Filed under: social media, social networking sites | Tags: Hoot Suite, Twitter
I’ve said this before, but I always find interesting things when I check out my blog stats page. Like this website! If you were going to have more than one twitter account, this would allow you to do it!
Filed under: asthma, childhood fears, family life, hospital, husbands, Life Flight, medical students, pediatrics, worries | Tags: code team, colds, flu, Life Flight
I’m sitting hear feeling a bit of anxiety. I have a cold, nothing serious, but anytime there is illness in our house it makes me nervous. I’ve mentioned The D’s asthma before and the issues is has caused us since he was diagnosed 2 1/2 years ago. But, I don’t think I’ve ever detailed the day I thought he was going to die.
I’m not sure describing the day in detail will help me with my anxiety, but at least I will be doing something besides ruminating about whether he will catch this particular cold and whether it will cause him major problems or not.
So….here is what happened two 1/2 years ago…
It was actually The G’s 4th birthday. The week before The D had spent two days in the hospital. We started on a new medication after that and The D seemed to be improving. The G had caught what appeared to be a minor cold during that time, but we didn’t think much of that. The G’s birthday was on a Monday. Sunday, The D started to have a runny nose. Overnight, he started coughing. I spent much of the night giving him Albuterol treatments every two hours.
He didn’t seem to be doing that great when we go up on Monday morning. The Husband had an important meeting at work and left around 7:45am. I called the on-call pediatrician to see whether I should take The D to the ER or wait until their office hours started at 8:30. This particular on-call pediatrician was one of my least favorites and his response was “Well, you can do either.” That was pretty infuriating because of course I realized that I could do either thing. I wanted to say “No, shit! I’m looking for a recommendation!” At this point, I decided to wait for office hours because that would give my good friend time to drop her daughter off at school and come get The G. That was the one saving grace of the day, that The G didn’t have to witness any of this.
We walked into the clinic at 8:35am and they brought us back immediately. A different on-call pediatrician was there and he said, “Well, he’s going back in the hospital.” Unfortunately, they had no bed available. So, the doctor took care of all the lab work and x-rays. Finally about noon, we got a call that a bed was ready and the doctor, a nurse and The D and I walked over the hospital. (It’s less than a block away from our clinic.)
Things were going OK. The doctor started The D’s IV, he was on oxygen. We’d been there for about 45 minutes when The D started getting really agitated. I was about to call for the nurse when she came in away. She must have recognized what was about to happen because she shouted for the doctor to come.
The next thing I know The D was limp in my arms and grey. The doctor ripped him out of my arms and laid him on the bed. I stood up and stepped a few steps back. I can clearly remember thinking, “Oh fuck! I am watching my kid die right in front of me!” The next thing I knew the room was FILLED with people and equipment.
They must have worked on him for awhile, although I have no sense of how long. It was long enough that I was able to call The Husband at work to tell him that he needed to come right away. He kept asking why and the only thing I could say was, “It’s bad. You just need to come.” The anesthesiologist came and let me know that they wouldn’t be intubating him just yet because that could make things worse, but that they would be watching him.
Finally things calmed down a bit and the doctor told me that he would be trying to find him an ICU bed at one of the children’s hospitals in the metropolitan areas to the north of us. The Husband finally arrived. At some point, the helicopter crew arrived. They got him loaded up and took him away.
That was actually almost as bad as watching him get so sick in front of me. Everyone told me he was stable and things should be fine, that the helicopter trip was only 20 minutes and then he would be under the watchful eyes of a pediatric critical care specialist. What no one tells you in a situation like that is that you have to drive for at least 90 minutes before you see your child.
For us, because of the time of day, it turned out to be almost 3 hours. We hit the metropolitan area right at rush hour. The last 5 miles to the hospital took about 90 minutes. I think we could have walked it faster.
But, we finally made it and we were reunited with The D. We were able to talk with the doctor. We got our first taste of a teaching hospital (trying to convince my husband that those weren’t college kids coming in to talk to us…they were 3rd or 4th year medical students at least).
I know that this whole experience has changed me and how I look at things. I sometimes think that it has changed The D, as well. He’s far more clingy than The G ever was. Even now he always seems to be worried about where The Husband or I am and when or whether we’re coming back. I just don’t know what a 2 year old can remember or how they interpret what they remember from that early of an age.
So, this is why I always face every cold and flu season with a little fear and trepidation.
I just happened to stumble across this blog! Although it’s not a blog focused on social work, it is written by a social worker. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did!
