The Opioid Crisis? A Lie. Suicide Due to a Lack of Pain Management? Very Real.

All of the following information is available on many sites on the internet. The National Health Association, the World Wide Health Organization, the CDC, and etc. You should just google suicide rates. I knew as medication was withheld, my people would choose not to live. It is happening! We are losing our chronically ill brothers and sisters at an alarming rate.



This is what I found…

 

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Rest in Peace.

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Enough. My heart is tired. If you are not a chronic pain patient, you should not have any say regarding our medical methods to suppress our pain.

~Kim

Protecting the 1st Amendment OR Allowing Abusive Posts by WordPress Blogger?

I have something significant to ask you.

  • Should a person be allowed to write ‘how-to’ manuals about how to abuse women?
  • Should this person be allowed to publish these ‘how-to’ posts on a public blog?
  • Should this person be allowed to follow women bloggers who are writing about their escape from an abusive past?

WordPress believes this is a freedom of speech issue. I think this is definitely an issue! The issue is abusive behavior!!! Some behaviors, written or no, are flat out WRONG.


Read this excerpt…

“Anyone else who has also experienced rape, assault, abuse, stalking, or anything similar is likely screaming at the computer screen as much as I did when I read that myself. Admittedly, the support people probably were not prepared for the words I had to say, which, I’m proud to say, were righteously indignant but also respectful. But the reality is that we live in a society and a time where victims of crimes are often more afraid to report the crime than they are to live with it, and where there still is lacking a basic understanding of the psychology of trauma from the viewpoint of the victim.”

To read the full story, and it is unfolding RIGHT NOW with WordPress…

Click here, on Gwen’s site:

https://thekintsukuroilife.blog/2020/01/11/it-was-almost-the-end/


I hope you are as outraged as I am.

I have no more words.

img_0456~Kim

The Search for an RV.

Ok, we are living in some pretty good digs right now. There is a fireplace! There is a lake and a grill and a fire pit. I’m certainly not complaining. All I want to make clear is that I am ready to have my own home again. Whatever I define as my home. That would be an RV!

There is an RV I like in Oregon, Texas, Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Arizona… now, what the heck do we do? Update. The Arizona one sold. What? One day on the RVTrader!!! Wow. That went quick. And there goes the one in Texas as well. I still have a total of seventeen RV’s on my saved list. Seventeen!

The decision to purchase a 5th wheel was fairly obvious soon after we began our search…at least I thought so until the buying process started. Eventually, you need to choose, and we decided to hunt for a 5th wheel! Then we heard some of these 5th wheels come with a garage! A garage translates into ‘office space’ to me as well as a place to hold our CanAm Spyder once we are travel bound.

A 5th wheel toy hauler is for us!

There are different ‘makes.’ There are various ‘models.’ There are different lengths, colors, and floor plans! There is the Cadillac of RVs then there are the humbled down versions. We tried to pick something in the middle.

We chose the Keystone brand as we like their track record in the warranty department. We also like a number of their models. This being our first RV purchase, we want to be somewhere in the middle of the price point of the RV ‘sales’ when we choose our first home on wheels! Not too long, not too short! Not too expensive, not too cheap! We have to live in this, so it’s got to have a little appeal and adequate storage. (Whatever adequate means at this point.)

We have four contenders. Starting with the high-end Raptor (nice but scary expensive). Then continuing in the price point spread; the Fuzion, Impact, and Carbon. One of these will be our future home! We like the Fuzion a lot. Then, looking at the most bang for our buck, we have decided to go after an Impact.

First things first, after deciphering the weight of what we’d need to pull a 40 foot, 5th wheel, we needed to purchase a 3/4 ton, diesel pickup truck. We decided on a low mileage 2015 Chevy Silverado, 3500. We bought this little beauty last Saturday!

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We will pick up the truck today. The ‘Anderson Hitch’ (Really cool, google it!) arrives this afternoon. Next, it’s time to decide on a toy hauler… and make that purchase!

Stay tuned!

img_1722~Kim

The results are in! My review of the “Med Management” Bag.

