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Good News for Insecure Writers…

Insecure Writers support group

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Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak.Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

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Its Release Day for The Stranger In My Recliner!

Its release day for The Stranger In My Recliner! I am overwhelmed and filled with gratitude for all of the kind words about Sophie’s story. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!

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Library Humor…

I want to introduce you to humor writer and librarian, Roz Warren. We have been Facebook friends for quite a while and to my delight, over the summer we met in real life at a lovely tea house to celebrate the release of mutual friend, Cathy Sikorski’s  book Showering With Nana (good book)

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Post Concussive Syndrome…

The woman was driving much too fast for a neighborhood.  She ran a stop sign and hit my car’s passenger side.  I felt a very sharp pain in my neck, shoulder, arm and I thought 2 of my fingers were broken.

Stop Sign

She attempted to leave the scene then came back and shouted at me. I called the police. An officer took the report and I went to work. While at work, I had a bit of a panic attack. I was also developing a headache. I left early and went home.

By the time I arrived home, I was a basket case. My head was pounding. My husband told me to go to bed and he brought me tea, toast and Advil.

I slept horribly. I had vivid nightmares. I woke up with the worst headache. I was sick to my stomach the entire day. Convinced it was my nerves, I took it easy and rested.

The next day I called my husband at work and told him my shoulder, arm and fingers were hurting. He made an appointment for me to see an orthopedic doctor that afternoon. He prescribed the usual muscle relaxers; steroids and pain medication. He thought I had a neck and shoulder sprain and suggested physical therapy.

Emergency

 

I headed out to my daughter’s house. I drove 45 minutes past her exit. I stopped the car got out, was sick and got back in the car and drove to my daughter’s house and acted like nothing happened.

Something was amiss because the {real} me would have immediately known I had a concussion.

I would have been familiar with the symptoms because I suffered several concussions as an adult and most likely a few as a child.

Two-and-a-half-months later I was finally diagnosed with post-concussive syndrome.  There is no specific treatment for this syndrome.  Instead your doctor treats the individual symptoms. The types of symptoms and their frequency are unique to each person.

Concussion 2

I thought this was an important post to write because people die from concussions, or as they are sometimes called, closed head injuries.

The worst symptom I was experiencing was dizziness.  It was head spinning, vomiting inducing dizziness.  I was sent to a balance center. Balance therapy actually makes you dizzy supposedly so your balance system will re-learn how to balance you. This was awful. I went twice a week and was so sick in between I was useless.  I was also sent for MRI’s and hearing tests. There was evidence of bleeding that healed and I suffered significant hearing loss in my left ear.

 

Headaches that occur after a concussion can vary and may feel like tension type headaches, cluster headaches or migraines.  Most are however, tension type, which is most likely due to a neck injury suffered at the same time as the head injury.  In some cases, people experience behavior or emotional changes after a mild traumatic brain injury.  Family members are usually the first to notice that the person has become a bit more irritable, suspicious, argumentative or stubborn. {Insert fast food and police rage here}.

Concussion 3

Memory, cognitive and thinking problems may also appear.  No medications are currently suggested or recommended for these symptoms.  Brief focused therapy on how to use a pocket calendar, an electronic organizer or other techniques to work around memory deficits are often helpful.  I suppose this would be helpful if you could remember where you put them.  I had no idea how forgetful I was.  My husband was becoming more and more frustrated with my ‘forgetfulness’.

Depression and anxiety are also symptoms.  It was suggested I see a psychologist who had experience working with people with brain injury.  In my case because of a history of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and severe OCD issues anti anxiety and anti depressive medication was prescribed.

Some experts believe post-concussive symptoms are caused by structural damage to the brain or disruption of neuro-transmitter systems, resulting from the impact that caused the injury.

My symptoms were being treated and I was finally starting to feel more like myself.

I had a lot of catching up to do….and then out of nowhere, I was curled up with gut wrenching pain.  My gall bladder needed to come out.  Six days in the hospital, different medications and I was dizzy and sick again.  I was devastated.

I started to pass out.  I ran back to the neurologist.  Medications were adjusted and I returned to therapy.  The crazy thing is I am aware of my memory loss.  I go nowhere without my calendar and a notebook.

Did you know that a 15-mile an hour accident generates 10 G’s of force on the head—a fighter pilot can start to lose consciousness at 6 G’s.

