It's not what you are eating, it's what's eating you…

Archive for the ‘MENTAL HEALTH’ Category

In defense of #HCMC ‘s Ketamine study and possibly protocol for potentially violent and violent patients…

Workplace Violence in Healthcare: What Does the Data Say?

https://bringmethenews.com/minnesota-news/hennepin-healthcare-vows-improvements-after-review-into-ketamine-use-on-police-subjects

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS: My normal disclaimers do NOT apply as far as my NOT being a  clinically trained medical and mental health professional or NOT being trained in law enforcement and/or public safety, as this blog addresses the safety threats to first responders and healthcare professionals locally, but this is a dialogue that above study  in first link, that addresses on a national level, the threat that healthcare workers are up against with patients who are ALREADY in an acute facility for evaluation and treatment when in mental  and/or medical crisis or combination there of or that first responders are potentially in danger, when responding to a crisis call.

I have in NUMEROUS blogs, advocated for patients rights, in this case though, as in a few other blogs that I’ve written, the patients that I’m advocating for ARE the first responders and healthcare providers that are in danger when verbal de-escalation techniques may not be the most effective, which can not only jeopardize a patient in who is in medical and mental health crisis, but the first responders and healthcare providers who are trying to stabilize them.

There are already local and national activists who advocate for verbal de-escalation, I don’t agree and I think someone who isn’t a peer as a first responder or healthcare worker needs to advocate for safety of people who work in these professions.

If this is a topic as a patient, that could be triggering, please do not read.

***

About 8 months ago, I blogged about a less than ideal encounter at Hennepin Healthcare’s emergency department, from the perspective of a patient, where I felt that I had been unfairly labeled and was also given prescription high strength ibuprofen that I never filled, as a patient who had a gastrointestinal bleed history and NSAIDs are an AWFUL treatment option for me.

The rare 4 times I’ve been in the emergency department at that facility and ONLY at that facility in the last 5 years in their emergency department as a patient, truthfully before seeing above 2nd link or similar stories last year , when either in the waiting room or when roomed and waiting for care, truthfully, I had wondered why some very aggressive patients wandering around had NOT been sedated.

Not just for patient safety sake, both the patient themselves who were acting out and other potentially non violent sick patients who were being treated but for physicians, nurses, other hospital staff, as well as there is police and/or Hennepin County sheriffs at this facility.

I’ve also blogged several months ago about a nurse who was violently assaulted at Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center and also  when 3 1/2 months ago a man who was under the influence of illegal substances had made a terroristic threat against my apartment building about blowing it up and also mentioned about wanting to kill me when he first saw me.

This is how I personally de-escalate situations when being harassed for money, sex and drugs.

I look the person in the eye, tell them I’m sorry that I can’t help them but that I don’t have any money, that I wish I had drugs but that I’m on probation and get drug tested (not true and all I’ll add to that, is my medication list is up to date at both FUMC and HCMC online resources as well as in my DNR/emergency  info in my phone) and depending on how agitated or aggressive they are, I’ll give them a cigarette and wish them well and go on my way.

OBVIOUSLY, clearly that’s a technique that NO first responder or any physician or nurse working with an unstable patient can actually  do.

I’m not the medical or mental whisperer, I realize that part of the reason, even dealing with extremely unstable people with a propensity to be violent, on a regular basis, is largely due to luck.

The big deal with Ketamine issue at HCMC was informed consent and some of the consequences with some of the patients needing to be intubated, afterwards.

The problem is that no one could say with absolute certainty that the patient would’ve been better off, the patients around them, the hospital staff and the first responders had they not been given Ketamine.

I clearly have a bias…

But the thing is, it’s not the hospital staff that if I have a patient encounter that I am not thrilled with the evaluation and treatment that scares me.

It’s the patients who are aggressive and agitated who pose a threat to staff and patients who aren’t sedated who scare me at HCMC, which I live 2 blocks away from and truthfully at  any hospital.

And those potential patients who are roaming in Minneapolis and St. Paul who are in crisis of some sort, who also I find terrifying.

I really have to wonder if those advocating on non medication interventions have ever been a patient, visitor or volunteer  at HCMC’s emergency department.

And in my case, I can just choose not to get treatment there, any longer, now that I have a DNR and just wait for my biannual medical visits with my longterm PCP of over 20 years in Princeton, a much smaller town, outside of the Twin Cities.

However HCMC’s  first responders, entire hospital staff and patients in medical crisis who don’t have a predisposition to ever be violent and either need a level 1 trauma center or hospital closest to them, don’t have that as an option, to opt out.

This is a topic that needs more discussion, when patients in crisis, who are potentially a threat to themselves, really can’t give informed consent and are potentially a threat to first responders, healthcare workers and innocent others, and the injury risks and rates HAVE to be reduced, if they can’t be eliminated, for healthcare workers.

Note:  Again, I welcome respectful differences of opinion, even if they are opposing. Anything that threatens the welfare of myself or any of my readers will be reported to the proper authorities.

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Doing something ONCE but the consequences lasting FOREVER…

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(I wrote a poem on the eve of the 11th anniversary of my “one and only” suicide attempt and on the 5th anniversary of a death of a beloved icon. Cause I’m old school in the digital era, I typed the poem on my email vs. meme generators, then took a picture of it with my smartphone, uploaded it to my large android tablet with keyboard, cause I find most apps as well as smartphones to be that YUCKY, but that is how I am, my outlook with others, is you just do you, boo, OK? thanks/you’re welcome)

IMPORTANT Disclaimers: This blog is to achieve more of a personal something vs. activism goal. Given most of my activism is rooted in life and death medical and mental health issues and circumstances, I do take liberties personally when talking about my OWN mental health and medical issues that I wouldn’t with another.