I unboxed this bag on July 30th. I was mailed this bag at no cost and asked to review it. I have worked with this bag for a little over two weeks. I will tell you this is a very nice management tool and I highly recommend it. I won’t beat around the bush if you can afford the 50 dollars, get this “Med Management” bag right now at http://vivalife.care.com.

Preparation

I started off purchasing pill organizers at Walgreen’s pharmacy for 99 cents apiece. I bought four and color-coded them. I take medications four times a day. I picked up a composition book as well for 50 cents. A composition book is a tool I use to take notes to prepare for medical appointments as well as record any issues I may be having with medication. The bag comes with file holders and tags. Keep your medical information; past and present in these divided files. Organize them as they make sense to you. I always carry a list of medications I am currently taking, a list of past medications and what they did or did not do for me. Medical procedures I have undergone and the doctors names and addresses that I see. I like to keep my pharmacy information and insurance cards with me too.

Design

This “Med Management” bag is not cumbersome! Medications bottles of all sizes fit, and you can carry as much paperwork with you as you need, your iPad will fit in this bag without issue. The design of this bag is smart.

Con, or is it a Pro?

The only downside that I encountered was the color! I like to carry my medications ‘incognito,’ but this bag stands out brightly! Now having said that, this is also a pro! People will notice you are carrying this bag. They will notice if you ‘forget’ your bag. I believe when walking in for an appointment, it seemed that I may have been taken a bit more seriously? Yes. A lot more seriously.

Last Word

Only you know if this bag will fit your lifestyle. The price is steep. I doubt you’ll be disappointed. I think this is worth its price! Two thumbs up for the “Med Management” bag.

 

 

img_1453~Kim

My Top 20 Cheaters!

Do you ever just get fed up? Get tired of being the ‘patient?’ Everyone looks at you as the ‘sick’ one, mentally and/or physically… depending on how cruel they want to be. Do you get tired of seeing one more specialist, reading one more study, purchasing one more book about your disease… Do you ever just stop and scream, “ENOUGH!”

I have not. That is, I haven’t screamed “enough!” I’ve wanted to! I was afraid my family would send the men in white coats to take me away to a ‘nice’ place to rest. I haven’t said it out loud, but I have reached; ‘enough!’ I’ll get over it; I suppose, but for right now, I’m so done with fibromyalgia!

I’m sick of being the ‘patient.’ I just can’t stomach one more doctor or another treatment plan! If I read one more research study about fibromyalgia, I with begin to tear the hair out of my head. If I hear about one more ‘cure’ I will start screaming and will not be able to stop. I am so done with being chronically ill! DONE! … but it isn’t done with me.

So… I put on my combat boots (yes I have combat boots, doesn’t everyone?) and I begin to think of all the things I’ve learned to use in the last 20 years to ‘combat’ my fibromyalgia symptoms. Since I am not an affiliate with any money making company, I decided to share the things I use. I’m straight up going to tell you what works for me, I call these things my cheaters. Maybe my cheaters will work for you, perhaps not.

*Remember, I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV. I’m asking you to check with your doctor before using any additional over the counter (OTC) medications.

My Top 20 Cheaters:

  1. Vicks Vapor Rub. Cover your feet with the stuff and put socks on. Body discomfort, colds, congestion, allergies, toenail fungus… (10 days for the nail fungus to clear up). Your mother was right about Vicks Vapor Rub. This stuff works for just about anything!
  2. Essential Oils. Eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender. Clears up the sinuses and has a calming effect. I use a diffuser. I also use one of those necklaces that holds a small ball of charcoal. You can put essential oils on the ball of charcoal. Some oil brands I like (and have researched) are Plant Guru, Sun Leaf, and there is a roller ball mix called CALM from farm to you. It not only clears my sinuses but helps my mood!
  3. Epsom Salt. I use some in my bath for sore muscles. This stuff is incredible! I also use this to soak my feet when they are painful. There is a fancy one that has lavender in it, and it is nice, but good old everyday Epsom Salt is key!
  4. Dramamine. This works VERY well for dizziness and nausea. If you get the original formula, it will calm you down. If you are already fighting drowsiness, get the less drowsy formula.
  5. Popsicles. Indigestion? Acid Reflux? I just switched from chewing ice after a meal, which works but is hell on your teeth to plain old popsicles. A bit softer on the teeth and work just as well. (If you are low in iron, many times you crave ice, this also helps with that craving.)
  6. Coca-Cola. There are days when eating is out of the question. Don’t reach for the ginger ale, Sprite or 7-up. Slowly sip a REGULAR Coca-Cola. Nausea will go away.
  7. Coca-Cola and a candy bar. Yes, you are reading this correctly. Use these items together if you are experiencing withdrawals from going off medication. I learned this trick from an addiction counselor I used to work with. Now if this is already a part of your daily diet, I’m sorry, this won’t work for you. But if you are not used to this kind of caffeine and sugar rush… it WILL work to ease up the side effects. You will get some much-needed relief.
  8. Magnesium. I take a liquid form. If you have fibromyalgia, you need to be taking extra magnesium. Period. (This is what I take and why.) Our bodies do not make enough. Google ‘magnesium’ and you will understand. Or read all about magnesium from Caz at Invisibly Me!
  9. B12 shots. B12 is another no brainer. (Google away, people!) I take an intramuscular shot. You can take the regular shots or get the vitamins. B12 is like the highway for your body to absorb everything else while it protects this highway too. You will feel less fatigued, less confusion, and overall better if your B12 levels are maintained.
  10. Generic allergy tablets. Calming.
  11. Tylenol PM. (Acetaminophen) Watch your doses! No more than 4,000 mg per day. Calming and takes care of headaches!
  12. Ibuprofen. You can take 800 mg at once, and this is the dose of a pain relieving pill you’d be given with a script. The goal is to not have to do this, but when you are in pain, you do what needs to be done. (Some should not be taking NSAIDs, check your prescriptions for adverse effects!) Always use caution.
  13. Handheld Massager. Restless leg sufferers, this cheater is for you! (Also…#14.)
  14. Weighted Blanket. I use a weighted blanket for Restless Leg Syndrome and anxiety.
  15. Nyquil. We all know Nyquil is our favorite knockout medicine. Use it when you need to. Sleep is healing.
  16. Therapy Belt. I use one for my lower back pain. Get one from Amazon. They are velcro and cost about $15. You should read the directions and always align your hips when putting on one of these belts. (If you have questions, I can help, just ask.)
  17. Clay heating/cooling packs. These are just super nice! Since they are clay, you can squish them and mold them to your body. Walgreens again… they carry these clay packs that can be heated up in the microwave or frozen.
  18. TENs Unit. If this works for you… buy one for yourself! The TENs unit doesn’t work for my fibro, but my husband uses one for his sore back. Not that expensive. Does not require a prescription. Available on Amazon and at Walgreens.
  19. Salonpas. These are little patches you can put on the exact spot you feel pain. (Choose wisely, they are medicated!)
  20. Drugs.com. Put this APP on your phone. It is free and easy to use.

Bonus cheater!!!

#21. A Medication Journal!

You really need to have a journal, especially for your cheaters. Write down what works and what dosages are best for you. Remember to record the medications you take and always the amounts! It doesn’t have to be pretty, just accurate.

Please leave any questions for me in the comment section. Use these cheaters as aids, do not use instead of a medication that is prescribed for you.

And finally, please remember;

 *I am absolutely not a doctor, nurse, or medically trained in any way, except in CPR and first aid! I can breathe the life right back into you while I bandage a head wound… but nothing else!

 

 

img_0992~Kim

After I Tripped; A New Physical Therapist (Friday Series #10)

(Disclaimer: The STS machine is no longer available for treatment in the USA. The machine is no longer made. I do not know why. I purchased my own STS machine in 2001, and I still use it to this day.)