Filed under: hospital, hospital social work, job, morbid obesity, MSW, social work, social work practice | Tags: compassion, mental illness, sympathy
A recent post by The Trench Warrior and the subsequent comments have made me think about this. In fact one of my co-workers had a discussion about how the mentally ill are treated in the health care setting.
Many times, people who suffer from a pervasive mental illness get treated less then compassionately by nurses and possibly even some doctors. There is no tolerance for their strange behaviors. And God forbid if they haven’t been compliant with their psych meds in addition to having a medical issue!
The interesting thing is that if a person comes in for uncontrolled diabetes, or coronary artery disease in the setting of morbid obesity, smokers who have COPD, etc. there tends not to be the angry, bitter reaction. Those are conditions that are negatively impacted by a patient’s social setting, much like someone with mental illness.
If you are diabetic and have no insurance or bad insurance it can be exceedingly difficult to get your medications and testing supplies. Guess what? The same is true if you’re mentally ill.
If you’re poor and live in a bad neighborhood, it’s going to be difficult for you to afford fresh fruits and vegetables (or have a store close enough that actually sells that type of item) and your neighborhood may not be safe enough for you to walk for exercise. And, health clubs, forget about it! And guess what, you’re probably more likely to be obese and have the problems associated with it. The mentally ill don’t have a community that supports them (typically), and that negatively affects their outcomes.
I’m not sure that I can come up with an equivalency for a smoker with COPD and the mentally ill. Fellow social workers, feel free to help me out in the comments.
Anyway…my point? My co-worker and I were laughing ruefully, thinking, “What would those unsympathetic health care professionals say if we walked into the obese by-pass patient and said ‘Hey you fat bastard, you need to put down the chips and get your ass off the couch!’?” Unfortunately a few would probably praise our intervention. But, there would be others that would be horrified at our lack of compassion for and understanding of the patient’s medical issues. It’s just too bad that they can’t see their lack of compassion towards the mentally ill is really the same thing.
So, this is about me…all about me. I’m the one with some need for impulse control.
We were having a meeting with our supervisor today. I was expressing my superstitious beliefs today about an upcoming event in our department. My supervisor says, “Now, Amy! You need to be aware of the type of energy you’re putting out to the universe! Don’t be thinking like that!”
I thought she was kidding and so I said, “OK Oprah!” She wasn’t kidding. *head desk*
Filed under: alternative media, blogging, social media | Tags: blog traffic, traffic generators
I, like most bloggers out there, check my stats page. I always enjoy seeing where my readers (if I have any) for the day have come from. For awhile I got some really wacky links to my blog. I haven’t for awhile and I just realized why. I haven’t really been doing anything with traffic generators like http://blogsurfer.us . So, I visited this website tonight and realized how many of the great blogs (and not so great blogs) that I have been missing out on!
Filed under: asthma, epidemic, family life, home life, hospital, husbands | Tags: H1N1, vaccines
So, the H1N1 vaccine is supposed to be rolled out soon, I guess within a month or so. At my place of employment, it will not be required, but strongly recommended. We’ve been told that it’s pretty likely that if we choose not to get the vaccine, we’ll be required to wear a mask while in patient care areas, at all times.
So, I have some time to decide whether or not to get the vaccine for myself. Two of my co-workers and my supervisor have said that they will not get the vaccine due to fears about Guillain-Barre Syndrome. I am unsure what I’ll do for myself.
Certainly the thought of trying to do my job through a mask every day for the next several months has very little appeal. And the thought of being exposed to H1N1 has very little appeal. My children are both in the high risk groups. That being said, I’m certainly more concerned about The D getting H1N1 than his older brother The G.
It’s hard to sort out the truth from the hype on this matter. I had to go to a committee meeting a couple of weeks ago where our infectious disease specialist spoke. At that point, I would have pulled down my pants in front of the whole group in order to get the vaccine. The whole point of his presentation was that we could expect a lot of sick children and what were we going to do about it? Basically the metropolitan area hospitals where most of the critically ill children go have said, “Well, when we’re full, we’re full.” Having already been through the experience of waiting for a doctor to find a PICU bed for my child, well, let’s just say his little presentation pushed a lot of buttons for me. But, having had time to think about this new vaccine, I’m not so sure.
The pros would be protecting myself and my family and patients. The cons… possibly getting a horrible neurological syndrome or some other bad side effect. Hmmmm….
The Husband has put his foot down on this subject. He has made it very clear that he does not want anyone in the family to get the new vaccine. And I’m just not sure what I’m going to do.