If serious topics sometimes not taken so seriously that are wordy and with some profanity, are a trigger to anyone, please do not read this blog.

And as always, if you or someone you know is a danger to themselves or others, please contact in person emergency services in your area.

Anyhoo, let the whatever (not sure if this will be a somewhat serious blog, fun, mayhem, crazy, super wordy(looks like wordy, as I’m over 200 words in, in just my disclaimer) probably combination of, commence…

***
Sigh…

I guess this has to start somewhere, right?

And if you’re familiar with me, or my writing, ya know I digress.

A lot…

So anyhow I happened to be outside last Friday night (unusual for me, as I’m a recluse who spends 99% of time alone, in my apartment in the last 2 1/2 years) and this lady who happened to be helping my neighbor with something, on her way out, started a conversation with 2 of my neighbors and myself where we were watching construction (neverending, on my side of da Miniapple) at 9pm on a Friday night in front of our building.

Okay, I know she meant well.

She started out the conversation about keeping active and looking good for 52 and while my neighbors gave her a compliment, I didn’t. I didn’t want to explain why and say “you look good for any age” or give any thing away that could explain my former life at first.

When she asked us without verbatim of basically “how do people FUCKING end up in a really poor building in a really rich neighborhood???”, I just basically said I was a disabled non monetized blogger and my neighbors gave some version of their stuff.

I’ve gotten really good or really bad depending on how you look at it, at answering that question in the last 10 years.

If I wanted to keep guessing and on occasion when I get some form of that question, I could just say “x amount of years ago I was a size 2 Certified Personal Trainer” which I did end up saying to her is the reason why I blogged, before returning to my apartment last Friday night.

I don’t answer that way most of the time, even though the looks people give me, are nothing short of amazing, because it doesn’t do the life I had regardless of weight,  prior to 2008, absolutely any justice.

Especially the time of my life, that I was a working full time, proactive loving single mother of 2 children.

Which will always be the best time of my life, starting in 1992 when my only son was born, getting even better when his sister was born 10 1/2 years later and ENDING in August of 2008 when I gave up custody of  both of my children to my parents and tried to commit to suicide due to severe medical issues and mental health ones, 5 days later.

Today is the 11th anniversary of my “one and only” suicide attempt.

Which is in great detail in my very first blog on here, exactly 6 years ago.

Other than NOT dying, the consequences of my suicide attempt were pretty severe.

The same could be said of my gastric bypass and Mirena, my 2nd trial of Fentanyl, my 3rd trial of Topamax at different times after my gastric bypass reversal in 2010.

I’m not even going to mention all my other bizarre near death experiences outside of the realm of my control, prior to my gastric bypass in 2001, in this blog.

I started this blog for a few reasons.

Primarily, as I’ve said before, that what I went through and so unfortunately put those I love through, wasn’t in vain.

That topics that are stigmatized would be less so to help others, either in prevention of suffering or reducing it.

That my children had in my words, how much I love them, when my youngest who has no memory of my being a functional loving present mother and my oldest, who saw me at my best and worst, would have my words, if they ever needed them and I couldn’t articulate them any longer or when I’m no longer around.

But this is the mixed blessing of all of this, as 11 years later, I’m still reduced to only what I can SAY, to help others.

I’m not capable of doing the normal day to day stuff that other people do to SHOW others they love them.

I’ve said before, I don’t have a great life, even though I’m able to do some uncanny great things with these words I have.

I can help someone when they are suicidal because they have bariatric surgical regret and they want a gastric bypass reversal when it’s not medically indicated, on working through why it can’t help them.

I can help someone who NEEDS gastric bypass reversal to save their life, that they have to remain alive, if one of the fears they have is getting fat again after a reversal, for that to be an option.

I can help others who think those of us have bariatric surgery and think for those who advocate for it or against it (again I’m for it, a surgical intervention, like I am for opiates, when all other less invasive treatments have been exhausted) why people feel blessed and cursed, and for those of us who fall in the latter category, remind that bariatric surgery is supposed to enhance one’s life, not ruin it or take it away.

I don’t just stay in one lane when it comes to medical activism with bariatric surgery or with my “one and only” suicide attempt because I am much more than my own medical and mental health issues and so is everyone else and other’s health issues among many, such as cancer, need better treatment options, just like schizophrenia, does.

For someone who had to fight herself to die, 11 years ago and then had to fight so hard to stay alive less than 2 years later, I will be always be sad for what’s been really bad and grateful for what is good.

In my case I’m grateful I didn’t have a chance as not an attractive child to have preconceived notions of what my life would turn out being, I didn’t expect the extraordinary blessings and I couldn’t have in my worst nightmares think about what the bad stuff would look like.

And in the digital era that has served me well, to not want to hurt, be hurt to prepare for the unexpected, even though I will always fear it.

But this is my life and I’m more than the wordy gastric bypass reversed chick who nearly got committed for one and only suicide attempt and leads a small life that is peppered with some amazing things, circumstances and people and I’m committed to if I can’t help someone that I don’t hurt them.

Some people go their entire lives not knowing the damage they are capable of, or that they caused and/or they don’t care and while all humans hurt another, some do on a major scale without remorse.