I started going to physical therapy to work with a man named Dave Solheim. He believed in chronic pain. He believed in Fibromyalgia Syndrome. And he believed in me! He introduced me to the Sympathetic Therapy System machine; the STS machine. The STS machine looks like a TENS unit, the set up is very similar. He warned me the STS machine may work, but it just as likely would not, so not to be upset if nothing happened during this first trial. The treatment time on the machine was 60 minutes. About 20 minutes in, I could feel my body begin to relax, it was working! I couldn’t believe the relief I was feeling! Sharp pains were dulled. I began to cry, and a very worried technician ran into the room to stop the machine! I explained it was working and I couldn’t believe it. I was experiencing a longed-for relief of the sharp, constant pain I was always in. I could actually take a deep breath in without pain! I began seeing Dave three times a week. Within a month, I could receive hugs without reeling from the pain they caused. I was able to purchase my own STS machine. (I used it once in the morning and once in the evening for years, now only as needed.)

The TENS unit creates a buzzing feeling on your skin to send a message up the spinal cord to release pain-killing endorphins in the brain. The TENS machine did not work for me. Unfortunately, it increased my pain. The TENS unit does work for the majority who try it. You can purchase home units rather cheaply. My husband has one for his bad back. The STS machine works on the sympathetic nervous system.

So let’s decipher what the sympathetic nervous system is? I turn to Wikipedia for the explanation because it made me chuckle at the end! This is the description;

The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is one of the two main divisions of the autonomic nervous system, the other being the parasympathetic nervous system

The autonomic nervous system functions to regulate the body’s unconscious actions. The sympathetic nervous system’s primary process is to stimulate the body’s fight-or-flight response. It is, however, constantly active at a basic level to maintain homeostasis homeodynamics.[3] The sympathetic nervous system is described as being antagonistic to the parasympathetic nervous system which stimulates the body to “feed and breed” and to (then) “rest-and-digest.”

Okay, so since our fibro bodies are stuck in the fight or flight response, the STS machine signals the brain that the body response is not needed. We are able to relax go on to the parasympathetic part of the nervous system to “feed and breed and to (then) rest and digest.” 

This machine did not work for everyone. I fact, it did not work for the majority of people who tried it. Many times the signal could just not get through. I was one of the lucky ones. It worked for me…

Class dismissed! (I’ve always wanted to say that.)

(To be continued.)

img_0581~Kim

After I Tripped; The Diagnosis (Friday Series #9)

Returning to my parent’s home in 2001 in Minnesota was comforting, yet disconcerting, and a bit embarrassing at my age. (I was 33 years old, almost 34!) I was moved into the ‘office’ and slept on a pullout couch. I don’t think I did anything the first week but cry and sleep.

My Mom brought me breakfast in bed every morning for five consecutive days. Then she announced it was time to get up! She wanted me to get back into life and make the best out of my situation. So, I tried…

It was I believe, shocking, to say the least as she watched me try to regain some sense of direction. To witness the constant daily pain I was in. To hear about the struggle, I had tried so hard to hide. 

My mom is a strong, stubborn, full-blooded Norwegian. She is a viper when it comes to her children! She fiercely loves and savagely protects all of her children. God help the person who crosses one of her own. My mom expects the same of us. Be tough, work your ass off, and make something of yourself! (She did not raise lazy kids.) Age has not been kind to her health, she fights her battles too. I love my mom.

As I was struggling to understand what was going on with me, Mom started calling medical facilities. She began with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Next, she called the University of Minnesota, Medical Clinic in Minneapolis. Then she called a doctor friend of a family member, a general practitioner in a small town 40 miles north of us. All were willing to see me, but we started with the closest option. Dr. Olson, the general practitioner.

“You have Fibromyalgia.”

“I have what?”

“It’s called Fibromyalgia Syndrome, do you want me to write it down for you?”

“Yes, please. How do I fix it?”

“You don’t…”

I learned this Fibromyalgia Syndrome ‘thing’ was called “the garbage can diagnosis.” You must be tested for everything it could possibly be [I had been]. If everything comes back negative [it did], you go through a tender spot exam [never had one of those exams until I saw Dr. Olson]. If you have these specific tender areas, you are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia Syndrome. I told my mom what the Doctor had said and begged her not to tell anyone I had the garbage can disease! I was NOT going to let this get me… I would find a cure!

