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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Food for thought

Expect the unexpected.

A little story about myself.  6.5 years ago, I'd landed my first 'real adult' job.  I was very nervous to leave everything I knew behind, and start over again, although my career goals aligned with non profit management, and public relations.  I tentatively accepted this position, in Texas, as a personal assistant, to a woman who'd founded her own non-profit, primarily aimed at assisting children, and education in various ways.  I left, the day after my 23rd birthday, or I was supposed to.  The nihht before I left, my heart stopped, dead.  At least, I was, for an estimated 12-15 minutes.  My then boyfriend, fortunately realized, and did CPR, while getting my roommates to call an ambulance.  I am still here, because of his quick action, and later, my families unwillingness to give up on me, and faith in the bodies ability to heal itself, even in the face of the unknown.  We pushed through inpatient care, in 6 months, and then  I settled into my Medicaid/care funded rehab program here in Vermont.  Did you know that Vermont is #3 in the whole country, for brain injury rehabilitation ,and has the#1 most compressive/best outcome mental health programming in the country?There are plenty more external factors to wrestle with, but I stayed in Vermont to relearn life with an unknown kind of brain injury (anoxic).  I also had fantastic friends, and contacts from college.  Though, I didn't foresee losing. My relationship, and most of my college friends over the next 2 years.

Today, I am hopeful that you all, as well as others, can be persuaded to be more vigilant, and consider the ramifications of possible side effects, listed on your prescription bottles.  I know many of us believe that anything prescribed by a doctor, will help us, or remedy a problem.  To clarify, the reason, I briefly died, and was revived, and concurrentlydetermined to have sustained severe brain damage, is linked to my then, contraceptive, Yaz.  The company that produces it, BayerLLC, has had to change the name from Yazmin, to Yaz, to Ocella.  Reportedly, it's name is getting changed yet again.  Here's a novel idea, Bayer:  instead of changing the name of your drug to avoid lawsuits, how about changing the components of the drug, to make it less harmful, to less women.  Yes, I'm sure it's more expensive to do that, but think about the money you could save in your legal department.  I'm one of over 200,000 plaintiffs seeking an apology, at the very least, though preferably compensation for the damages, and experiences endured.

 How do you put a dollar sign on a life?  In my opinion, you can't, no one can.  We all have different values, and hold them in different places.  To clarify, I mean that characteristically, and not monetarily.  Same word, entirely different meaning.  Life can be fuzzy, as in, when the line is grey.  Defining right, and wrong  is different for each of us.

Today,  I'm asking you to look at yourselves, think about your own healthcare experiences.  How was the outcome?  Good?  Bad?  Indifferent?

Today, our country is on the crux of major health care reform, where all American citizens could gain access to the healthcare they deserve, and need.  Public healthcare is not the  psychotic, dying, bloody, disease ridden, festering mess it appears to be made out to be.  It's just (gasp) CHANGE!  and, a big one, at that.  What are we, as Americans, deathly allergic to?  Exactly, that.  Change.  I know, it might as well be a curse word, right?  You can faint now, or proceed with any overly dramatic reaction of your choosing, now, should you feel the need...

Alright, now that we've all recovered, let's get back to it.  Our country is touted for its freedoms,  however where money is involved, freedom seems irrelevant.  I live on government funds, my apartment is through section 8 (a government subsidy for people with little income, or a disability).  I use food stamps to buy my groceries, and receive a small monthly allotment to cover my bills.  What cracks me up, is that the fiscal resources I currently receive, is more than what I worked 3 jobs to make per month, while I was in school. The government system is created on formity, which I'd like to point out is the opposite of independence, and freedoms.  Needing government aid is all too common these days, but it all depends on your education, and willingness to look for the resources you need.  I now firmly believe that the media is our largest social enemy, by propagating false impressions regarding the validity and success of these programs.  In my nonprofessional opinion, we invest far too much money in defense, and international relations, where the valuable investment is domestically, within our own borders.the number of Americans seeking financial assistance goes up every year, as wages fail to rise, despite monetary inflation.