How many times do we hear our children really smack their heads, we are so scared, and the doctor says it is only a mild concussion? If you take anything away from this post, let it be that there is no such thing as a mild concussion and if another is suffered, it is worse and so on.

I cannot help but wonder if forms of ADD and autism can be caused by head or neck injuries during birth or just from playing as a small child.

Please put those helmets on your kiddo’s and if you have that ut-oh something is not right do not stop until you are satisfied with the diagnosis.

bike helmet

With all of the changes happening in health care it is so important that we all become vigilant and well informed when it comes to our health.

http://www.painclinic.org

http://www.themayoclinic

http://www.traumasoma.com

Stay healthy,

Doreen

Scary Medication Side Effects…

A few months ago I came home from work to find my husband acting strangely. He had been having trouble sleeping and now he was full of anxiety and speaking loudly and fast but making no sense.

The scariest part was he had no idea anything was wrong.

I knew right away to check his medication. Just a month before he had the same reaction to a generic version of a medication he takes to help him sleep. At that time we thought his doctor had solved the problem by calling the pharmacy and instructing them not to substitute this medication with another.

Pills 2

 

As I spilled the pills into my hand that night and saw they were the wrong ones I was furious.

We spent hours in the ER that night.

BloodPressure pic

His doctor now calls the prescription refills in personally and for now that is working.

If we had not read the information that came with the medication we never would have known the symptoms my husband was experiencing were actually side affects to the medication.

It is so important to ask your doctor about possible side effects at the time he prescribes a medication and also a good idea to ask your pharmacist as well.

The slightest change from one manufacturer to another, such as a dye or a time release ingredient can trigger a reaction. If your pills look different don’t hesitate to ask your pharmacist.

 

*This post is a joint effort with the American Recall Center for World Health Month and to spread awareness about medication safety. For more information visit:

The American Recall Center:  http://www.recallcenter.com

Have you ever had a reaction to a medication?

Thank you for reading,

Doreen

 

FYI:

Zofran and Zuplenz Side Effects

Patients who are hypersensitive to selective 5-HT3 receptor antagonists have experienced hypersensitivity reactions to Zofran and Zuplenz, including anaphylaxis.

Other reported adverse effects of these drugs have manifested in the form of electrocardiographic (ECG) changes (including QT interval prolongation) and cases of Torsade de Pointes. The Zofran and Zuplenz labels also carry warnings regarding serotonin syndrome, a potential side effect of having an excess of serotonin in the body.

Scientific studies indicate there is also a risk that Zofran may cause congenital birth defects.

In one study, researchers noted there had been reports of transplacental transfer of Zofran during the first trimester of human pregnancies.

A 2012 study that examined data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study found more than a doubling of risk of cleft palate among babies whose mothers took ondansetron during the first trimester of pregnancy.

A 2014 study by Danielsson et al. determined that the risks of certain heart defects in newborns whose mothers took Zofran during early pregnancy were “increased and statistically significant.” Some of the most frequently encountered of these congenital malformations due to Zofran exposure were ventricular and atrial septal defects.

Pills Zofran 2

For more information on Zofran:

http://www.recallcenter.com/zofran-zuplenz

 

Zee End

Today’s post is my final in the 2015 annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 Z

My theme this year was An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of, Sophie.  Sophie is the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The night that she walked through our front door changed me.

That book will be out later this year.

So; I decided this year’s challenge posts would be on programs that actually help the homeless and the mentally ill, programs that don’t, when did homelessness become a problem and what or who caused it, famous homeless people, famous people that help the homeless and the mentally ill, what you can do that will help in a real way and a whole alphabet more…

Zee End

I thank you so much for following along this month with Sophie’s story. I hope her story inspires you to do something to help the homeless and or mentally ill in your community by writing letters to your community leaders, politicians and churches insisting on homes not hospitals or jails for the homeless.

If you have any suggestions or want to share what you have done please post on twitter using #sophieschallenge.

Happy May and thank you again for following along,

Doreen

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa was a fabulous challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard

My fellow live wires:

Rhonda Albom – Bob R. MilneTamera NarayanStephanie FarisHeather McCubbin

*I am a day late because I was admitted to the hospital. I will be fine, cannot wait to get home!

Victim…

Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Each day of April (except Sunday,) we write a post corresponding with that day’s letter of the alphabet. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 V

My theme for this years’ A-Z Challenge is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.