I bought every book I could find. I bought every supplement that the books suggested. I did every exercise that was written in the book. I went to a mental health therapist just in case this was nothing more than a mental issue… truthfully, it was a prevalent misdiagnosis in 2001.

One evening I was watching the news with my parents. They were spotlighting a human interest story about a local physical therapist that was treating fibromyalgia patients with something called an “STS” machine. This worked on the sympathetic nervous system. He was having some success alleviating the severe pain people with fibromyalgia suffer. We looked at each other, shocked! I made a call to the physical therapist’s office the very next morning.

Dave Solheim, physical therapist guru, would change my life!

(To be continued.)

img_0430 (1)~Kim

The 8th Stage of Fibromyalgia

The first six stages of fibromyalgia were explained by a woman named A. Wise. The seventh stage of fibromyalgia was introduced by me, Kim Johnson. I am following this up with what I believe to be the eighth and final stage of fibromyalgia.

(The first six stages, *A. Wise.)

  1. You notice something is wrong. You hurt and are tired. You may begin to research to find out what is wrong with you.
  2. You are in a lot of pain and are taking some sort of medication for it. You are exhausted every day.
  3. You are in constant pain and always fatigued. You go to work, come home and sleep.
  4. Unrelenting pain and fatigue. You call into work more than you are physically there. You spend most of your days in bed. At this time, people beginning to doubt your illness because you could do things in stages 1 – 3 that you can no longer do.
  5. You have just quit or have been let go from your job, you are struggling to make ends meet. You are applying for long-term disability.
  6. You can no longer hold down any kind of job. Simple tasks you took for granted now drain all of your precious energy. Now you are not only dealing with pain, fatigue, and medications but the side effects as well. You probably now know more about fibromyalgia than your doctor. You find you are without hope.

This is a pretty abbreviated version of the six steps, but I’ve summarized the points that Ms. Wise laid out in her article. Stage six pretty much ends with you being in constant pain, fatigue, and without hope. (There had to be a seventh stage!)  I was not being left in stage six with no hope.

(Stages seven and eight, *K.Johnson.)

Stage seven for fibromyalgia sufferers would be acceptance. You live your life within the limitations placed on you by fibromyalgia. Acceptance doesn’t mean giving up. It means facing your illness with a new perspective. You find peace with that acceptance. Anger, fear, hopelessness all but disappear. You stop feeling like you are a worthless human being, and you start finding some purpose in your life.

Stage eight is management. The final stage. You have let go of what does not serve your overall sense of well-being. You are now doing what works uniquely for you! You maintain a medication/supplement schedule. You are gently exercising. You have hobbies. You are prepared for symptom changes. You found your purpose.

Just because you are in stage eight does not mean you can control your fibromyalgia.  You will still have bad days. This illness is chronic. You will know how to handle your flares as they happen and may be able to reduce the intensity. You will be well aware of how to manage all the secondary, coexisting conditions you experience with your fibromyalgia. There will always be medication changes, flares, and frequent physical and mental disruptions you will have to deal with. These types of ‘upsets’ will no longer be so overwhelming. (You have learned to roll with the punches!) You will continually seek out additional information about your disease. You advocate for fibromyalgia awareness.

I am still in stage seven; acceptance. I hope to get firmly to stage eight; management, in the next year or so. I believe we can and do re-visit some stages, especially when faced with new health challenges. We often have maintenance to do when additional health conditions arise.

What stage are you in?

(The 8th Stage of Fibromyalgia first appeared on I Tripped Over a Stone.)

img_0986~Kim

*When sharing this information, please credit A.Wise with the first 6 stages, and K. Johnson with stages seven and eight. Thank you! 

For more information, refer to the original post; The 7th Stage of Fibromyalgia.

Additional discussion can be found at; Is Remission Possible?

 

Is Remission Possible?

I recently had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine. We were talking about the Seven Stages of Fibromyalgia. She believed there should be an eighth stage called “remission.” Her reasoning was when we feel ‘normal’ we are in remission. When we relapse, the pain that returns puts us back into the sixth stage of fibromyalgia (when we hurt all the time and do not see a way out). This got me thinking! And researching.