I’m many things that I don’t particularly love, but am grateful that I’m NOT that.

And I’m not an evil coward. I help when I can and stay to myself otherwise, and that in my circumstances, has to be enough.

Even though it really isn’t.

How could it be???

But it is what it is….

Note: Anything that’s not constructive to me or anyone else, will be published.

 

Everything I did RIGHT and the one thing I did WRONG, when calling #911 to report a #DowntownMinneapolisSafetyHazard, 2 months ago….

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(picture of Thrivent Smith Lot at 7th St and 5th Avenue in DT East, the relevance of picture will be clearer in body of blog, picture taken by me, a few months ago)

Important Disclaimers: I am NOT a clinically trained or credentialed medical or mental health professional, nor am I trained in law enforcement or public safety. I do though deal with less than ideal situations as a private citizen and as an activist, and in this instance, when calling for help from emergency responders, it did fail me. I still will always recommend when someone is or if someone they witness is in crisis, they get help immediately by calling 911 or emergency services in your country of residence.

***
May 26th, 2019, around 7:30 p.m. :
“911, What’s your emergency?”
“My name is Alissa Kasen, I live at 72- 5th Avenue, a man who’s under the influence of illegal drugs, just walked by me, stopped suddenly and started screaming that he wanted wanted to blow up my apartment building, which he’s still sitting in front of”
“Can you please repeat your name and your building address?”
“Alissa Kasen, address is 72- 5th Avenue South, I created a diversion, and am a 1/2 a block away from him, at the Thrivent parking lot at 5th and 7th and I’m telling people not to walk in front of my apartment building, after trying trying to deescalate his anger, by acknowledging the hate he’s been subjected to, being Somali and he was angry that his race has caused him issues getting jobs, a place to live and women to date and I lied and said that I, Mayor Frey, Representative Omar and Police Chief Arrodondo is working against all the the Somali hate that exists. I don’t think he has an IED on him, he’s just enraged and looking for a fight”.
“Okay, we will send a squad, right away”.

Now what I repeated above, is almost verbatim of what I told that man, as well as what I told 911. That he was enraged, I didn’t think though he had an IED on his person, I described what he looked like, 5’6, approximately 120 lbs, Somali, tan pants, blue top and he was carrying a grey  hoodie.

The issue that still haunts me, 2 months later, is that while I described him perfectly, I did NOT describe myself, which I was a a heavyset female, with slightly messy red hair and unfortunately for me,  I didn’t describe what I wore or what I looked like.

And while I knew better to go back into my building, before I cleared my block, as we have handicapped door entrances that open and close slowly and that’s why I didn’t feel safe for me to go into my apartment building because he could’ve followed me in and also presented a safety threat to the residents in my building  and as well as I texted my boyfriend who  I was waiting outside for, as he was going to pick me up for dinner and I told him NOT to go in front of my building, as there was a safety emergency in front of it,  I made that one bad mistake, that really no one could blame me for, as I described the perpetrator, I didn’t think that I’d have to describe what I looked like, at all, especially not knowing at the time I called 911, that he’d confront me again.

From where I was facing, when I was in the parking lot next to my building, there’s no way that a squad could’ve come by to address the situation without me seeing it.

And unfortunately while they never showed in the 8-10 minutes I was waiting before my boyfriend picked me up at the end of my block, that man resurfaced again, after I concluded my 911 call,  angry that I lied to him, as I got away the first time from him, lying about a friend who had a medical emergency that I had to attend to.

Also admitting while he appreciated my kindness initially with having empathy for him and the prejudices he faced, he also admitted that his first thought when he saw me, was that he wanted to kill me, when approaching me that 2nd time. And he went from being maniacally like that, to asking me to have sex, give him drugs and money and asking if he could he hang out with me.

While I eventually as fear stricken as I was, able to kindly explain, I didn’t have anything to give him, that I did feel bad for him though and he let me be, he eventually started bothering a driver waiting at the light at 5th Avenue and 7th Street next to the parking lot next to my apartment building that 2nd time he found me and by the time my boyfriend picked me up, he had moved a block a way, where he was arguing with someone else.

I didn’t call 911 back right away, once my boyfriend picked me up. I did though a few hours later, called the non emergency number for the City of Minneapolis who did say they dispatched a squad .

I’m not accusing them of lying, what I am saying, 2 months later, is maybe because I wasn’t arguing or confrontational with the  erratic illegal unstable drug addict,  the 2nd time that when he approached me again,  the police who I never saw during that time period, at least, if they actually showed, didn’t bother to get involved, with me horrifically thinking my contact with a drug enraged stranger, was consensual, just based upon what I looked like, as I couldn’t have been clearer on what that man looked like.

It still haunts me, that happened, even though I get harassed a lot, even as as unkempt female, as I look like in public frequently, that others may think I have no standards, when I’m out and about, as it’s not my idea of a good time, hanging around dealers, erratic illegal drug abusers, people prone to criminal activity and people asking me for money, sex and cigarettes all the time.

But the difference is, 2 months ago, I did call 911 for help.

So, I guess going forward, should that happen again, not only will I have to explain of what a violent drug and sex seeking perpetrator looks like, I guess I’ll have to describe myself, so a mistake isn’t made, just because I’m NOT attractive that I would want attention like that.

I love our Minneapolis First Responders, whether they be police, fire or HCMC staff.

But, I should’ve never been put in that situation. Had that man been any farther foregone, it’s not a stretch that he could’ve killed me or someone else, given how irrational and enraged he was.

