like: “Are you sure this is something you can live with? Do you want to spend the rest of your life on a ventilator?”
These are all the things we heard every day even though my health was improving. What gives them the right to convince someone to end their life?
My respiratory therapist said when I get off the ventilator completely I could go to physical therapy. One Friday we did our daily disconnecting of the ventilator – but this time we never connected it back. I ended up staying off of the ventilator for good.
Weeks later I started therapy and eventually got discharged after 5 months of being in the hospital. When I returned for my follow-up appointment a year later I made it a priority to see that team of doctors. When I rolled into the offices pushing my own power chair, without a ventilator, and healthy as can be, their jaws dropped to the floor and their eyes began to fill with tears.
Through my journey, I could not have done it without my two biggest advocates—Jesus and my mommy. She never stopped fighting from day one and never took no for an answer.

TV Series and Website Seeking Stories on How We Die

A new Website and TV series is looking for first-person stories from patients, their families, loved ones, and doctors about how personal experiences have shaped what we believe about death and dying, and about the decisions we make for ourselves, for loved ones, or for patients at the end of life. The website is: http://how-we-die.org/HowWeDie
The series, tentatively titled “Stories,” is being developed by Marc N. Weiss, creator of the long-running PBS series P.O.V. and Tom Yellin, a veteran network news and public affairs producer. The series will explore experiences that tested or challenged their values and beliefs about who decides when and how we die, and what role, if any, government and healthcare institutions should play in those decisions. Visit the site and submit your story!http://how-we-die.org/HowWeDie
.

Blog Archive