First, let’s define remission as used in reference to medical patients.

The English dictionary defines remission as;

Remission: noun (OF ILLNESS) a period of time when an illness is less severe or is not affecting someone.

I know I have used the word ‘remission’ in a few of my early blog posts. It does mean when an illness is less severe. It does fit. I don’t think this is necessarily the eighth stage of fibromyalgia. I think remission can happen in any stage for as little as a day, weeks, even months. The pain always returns, this is a chronic disease. We bounce back into different stages depending on the intensity of our pain and how well we can manage the severity of our symptoms.

So can we reach remission? Yes! At any stage. This little monster we call fibromyalgia is sneaky. We begin to feel less severe symptoms, and what do we do? Go like hell! Take on old projects as well as new! We pretend the debilitating pain will not return, but it does. It always does. We have a chronic illness that has no known cure. ‘No cure’ and ‘chronic’ basically mean forever.

Is there an eighth stage after the seventh stage of acceptance? Yes, I believe there is. I think it is management.

Management. The eighth and final stage of fibromyalgia;

You have let go of what does not serve your overall sense of well-being. You are now doing what works uniquely for you! You maintain a medication/supplement schedule. You are gently exercising. You have hobbies. You are prepared for symptom changes. You have found your purpose. You can roll with the punches (the ups and downs of your chronic disease.)

I will be expanding further on the management stage tomorrow. I am not in stage eight yet, this would be my goal! I have grasped stage seven, acceptance. None of the stages have been easy to move through.

If you want to review the seven stages of fibromyalgia, click here.

Thanks to Jody for bringing up the topic of remission! It is a common question we face throughout our lives as we try to deal with each return of painful, debilitating flares.

img_0986~Kim

 (Update; published! The 8th Stage of Fibromyalgia )

Here are Your Chronic Pain Disease and Palliative Care Forms!

Do you suffer from a chronic pain disease? Is there no cure? Then you should fill out the Chronic Pain Disease and Palliative Care Certification Form. 

A while back I wrote about a trip I had taken to the Emergency Room. I was diagnosed with pneumonia and admitted to the hospital to receive IV antibiotics. I was treated with those antibiotics and Tylenol. My chronic pain was not addressed. I was in agony, not from pneumonia but from the chronic pain of fibromyalgia.

I was medicated in the emergency room for chest pain. Once I was moved into a hospital bed, there would be no further medication for the pain I was experiencing. My fibromyalgia went into a full flare due to a voluntary test I allowed them to run on me as a ‘teaching’ protocol.

Four doctors arrived in my room and asked to administer an ultrasound on my back to get pictures of my lungs. I agreed to let them do the ultrasound because I believed it would be a less invasive test and other patients may benefit from it. Bad decision. After allowing four doctors to deeply press the ultrasound device all over my back, the myofascia bruised and pain signals were activated throughout my body causing a very painful flare.

I told the admitting doctor that I would need to be treated for my chronic pain. I still didn’t realize the ultrasound had caused the flare at this point, all I knew was I was in a LOT of pain. She denied my request for pain medication, she refused to contact my primary doctor, and she stated I’d need to see a pain doctor on site. This pain doctor had left for the day and wouldn’t be returning until the next day after 5PM. It was 11AM…

The next 30 hours were unbearable… I still cannot talk about what I went through, and I cannot repeat the names I was called. It was terrifying and traumatic.

Never again. I will not ever let this happened again.

I found the Palliative Care Forms I was searching for! A man named Dr. Kline does so much for the chronic pain community. It was after listening to him I learned “Palliative Care,” and “Hospice” are two separate entities. Usually, when we think of hospice, we think of palliative care plans, but this need not be the case. Chronic pain patients are entitled to pain management. We are not drug seeking lunatics. We are not part of the so-called ‘opioid crisis!’ We are people who have an unusually high tolerance for pain medication because we are continually releasing pain-relieving substances our bodies naturally contain because our brain is merely responding to constant firing pain receptors.

Download and print out your Chronic Pain Disease and Palliative Care Certification Form. Your doctor, nurse practitioner, even your nurse can fill this form out, and you can keep a copy with you at all times!