A really important warning for those who exercise at an athletic level or strive to, in really hot weather that you can actually DIE from doing that….

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(Picture of me, circa either 2004,2005 or 2006)

Important Disclaimers: I am NOT a clinically trained medical professional i.e. a physician. Nor am I a currently licensed as a Certified Personal Trainer like I was from 2005-2007.

When it comes to exercise at any time for any human being, should be cleared for exercise by a physician who treats you in person and it still could help when starting out to those who are professional athletes, to still get evaluated, supervised and advised by Certified Personal Trainers and/or Exercise Physiologists.

But the reason why I am writing this blog and why I think my opinion is still needed as a former trainer, will be clear, from a medical activist point of view. Thanks!!!

***

There is a lot of things I used to do, both cardio and strength training to get that above body, 15 years ago.

The one thing I did NOT do once I started working out at an athletic level both before and after getting my certification, as a personal trainer,  was work out outdoors during a heat wave.

It had NOTHING at the time to do with the fact I had already had gastric bypass complications and issues with really bad labs, super low blood pressure and reactive hypoglycemia and those pesky gastrointestinal bleeds, as the endorphin high alone, was worth my workouts.

It had everything to do with the fact, that I knew that in addition to having to worry about increased risk dehydration and heat stroke, I also knew that it could increase my risk for exercise induced hyponatremia, that I couldn’t necessarily self diagnose, even with formal training, when in that state.

And I wasn’t going to risk it.

It’s a whole new different world now and I can understand in the digital era and in times of influencers, the multitude of reasons why people stay pretty faithful to their fitness regimens, to keep up with their fitness goals.

What I don’t understand is why anyone has to do that in extreme weather, OUTSIDE, when professional athletes have died in camp workouts and during marathons during heat waves.

And a former NFL Super Bowl champion Mitch Petrus died last Thursday night due to heatstroke, after working during the day outside.

SO, this is why I am gently reminding people that it’s not safe to be super active, even for those who are athletic when it’s super hot out  and it could potentially be fatal.

But again, we are in a different era than when I was in my fitness heyday, that’s why I’m chiming in as someone’s who’s currently a fat former disabled activist who’s credentialing as a CPT lapsed more than 12 years ago.

We live in a digital society that people think it’s okay to shame people for being fatter or thinner than they should be in the digital era, where thousands of people at once, can be subjected to hatred on what they look like.

I didn’t want to write this blog, truthfully.

I am better suited to activism where in the case where heat stroke could be a threat to vulnerable people without a voice, need to hear about the warnings.

But the public, law enforcement and media is doing a good job informing them of that.

Unfortunately, I and no one else should think that there is privilege in a case where people are able to execute actions that could be fatal to them, regardless of where they fall on the socio-economic and fitness level spectrum.

And hyponatremia is just not talked about as much as it should be.

So hear/here is your warning, if you want or choose to start or maintain some kind of fitness goals for yourself and do that when it’s oppressively hot outside, actually outside, do what you need to do, but heed the disclaimers above, that it could be fatal to you, regardless of how physically fit one is.

OR find an air conditioned place to exercise in.

Certain signs that the body gives should be heeded when in distress.

Feeling nauseous, lightheaded, headache regardless of temperature should ALWAYS be a sign to stop a workout or any kind of activity outside regardless of temperature.

The issue where exercise induced hyponatremia gets tricky, is usually it happens in those who knows about the dangers of dehydration and heatstroke, when working out when it’s super hot outside, but don’t realize that being overly hydrated can cause EIH and it can have devastating consequences, such as cardiac, renal and neurological failure, if not death.

The chance of it happening to you?

Highly unlikely.

Probably the same or less as needing a gastric bypass reversal or injuring your rotator cuff on a “Baby Annie” when testing out to get a certification  ( one has to have a certification in CPR, before testing out for a certification as  personal trainer, and because as a parent, I just got recertified in CPR and First Aid for babies, children and adults in that era, as I had a young child in home ), both things which have happened to me.

That doesn’t mean it’s not worth a warning that it’s not necessary to work out when it’s super hot outside and that we need to discuss this more.

So that innocent people don’t die / aren’t catastrophically changed physically and cognitively, as this is completely preventable, as far as when and where to work out is concerned.

And I make no apologies for wanting and wishing that a lot of heavy duty marathons/intense exercise events weren’t in the middle of Summer.

There is no privilege in anyone, if they are dead!!!

So let’s at least have a conversation about it, ok?

Note: Anything that’s NOT constructive, will NOT be posted.

Also Note: You aren’t going to convince me that a special population of people, i.e. like people who are Obese who want to work out need to in any circumstances, like highlighted above, because their Obesity is more immediately urgent to rectify.

So, don’t go there, OK???

 

 

 

#InTheEndItReallyDidMatter

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(Note:I’m reposting this blog on the 2nd anniversary of Chester Bennington’s death, as while privately I love his music and will celebrate his life and his contributions as an artist, as an activist for suicide prevention, because I personally talk about parental suicide and trying to remove the stigma with that, I believe there needs to be more support and conversation, of how we can help those who are suicidal, if their depression has a chance of NOT becoming fatal and how to best support the families and friends, if tragically, it’s NOT)

Trigger Warnings: In this blog, I write both seriously as an activist for suicide prevention and awareness, as well as trying to support loved ones who lost loved ones to suicide. Which in addition elaborating on what it takes sometimes, to manage  my own mental health issues. As well as what I go through with my own particular mental health issues.