There are a million and 1 problems with the difficulties and rigours of public funding.  However, bottom line, they were created to provide asisstance for people in need.  The rules are quite strict, and there are seemingly endless threats of possible ways to *poof* lose your funding.  However, I've come to realize much of these difficulties have come about through poor implementation, or grievances caused individuals not understanding the system.

I think back to US history and social studies courses in high school, and while I agree there is a certain need to understand our heritage, I cannot get over the fact, that we are not required to learn more about the use and implementation of govrtnment programming.  If we have federal aid programs available, for nearly every purpose, why isn't there better dissemination of these programs?  we are always going to have our own misgivings, dependent on our own situations.  That will always be true,but clearly we have gone awry somewhere in the succession of arriving to the social plague American society currently suffers from.


Doug Blasius/Dad said...

Lesson 1! That's one Hell of a lesson! I'm going to write a more detailed comment today.
I love your writing :) also, we think alike, it's as if
We are related and have simimilar experiences and education. Actually, I think we both have the same " common sense" and believe in the same vision for America without all the corruption and false media.
We are now in a blind trust.... Those of special interest run the country, most of the population is blind to it.
Your experience with Bayer has opened my eyes. Your
Experience with Yaz the birth control made by Bayer is almost unspeakable... But just to think you are one of over ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND WOMEN who have had their lives medically impacted, at the very least, or destroyed, by taking this drug, not knowing the possible side effects.
Just for the record, this is over 4 and 1/2 times the number of victims of the World Trade. Yet why is the drug still on the market and also marketed with a new name? Ocella ? I bet none of the Bayer executive's daughters take this drug!
One reason is these case are separate, from small towns, from big cities, all across America. Plus at first the doctors are trying to save your life, not figuring it was caused by a drug that was prescribed by another doctor!
And to think Bayer aspirin has a picture of mother and baby in old advertising and At one time it was in almost every American medicine cabinet! Wake up America.... To be continued....

Anonymous said...

I said one hundred thousand, I meant TenThousand Women

Amy L said...

While this isn't strictly related, I will certainly share my health care story and my thoughts. I think it's incredibly important to strike a balance between the health care system (that does employ some pretty smart people) and knowing one's own body. The best health care professionals are the ones who actually LISTEN when you talk to them and recognize that you, yourself, have lived with your body your entire life, and know a little something about it. While I understand that some patients are ridiculous hypochondriacs, that doesn't absolve the staff of their obligation to listen. Moving as much as I have, I have had many different primary care physicians. They all have their quirks. Navy doctors on ships, for example, are convinced of a few things: 1) That if a female is in a doctor's office complaining of anything, she must be pregnant, 2) That prescription-strength Motrin fixes everything, and 3) That if you "just lie down for a while", you'll be fine. An exchange with a Navy doctor can go down something like this: Me: "I've been throwing up and I have severe lower right abdominal pain". Dr: "Are you pregnant?" Me: "No". Dr: "Are you SURE?????" Me: "Yes". Dr: "Well, because, you know..." Me: "Yes, I understand how one gets pregnant. I'm not pregnant. I think I have appendicitis." Dr: "Hmmmmm... well, maybe you should just lie down for a while and we'll do a blood test." (blood test comes back). Dr: "Oh, wow, your white blood cell count is so high, it's almost TOO high for you to have appendicitis! You should lie back down and see if it goes away." Yes, I'm paraphrasing this conversation, but the end state is that after a few hours of alternating between the bed and the bathroom, I stood up and informed the doctor that if she didn't get someone to drive me to the hospital NOW, I was going to drive myself. Yes, I did have an appendectomy that evening.
Anyway, the point to my rambling story is that, while some patients are over-informed and try to self-diagnose, a person's gut feeling about how their body reacts to things is usually a good place to start a diagnosis.

Julie/Mom said...

Amen Amy.....