I want to know how these forms work for you! If you have one of these already in place, please let me know if it has been useful! We may have more work to do, but this could be a step in the right direction!

IMG_5013~Kim

Engage.

I made soup! I made soup. Cabbage roll soup. It is delicious and freezes up in smaller portions very well … the point is, I am trying to re-engage in life. Healing from pneumonia that I have takes weeks, sometimes months. This virus has caused my fibromyalgia to flare with a vengeance. The fatigue itself is overwhelming. But there is more to this then just healing from pneumonia, I need to recover mentally from the treatment I received while I was hospitalized.

I entered the Emergency Room on Sunday the 16th of September. (I have been a patient in this hospital over a dozen times; in-patient, I was not really worried as I believed I would receive adequate care.) I was having chest pains and a hard time breathing. I was instantly taken to a room with a crash cart! There were 4 to 6 nurses and technicians with me at once! My clothes were removed, a monitor was hooked up to my heart while an IV was started and blood was taken. The doctor appeared immediately. Morphine was given, and baby aspirin was given to me to chew. I was put on oxygen and wheeled into a different room for an MRI and brought back to my emergency room and given Fentanyl. More blood was taken, and my vitals were beginning to return to normal, but my fever remained very high. I had pneumonia. A nasty case according to the emergency room doctor who said he would be admitting me into the hospital…

Everything went wrong once I was moved to a hospital room. Everything. I was released three days later. It was so traumatizing I cannot write about it to this day… to heal, mentally and physically, I need to put my memories about this hospital stay in a box and close the lid for now. I did send in a survey that was sent to me from the hospital. I filled it out truthfully, painfully, as the nightmares have still not ceased.

In time, I will write my story when my body heals, and my mind can deal with what I went through, this is not that time. 

I have received stories from women with all sorts of chronic illnesses, reading about their very own hospital horror stories. They are brave and strong and wrote about their experience. They had the guts to send their stories to me. I am disgusted and angry at the horrific treatment they suffered through.

What do I do now? 

How do I handle this information?

I want to make sure these horrors never happen to anyone again… I want these women to have their stories heard! I also need to work on a solution. I need to figure out how to ensure patients are listened to and their “rights” to a pain-free hospital stay are upheld! I have been going over story after story… what would make a difference?

I think I have an idea…

The introduction of Palliative Care Medicine Plans for all chronically ill patients:

Screen Shot 2018-09-30 at 11.26.34 AM

This is my new project. My goal will be to provide access to these type of care plans for those who need them. I will not stop until I have these types of informational packets ready for anyone who needs one. This will take some time, but it will become a reality.

 

~Kim

The Pineapple Persuasion

I’ve decided I like pineapples. No, I really do! I like the way they taste. Sweet. (Get your mind out of the gutter perves.) I like the way they look, prickly on the outside, with a crown on top! I love the colors; yellows, oranges, and greens…

I buy pineapples, I eat pineapples, I decorate with pineapples. I love pineapples!

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A pineapple, according to my husband, is me. I wear a crown. (If he is King of his Castle, I am his Queen!) I am prickly on the outside but sweet on the inside (once the core has been removed). The darn core has been somewhat of a buggar to deal with as of late.

I see my core as holding all my preconceived notions. All ‘etcetera’ interests, and ideas, everything stored for examination at a later date. All to be processed as true or false, some preconceived notions of illness behaviors, some judgments… it’s all there, in this core.

The meat of the pineapple, the sweetness, that’s me. That is me and how I try to see the world! Without the tough exterior, I wouldn’t last very long… and anyone could crush me, eat me up! No, I have a hard shell, protecting my sweetness. The shell must be removed to get to this part, the sweet part.

My crown stands tall and green. It is lovely, strong and can topple over and still maintain its proper place on top of my pineapple.

But alas, the core had to be removed. For all its protection, too many ideas confuse the pineapple, and the core will end up eating away the best parts of the pineapple. Turning the sweet to sour. The ill-fated preconceived notions turn random false facts into truths. No, No. This, we can not allow.

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 12.48.43 PM~Kim