The point I’m trying to make, is I will ALWAYS recommend that people in crisis get help from a clinically trained professional, in acute care facility, if necessary.

Which a lot of times, it is NECESSARY.

But knowing I’m probably the last person to be willing to do that, I put these blogs out there, hopefully to help those who it may benefit, who may be in serious emotional distress and are at risk of their depression being fatal and for those who lost loved ones and are in despair and/or heartbroken, at the loss of their loved ones. And it has helped people.

However, the last thing I want to do is trigger anyone, if topics such as suicide and suicide prevention (from a patient who has mental health issues and one serious suicide attempt and activist perspective)  are a trigger, please don’t read.

**********************************************************************************

“it starts with why

it doesn’t even matter how hard you try

its so unreal

even though I tried it all fell apart

all i know

it doesn’t even matter how hard you tried

I had to fall to lose it all

in the end it doesn’t even matter

what it meant to me  will eventually be a memory

I tried so hard and got so far

but in the end it doesn’t even matter

I had to fall to lose it all

but in the end it doesn’t even matter

“In The End” -Linkin Park
(disorganization of lyrics partially mentioned intentional/no copyright infringement intended) ”

Taking a deep breath, because I really don’t want to write this blog, but hoping that it helps someone.

It happens to be, as more time goes by post suicide attempt in August of 2008, my old life both before, during that time and after it, to present time, doesn’t get to be anymore closer of being a  distant memory.

It happened to be, and it’s not something I’ve blogged about, that while I have multiple blogs talking about my “one and only” suicide attempt and the consequences of it, I have not talked about, that I would’ve probably made my attempt, 3 months earlier, is that because I had someone I love dearly, someone I can’t identify, who was potentially suicidal.

So I had to bizarrely, get them the help they needed to be strong enough to not die of their depression, even though my own life for me was so physically and emotionally unbearable, that I knew and could only hold on for as long as I did, knowing that my pain would eventually end, once they were stabilized and in my misguided thinking at the time, that everyone I loved the most, including that loved one (who did extremely well after intensive professional help) , would be better off without me.

I realize how messed up that is. Now. And for the last 8 1/2 years. And I’ll make my point and I’m going to admit somethings in hopes of helping other people, that I’d rather not be admitting, but if it helps someone in crisis and/or in despair, it will be worth sharing it.

It happened to be on Thursday morning, which I was debating on purchasing Linkin Park concert tickets, for that above mentioned loved one and I, for the concert that was scheduled in St. Paul, on August 15th, which would’ve been 3 days after the 9th anniversary of my suicide attempt, when a few hours later, it went viral that Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, had died the same way his friend Chris Cornell did 2 months prior, by suicide, which my loved one took really hard.

Part of the reason why that loved one took both deaths so hard was the fact that I did try to commit suicide, 9 years ago. And Linkin Park and Soundgarden was music they used to cope with, as they saw me medically and mentally disintegrate.

I related more to Linkin Park, during that period of time in my life, during my deepest depression that led to my suicide attempt. While it wouldn’t be something I’d be comfortable sharing, normally, I am now, plus a few other things, in hopes of those who are suicidal and to help those who lost a loved one, because the song “In The End”, was a song that help me identify why I felt suicidal, I did try so hard and in the end I thought it didn’t matter, nor did I think my life or myself did, feeling such a feeling of failure and being in such unbearable medical and mental health pain for as long as I was.

The main thing I’ve learned as an activist of sorts, is that not everyone can be saved, that their depression is going to be fatal to them, when it comes to suicide prevention and/or awareness. It’s not anymore of a choice to them, then having an incurable fatal “medical” disease versus mental health.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m not dedicated to trying to be an activist for suicide prevention and awareness.

IF I’m to be truthful, I’ve been suicidal since my suicide attempt in 2008. The only difference between why I am alive now, versus thinking my life and everyone’s life that I know and love the most will be okay, if I died, as I could’ve NEVER thought of leaving them, otherwise,  is that I know at least in the last 7 1/2 years, that I’ve managed to stay alive even with medical near life ending crises, is that the people I love the most, will NOT be okay, if I die from my depression issues.

And it’s a very mixed blessing that I realize that the only thing I can do for my children and my family is not die from mental health issues, I can’t really do more than that.

And sadly, that’s really they only expectation they have of me, at this point.

For me to have any quality of life, though and this is what I realize, because I know better than to think that people who commit suicide, don’t know or care about their loved ones or they are selfish, which they aren’t.

There’s been a lot of discussion since Chris Cornell’s  and Chester Bennington’s deaths which would suggest otherwise. They had kids, didn’t they care enough about their loved ones, to get help or get better????

PLEASE don’t make that assumption or give that impression, as that ONLY  stigmatizes suicide and mental health and it doesn’t help those of us who have depression and/or other mental health issues that can be fatal and it doesn’t help the loved ones, they/we leave behind, for those who die this way. Or who tried to, in the past.

It’s making a hurtful and horrible impression that if we loved our loved ones, enough we’d find a way to stay alive. And not ever contemplate, let alone attempt suicide, which only hurts people, it doesn’t help anyone.

A lot of people will  NEVER understand the multiple and multifaceted reasons that play into deaths due to suicide, but if you wouldn’t tell someone who’s dying of any other disease, that they should get better because of those who they will leave behind, please DON’T for a second, make that impression on someone who’s mourning the loss of a loved one due to their depression being fatal to them and/or those who’s depression is at risk for being fatal to them.

