Archive for March 26, 2014

Learning to Live Again: Could you do it?

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Learning to Live Again: Could you do it?

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Often times, its one event that changes our lives. One unplanned, unpredicted life altering event that changes your entire life’s plan. As I sit here, pondering my own life’s plan, I’m also thinking about the difference of life stages, and these types of catastrophic events. I think in these points, everyone reaches a point of “tired.” Until you live with major change, major trauma, major illness—you just won’t understand. It’s at these points though, where we have to find the reasons we’ll carry on to live again. Being so close to a number of my family members growing up, I can pin point with most of them where they “lost” their path. Fell off, or were completely pushed off by forces they couldn’t even imagine.

For my Grandpa C., one wrong house working accident rendered him chair bound for the last 15 years of his life. See, he was taking off, or maybe it was putting up, storm windows in his house. Big, huge, sheets of glass, almost as tall as his 6ft self. One slipped off, and cut his shin, muscles, tendons…all of it, down the back of one of his legs, to the bone. Being that he was older when he did it, stubborn as hell, and bound to do it all “his way,” he never really recovered. Never did the correct rehab, never found the happiness he needed to live again. With my Grandma C., breaking her arm started it off; and then letting her diet slip, and not taking care of herself enough pushed her into the nursing home, and everything else. I thought we were giving her, doing for her, what she would need to push on…but it just wasn’t enough.

Now, I’ve also had grandparents who have had issues out of their control. Lung cancer, and ALS, took a Grandpa and a Grandma, but up until the end, they remained as positive, and hopeful as they could. Even with body failure, complete reliance on loved ones, family drama hanging heavy in the air, and fate looming daily…my last visits with them were full of smiles, and laughs at old memories. And now, my poor Grandma, being assaulted to blindness in a home invasion, at 80 years old. She’s gone through multiple surgeries, multiple moves, super hard days and nights, and we’re only weeks in. She shows more drive than some people my age do when their biggest worry is how many pounds they’ve lost, or how they can’t wait to have a break from their kids.

It all comes down to your own internal flame. Your voice. Your strength. Whether the events that come up in your life are planned, or happen in the most tragic of ways, it’s all in how you handle it. If someone in your life, an elderly family member, or friend, has something like this happen…do what you can to be there. Even if it’s just checking in by phone call. Don’t let them get lost in their own thoughts, or drown in the unproductive, burdensome, thoughts of pity. Even with tragedy, life can still go on. But you really have to want it to, and sometimes, you may be just what your loved one needs to take the first steps back into living.

My Black Heart & Your Personal Safety.

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My Black Heart & Your Personal Safety.

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Last night, our entire family’s personal safety was thrown up in arms getting word that my grandmother had been brutally beaten in a home invasion. Worse news, it was someone that she knew. To quote my uncle, who summed it up well, “My heart is black.” I sit, over and over, thinking about every aspect of this, and bottom line is, people are freaking insane. You can’t predict crazy, but we’ve all got to do more to prevent it from spreading. My heart is black because I can’t understand how someone could so this to an innocent 80 year old woman. My heart is black because of the dark thoughts of harm, vengeance, and true justice that I so badly crave. My heart is black because I know, deep down inside, she’s never going to be the same again.

My head throbs from the constant thought of way she looked last night, and how there was nothing I could do to make this better. Her spirits were calmer than mine, even taking a second to say that my “doctoring skills” wouldn’t fix this one. (That’s a long running thing. See, I use to “doctor” my Grandpa with shaving cream, toothpaste, Band-Aids, fake scalpels, etc.) He stalked her in her house, watching in the dark, waiting for the perfect time to pounce. He took away more from her than he’ll ever have the brain capacity to understand… He took that away from all of us.

It’s is now that I remind you, IMPLORE you, to make sure your elderly relatives, friends, and neighbors are safe. Advise them to keep their doors locked, and to call 911 when anything seems off. Talk to them about the myriad of “emergency buttons” available now, and some are even FREE to those who qualify. Make sure that they understand the latest threats: Identity theft, phone scams, manipulation.

As I get ready to pack up, to head to the hospital for her first of many surgeries…. (swallows real hard) I’ll do anything I can to help her adjust to life after violence, and help her regain herself. All the while trying not to lose myself in the deep, dark emotions.

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ILY, NB.

New Indiana Law Requires POST Documentation

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New Indiana Law Requires POST Documentation
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There is always confusion about DNRs, and who should, or shouldn’t be resuscitated. Each doctor’s office, or hospital, now require a separate copy of your wishes, signed by a multitude of people, with extra hoops to jump through. In fact, this process is getting closer and closer to being as difficult as taxes are, and dealing with the IRS. For someone who simply wants to make sure that their own wishes are followed at their end of life, State’s sure do not make the process an easy one. Depending on your State will depend on which forms you need, and where to submit them to. In our experience, every place that your loved one MAY be seen needs to have their DNR on file, POA, and if in Indiana, the POST form. Below you’ll find information about the newly adopted POST form laws.
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As of July 2013, Indiana’s Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST) legislation was signed in, and took effect. While POST is not a living will, this form does allow each individual to make specific decisions and interventions about their medical care. Being signed by both the patient and the doctor, this document helps make one’s wishes actionable.
POST is not for everyone, or otherwise healthy people. This form is for patients who are chronically ill, with progressive frailty, those with terminal conditions caused by injury, disease or illness from which there can be no real recovery, or death will occur at some near future point. Those patients with conditions where resuscitation may be unsuccessful, where cardiac or pulmonary failure is present; or those patients with a life expectancy of six months or less.
These forms do have different parts, and don’t be afraid to ask your doctor’s office to help you fill them out. If any patient is unable to make their own decisions, or sign for themselves, a legal representative must sign. This form IS NOT complete until it HAS BEEN SIGNED by the PHYSICIAN.

Downloadable/Printable POST form for INDIANA residents

For more information, or list of the complete laws surrounding the POST forms and law, please visit the in.gov website, and follow their links!

Resources Used: Indiana State web site (linked above)