VICTIM

21-year-old, Daequon Norman is a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. He’s must use a wheelchair and has no verbal communication skills. Sometime during the first week of April Daequon’s mother, Nyia Parler walked him, in his wheel chair into the woods. She proceeded to dump him out of the wheel chair, cover him with a blanket and give him a bible. Then she turned her back and walked away. She went to Maryland to spend the week with her boyfriend.

Wheelchair in woods

On the night of April 10th, Fitzroy Anderson spotted two dear and followed them down a trail. He discovered Daequon and called 911.

Parler checked herself into the hospital in Maryland where she stayed for more than a week for an undisclosed …

Daequon remains in the hospital.

Parler was released from the hospital, arrested and extradited to Philadelphia where she was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, neglect of a care-dependent person, unlawful restraint, kidnapping and false imprisonment.

She remains in jail unable to post 2.5 million dollars bail.

For a minute I felt sorry for the mother. Having a child with special needs is a 24/7 extremely difficult job with very little down time. The child does not ‘grow-up’ and go to college. There is no empty nest.

I have a grandson with special-needs. He is all I could think of when I read about what happened to Daequon. My daughter and son-in-law work very hard to keep a support system together and to keep their relationship strong. They amaze me.

Services and support were available to Nyia and her son. Actually receiving those services is a nightmare full of hoops to jump through. She made a choice not to do the jumping.

I don’t feel sorry for Nyia anymore. What do you think?

Thank you for reading,

Doreen

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

My fellow live wires:

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee

 

Lady Parts…

 

Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Each day of April (except Sunday,) we write a post corresponding with that day’s letter of the alphabet. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 U

My theme for this years’ A-Z Challenge is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.

Uterus

When Sophie was with us, every few months or so she would have severe pain in her lower abdomen. She would lie in the recliner and moan or cry and sometimes even scream in agony. She adamantly refused to let me take her to the hospital or to her doctor. She said her doctor told her that her ‘lady’ parts were falling down. It was heartbreaking to see her in so much pain and so frustrating that she wouldn’t go for help.

WTH…

I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why she wouldn’t get those parts put back up where they belonged.

And why have I never heard that such a thing could happen. It must be very rare.

Through the years I have had my share of troubles so when I got to the age of 50 with all -of -my ‘girl’ parts still in -tact I thought I dodged a bullet.

I was the fool that looked forward to menopause. I hated to be cold so hot flashes sounded pretty good. No more painful periods, fibroids, endometriosis or PMS. Nobody told me menopause was going to be like being drug through hell.

It was such a relief to get the hot flashes and the migraines under control and get back to my mid-life reinvention.

Then I felt a lump. It was just a little one but scary none the less. My gynecologist office did not have an appointment available till June. Nothing is urgent to these people anymore yet we keep hearing about early detection.

Then my ‘lady’ parts fell down. I called my primary doctor because I was home alone and terrified. The PA had me do a few things and she said it is most likely uterine prolapsed and that it was very common. If it is SO common why haven’t I heard about it other than Sophie? Does nobody talk about this stuff?

Normal:

Uterine Normal

 

Prolapse:

obgyn-uterine-prolapse

The PA scheduled me a GYN appointment for Monday. I want them to take all of my lady parts out, I quit!

Being a woman is definitely not for sissies.

Thank you for reading,

Doreen

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

My fellow live wires:

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee

Symptoms of Prolapse

 Although your symptoms may differ slightly, you may notice any of the following with a prolapse –

  •  A bulge in your vagina that ranges in size from quite small to very large
  • Discomfort or pressure in your pelvis or vagina
  • Difficulty having a bowel movement
  • Trouble emptying your bladder
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Lower back pain
  • Increased discomfort with long periods of standing
  • Improved discomfort with lying down

The four main types of prolapse

Normal anatomy The bladder, urethra, rectum, and small bowel are located near the vaginal canal.

Cystourethrocele When the wall between the bladder and vagina weakens, the bladder can fall down into the vaginal cavity.

Uterine Prolapse The uterine wall can also slide down into the vagina.

Rectocele Sometimes part of the rectal wall may protrude into the vagina.

Enterocele Small bowel may also herniate into the vaginal wall. This usually occurs in women who have had a hysterectomy.

 

Quiet Rooms…

Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Each day of April (except Sunday,) we write a post corresponding with that day’s letter of the alphabet. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 Q

My theme for this years’ A-Z Challenge is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.

QUIET ROOM

I once told Sophie I just wanted to go up into my quiet room and relax. She told me she hated quiet rooms. Knowing the answer would probably rip my heart out I asked, “why?”