As much as I’d love to say, it’s a wonderful miracle that I’m still alive, it doesn’t feel that way, most of the time. I’m not saying that my life is worse than it was from 2006 to 2011, but it’s not amazing, either.

While I can give myself some credit for having to survive some crappy things, and by sharing them, with this blog, as it has helped some people, I realize that people have been through much worse and handled it better and sometimes that makes me feel really bad about myself, especially as it applies to myself as a mother, who loves my kids more than anything.

For me to have any quality of life, though, and it what helps my depression and mental health issues not be fatal for me, I’ve had to realize that I have to care about myself for myself.

My love for others, as much as I wish it was different, cannot be the only reason why I’m still alive and that I make the attempt to have any quality of life, which does help, especially in cases, where peace of mind for those of us who have limited amounts of that, is so sporadic.

What saved my life post suicide attempt, when in mental health crisis, but not in medical crisis, status post “one and only suicide attempt” in 2008, is that I have the luxury of not doing ANYTHING when in crisis.

Meaning I don’t have to deal with people like most people do. I live by myself and can sometimes take life one hour at a time, which is my deal with myself when in crisis. It also helps me in a non judgemental way of trying to be kinder to myself, of having mental health issues and realizing that I’m doing the best I can and I can usually realize  1/2 the time am grateful for the things I’ve been able to experience because I’ve managed to live this long and try to concentrate on that, when on days, it seems like more of a curse.

I’m not medicated for my mental health issues, either. For the last 7 1/2 years. Both my long term PCP and my former psychiatrist saw that the severity of side effects are not worth the risks, especially since the therapeutic benefit is minimal at best with most psychotropics for me. And I don’t just get severe side effects from mental health meds, but meds in all therapy classes, so it’s not a manifestation of my mental health, that those meds don’t work, it’s an unfortunate medical fact about me, that my own clinical professionals also acknowledge.

It’s not an ideal though way to live for those of us who have a host of depression, mood and personality disorders. Nor is my being total hypocrite when it comes to not seeking clinically trained professional help, any longer even though I still struggle.

I realize some of the irrationalities of my thought processes. I know not every clinically trained professional is going to treat me like an unstable drug seeking hypochondriac who’s also seeking attention, but enough have. And I’m grateful that I have one long term amazing PCP who does a unique patient tailored approach to my care, which I wish other providers would do the same.

And while it’s working for me, it doesn’t work for most people, though. And if I’m to be truthful, I can only try my hardest, I can’t guarantee that no therapy and no meds and a love of my family is going to guarantee that I won’t ever need intensive help that I’m not so quick to get and the irrationality of that.

However my first blog here on WordPress, where I found myself in a system, that I couldn’t get out of, I think plays a large part of my trying to find some balance and meaning to my life on my own, as well as all the time I have. But it’s not ideal.

So, I cannot overstate the importance of not only seeking out clinically trained medical and mental health professionals and realizing that if you don’t find one who is helping you, that you hold on, until you find the help that is right for you that gives you the chance of lessoning, if not eliminating the risks of your mental health issues being fatal to you.

And what that may require evaluation and treatment in potential combinations of inpatient and outpatient care and trying to find different medications, if current medication regimens aren’t working, to find the right combination of clinically trained professionals and/or therapy medications that will work.

And professional help can help those who lost loved ones where it doesn’t become a risk for their depression being fatal to them, as well.

I can only hope that we lose the stigma of mental health issues once and for all, so that people can be in their best health. And what that looks like, is just as unique as we all are.

But we can’t do that without removing stigma and judgement from mental health issues. As well as having more options for evaluation and treatment both in pharmaceutical and non pharmaceuticals treatment therapy options.

I wrote this blog, in hopes that people will try to get past stigmatizing suicide, to provide support for those who’ve lost (or nearly lost) loved ones due to suicide and/or accidentally died due to overdoses. And tried to help by sharing what is working for me, when in crisis and what that crisis can look like, even though I realize it’s unconventional and that it may not work for most people, depending on what they feel their options are, which are obviously not many depending on the severity of a depressive episode and/or other mental and/or medical health issues.

But again, I’m NOT  a clinically trained provider. I only know what I do about so many of these issues by either personal experience or those who I’ve helped personally since 2010 via social media, and in almost the 4 years that I’ve been blogging.

But I do believe that clinically trained professional help is best. But I also understand better than anyone (as I’ve discussed on multiple occasions the bias I face when seeking medical attention) why some cases, such as the bias I’ve experienced, that in my case it causes more duress than it alleviates.

Links for Suicide Awareness, Prevention and support for survivors:

http://www.nami.org
http://www.befrienders.org
http://www.save.org
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Note: I would’ve wrote this blog sooner, but I’ve had technical issues that make blogging almost impossible at times with having internet and device issues.

I was able to edit blog on 7-28-2017 with links that can hopefully help.

Also same rules apply, judgemental or non constructive responses will not be published. I’m okay with a difference in opinion, if shared respectfully and mindfully. Thanks!!!!!

How an episode of #HouseMD on You Tube, can give life saving insight on how pervasive and damaging #Obesity bias and bigotry is, way more than the disease of Obesity in itself, not just bariatric patients but in the case of #gastricbypassreversals …

 

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Important Disclaimers: WHY DO I KEEP DOING THIS???

Nope… The above is an unfinished, crappy and nonsensical disclaimer.

I’m going to try again.