“When that girl beat me up and took all my Elvis collectibles, I asked the manager of the storage place to call the police. She called the police and they took me to the hospital. The officer and the hospital staff did not believe I was beat up because the woman at the storage place told them I was nuts. The cop wouldn’t let me take my stuff.  My grocery bags had everything I owned in them.

Because I was screaming and in pain the nurse in the emergency room sent me to the mental health ward. I kept telling them I was hurt. They put me in a straightjacket and put me in the quiet room. They told me someone would let me out soon. I was in there for twenty-four hours. I peed all over myself and couldn’t talk or see from crying so much. I was more terrified than I was of the junkies in the woods.

My back and my arm hurt so badly.

The next day they told me I could go. I walked out of the hospital wearing wet clothes and it was so cold. I walked to McDonalds to get a burger and some water and went back to the woods.”

The time patients are kept in ‘the quiet room’ or ‘the padded cell’ varies but it could be several days. This is still a common occurrence in America.

WTH

Thank you for reading,

Doreen

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

My fellow live wires:

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee

 

Pawning off our elderly and mentally ill…

Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Each day of April (except Sunday,) we write a post corresponding with that day’s letter of the alphabet. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

a-z 2015 p

 

My theme for this years’ A-Z Challenge is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.

 

Pawning off our elderly and mentally ill…

Not that long ago, as a society we locked away our family members that were deemed mentally ill, developmentally challenged or sickly and elderly. We locked them far away from the rest of us and our civilized society. We put them in dark, cold asylums. In the 1500’s prior to having actual asylums to commit them to they were put on asylum ships.  Back then these were known as the ships of fools. These ships roamed the seas and stopped from port to port only to pick up supplies and more fools. Can you imagine who the people were that they hired to work on those ships? I am quite sure they were plucked from the crop of the least employable. Some of the workers were lifelong criminals. They were given the chance to be sentenced to the prison ship or to work on the ship of fools. Why not get rid of two of society’s ills on one ship.

Ship of Fools

 

Some families, although very few back then kept their feebleminded relatives locked away in the attics or the basements of their own homes for their entire lifetimes to protect them and to keep them safe from the horrors of those ships and asylums.

During the 1600 and 1700’s the practice of exiling our mentally ill from ordinary society continued. The purpose of this treatment was to remove and isolate the less desirable from society, rather than to try curing them or at least trying to help them with their symptoms. It wasn’t until the early 1900’s that a more compassionate attitude towards the mentally ill started to emerge but isolation was still the ‘normal’ treatment.

During the 1950’s most of the country’s state hospitals were ordered closed and they literally opened the doors and let everyone out. Homelessness was born.

Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Each day of April (except Sunday,) we write a post corresponding with that day’s letter of the alphabet. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

asylum

Women started to enter the workforce around that time too. This left no one to care for aging parents so instead of asylums they built nursing homes. They built beautiful ‘assisted’ living facilities and led us to believe our parents would be well taken care of.

They are not being well taken care of at all. I spend a lot of time working in these facilities. Recently I have been working in the most ‘expensive’ facility in the area. I have seen an elderly man fall and lay on the floor moaning for twenty-minutes before somebody arrived to assist him. The nurse yelled at him. He was sent to the hospital and never returned.

The aides put elderly people on the toilet and leave them sitting for 15-20 minutes sometimes an hour. My client was so tired of sitting she went to get up and fell. They picked her up, put her in her wheel chair and left her alone in her room for 2-hours. I put ice on her bruises and demanded an ambulance, immediately.  I believe it was because ‘the State’ was in the building investigating cases of neglect and they did not want them to see a case first hand.

They are SO lucky she is going to be okay. No they really aren’t lucky because I am on a mission now to see that the management is fired, again. It just happened, 7-months ago. The corruption returned fast.

nursing home

If one of your loved ones is in one of these facilities please visit often and at odd hours. Your loved one is most likely not going to complain. You have to look for other signs. Bruises, weight loss and depression are definitely a sign something is off.

Ask to see the nursing reports, medications sheets and even the aide’s logs of when they were taken to the bathroom, had their positions changed and what they ate. Learn who the facilities ombudsman (the mediator) is so you don’t have to ask when something does go wrong.

Are you caring for an elderly relative? Have you had a bad or a good experience with a nursing, rehabilitation or assisted living facility?

Thank you for reading,

Doreen

I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard

A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

My fellow live wires:

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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