Important Disclaimers: I’m an ASBMS and ABMS board certified bariatric surgeon and also a licensed attorney specializing in tort law, where I concurrently hold licenses to practice medicine and law  in CA, MA, MD and MN.

Graduated high school at the age of 12, 1st in class at Harvard Law, 2nd at Harvard Medical School (which I had to sue, to block public access to my academic records and the age that I achieved them), surgical residency John Hopkins and employed as a physician at Mayo Clinic, while on sabbatical, as I just finished up my residency at Stanford, in Neuropsychopharmacology.

I believe though that patients and clients need both in person evaluation and plan of action by a licensed  practitioner   who oversees them in person…

Okay… Above 2nd attempt at disclaimer and CV is PURE fiction.

And was WAY more FUN to write!!!

As well as real life human stuff, as heartbreaking to write about, is way more interesting, at least to me, especially given the fact I’m doing this for free, but when I help be a part of saving someone’s life, that’s the reward.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS: I am NOT a clinically trained medical or mental health professional, nor in public safety or law enforcement. IF you or someone you know is in medical and/or mental health crisis, please seek immediate help in an appropriate facility by an appropriate credentialed expert and/or contact emergency services.

Alright, 3rd attempt I got out what I needed to.

Now, I can start this blog.

YAY!!!

NO, not really!!!

It kind of sucks, that the activism that I’m good at, that my attempt to arrest bias and bigotry which can be deadly to someone, is like trying to empty out the ocean with a freaking thimble.

***

“Not many people would have the guts to admit that they would rather be PRETTY than HEALTHY… “-  the awesome fictional  Dr. Gregory House- from t.v. show House M.D. Season 5 Episode 10 “Let Her Cake”.

“All I need to start with, is patients who are ALIVE, in my specialty of medicine, and by the time my patients find me, they’ve already been quite medically and mentally compromised by medical interventions that were meant to help save their lives, if not make them much better off in quality of life, both physically and mentally.

And if that medical intervention failed them and most of the time, a ton of psychological duress, circumstantial trauma that proceed interventions that usually led to their obesity, and/or continue on after them and most of my patients due to stigma and how people have no idea of how pervasive and damaging Obesity bigotry and bias REALLY is, but horrifically still quite awfully, still so acceptable, unless they’ve suffered it, that the suffering by post bariatric surgical patients, in dire circumstances, pales against it.

AGAIN, even in bariatric surgical patients who had the most catastrophic bariatric surgical complications.

BECAUSE, no one wants to hear how Obesity bias, even by the most well intentioned person, whether they be a physician, family member or friend, can be soul crushing in certain circumstances and in others, such as in my specialty can be deadly to a patient, if not then cause them irreversible physical and psychological harm. ” ajk/UnstapledLisa

If you think so far, this blog is a wordy nonsensical trainwreck, like I am, think again.

Most people if they choose to do activism, especially medical, where to the degree that I am, that I am trying to help save people’s lives, they had to fight an enormous medical (and usually mental health) battle by the time they find me.

The reason why I posted above House M.D. clip, is that it highlights some of the biggest obstacles that I face when I help people when dealing with the medical and psychological ramifications of serious, potentially life threatening bariatric surgical complications.

It also in the worst way possible, shows why I will never NOT be supportive of a bariatric surgical intervention, as a last resort.

I get that House M.D. , is a fictional medical drama that’s meant to entertain.

Unfortunately, there’s quite a few of us, who have in common in the episode, with the character Emmy, where we’ve been told that we need a gastric bypass reversal to save our lives or dramatically improve it.

And while like Emmy, I found exercise to be a great thing for me, as I found I got endorphin highs with intense exercise, thought I could help others with their medical and mental health find some kind of exercise could help people and that’s why I got my certification, as a personal trainer, 14 years ago, that’s all that I have in common with her.

As in my case, by the time I was told by my surgeon who suggested a gastric bypass reversal was necessary to save my life, I was ready to die and I’ve touched upon where I was medically and mentally in 2010, at the time of my reversal and will blog update how I am doing almost 9 years status post gastric bypass reversal, shortly.

But not today.

This is the deal though, in most cases, it won’t help a bariatric surgical patient who had a long term positive outcome or even a person who’s bigger, who would never have bariatric surgery watch the video.

And it will be soul crushing for anyone who’s sensitive to fat shaming and thin shaming to watch the video and read the comments on You Tube.

And this is where we are as a society, as I know full well both personally and professionally of how damaging, if not deadly the pervasiveness of fat shaming can be to anyone, but especially when someone is already in medical and/or mental health crisis after a surgical intervention for Obesity went wrong and they find either my blog or me on the internet.

Because I am to an extent, practicing both medicine and psychology without formal training and licensing, while I consider people like that, “my patients” , in the way it matters the most (to help save their lives and I don’t tell them I think of them as patients, except now you all know) , I also ask of them to be under the care of physicians, surgeons and mental health clinicians, which usually by medical crisis alone, they are.

As while I can help them navigate the unchartered experience they are having, but I don’t have the experience to have their lives soley in my hands, I don’t have the right to do that to anyone (nor do they have the right to do that to me, as it’s a enormous responsibility), no matter how well intentioned I am, no matter how high the standards I have for their lives and care.

The above paragraph would be in direct violation ethically of everything that I try to stand for as an activist and someone who wants a clear division, as physicians, surgeons, psychiatrists, psychologists and/or all or any kind of licensed/credentialed professionals who have extensive education, training before they treat patients, is what a patient in medical and mental health crisis, bariatric related or not, needs the most .

Here comes the BUT why I still do it anyways (online ONLY and with major warnings about my limitations, by not only being NOT a clinical professional but that they will need care and support from their families, friends and the reversal community that’s now online but wasn’t when I had my reversal, as well as a professional credentialed care team of physicians, surgeons and possibly psychiatrists and psychologists)  :

After dozens of times of having gastric bypass (most of them, a few of had bpd/ds, vsg, adjust lap gastric band and open non adj gastric banding) patients tell me they have major complications and their labs are in the toilet, find me because they have no quality of life or think they are going to die and their bariatric surgeon won’t perform a reversal.

Even if they have other physicians in their care team suggesting it.

Because their surgeons are afraid of them getting fat again, in physician/surgeon speak “great concern of the co-morbdities Obesity becoming a factor in declining health”.

OR

Patients who find me, where their experiencing potential life ending medical complications and want to know my reversal experience and have no problem admitting they are terrified of getting fat again.

Remember, where I said at the beginning of this blog, about 1000 words ago, I need “my patients” to be alive???

There’s only a few of us, I’m guessing, I’m really the ONLY person I know, on the internet, who’s discussing in great detail, the medical and psychological ramifications of gastric bypass complications and reversals.

There’s others, but only a few, who blog and vlog about their gastric bypass complications and/or their reversals.

The House M.D. video, could really hurt someone, if they are researching gastric bypass reversals and see the video and/or  the hateful comments directed at fat people and bariatric surgical patients, if they find that video first without finding support that exists, first.

I’m not sorry though the video exists, it gives people a terrifying glimpse, if they care about human beings and aren’t aware of trauma that usually factors in to Obesity and Anorexia, not just in the bariatric surgical community, but outside of it. It just doesn’t tell people what led to their personal experiences prior to an intervention.

You can’t legislate or hate that away and when people are hated for appearance issues, especially when it comes it comes to bariatric surgical patients, those comments on the video, are shockingly accurate of the frequency and level of hate that people experience everywhere else on social media and online and off it, as well.

Not just from their peers and family but sometimes innocently and not so innocently licensed physicians, surgeons and psychiatrists who took an oath not to do any harm.

I shouldn’t be the only to be terrified, that a fictional diagnostic team, even with a ton of snark, in the end, handled a bariatric surgical patient in medical crisis, sometimes better than they are treated in real life.

Even in the most well intentioned people, physicians or not, who do not know how to appropriately address the complexity of emotions, as well as the complexities and medical and mental health issues, that have to  be addressed in this population of people, makes it so much harder on those of us, physicians or not, who are trying to save these patients’ lives with them having the best possible short and long term outcome medically and mentally.

I’m not saying that Obesity doesn’t provide a valid reason for their to be health discussions for prevention and treatment when it happens, if a patient wants it.

But Obesity is just NEVER an acute issue in pre-operative gastric bypass reversal patients.

Note: Constructive feedback is welcomed. Please don’t waste my time or yours with not honorable intentions. Thanks!!!

Edit Note: Update on 5/25, blog needs to be overhauled, I get that it’s kind of wordy. It would be less careless for me to pull it though until it’s reworked than for me to leave it up.

Unless you’ve had to on multiple occasions have to coach a bariatric surgical patient in crisis medically (and sometimes mentally) who even after a weight loss of 200 lbs, has a bmi of 20, but that’s only because they didn’t have any reconstructive, they have a clinically trained professional in their care team, whether it be medical or mental health not show a level of compassion or actually believes that Obesity is the acute medical issue in these patients, when it’s clear that it’s not, you’d understand better why I had to go and be so hardcore, of what at stake with all this body shaming both in the bariatric surgical community or where I’m having a conversation with someone is in recovery or struggling with Anorexia who thinks everyone hates them, including fat people, which isn’t the case.

And if you haven’t done this kind of work, you wouldn’t understand just how complex it is to try and be of some kind of help to save someone’s life, in these circumstances.

Just saying be kind isn’t enough, sadly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protecting the innocent: IS the State of MN/ #MinnesotaDHS in need of an overhaul in protecting their employees and the general public from violent mentally ill offenders?

https://kstp.com/news/nurse-assaulted-at-anoka-treatment-facility/5348988/

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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS: I am NOT a clinically or credentialed trained professional in medical and mental health. I have absolutely no education in medical, mental health, law, law enforcement and in public safety.

Unfortunately, due to the link above, my normal disclaimer of when people who are at high risk for hurting themselves or others does NOT apply because the victim that is the catalyst of this blog, as well as other victims were employees of Minnesota treatment centers for the severely mentally ill and MN DOC employees who were violently attacked or killed while their assailants were already incarcerated.

In full disclosure, as someone who has non violent mental health issues and came super close almost 11 years ago, of finding out first hand what it’s like to be a resident of the facility, that the above victim who was an employee, in above link was violently assaulted last night, in my case, (unlike the assailant/patient/resident who had past history of being convicted of violent crime prior to his commitment) with no prior legal history other than 2 traffic offenses and 1 psych hospitalization, 2 weeks prior to a suicide attempt that there was an attempt (which was stayed) to have me committed to Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center in Summer of 2008 status post of my 1 and only suicide attempt, the only other civil legal history I have, was the unlawful detainer that I received after the commitment attempt and I had no prior civil or criminal history other than above mentioned citations in 2008 and I haven’t had any since then.

That will be a topic of another blog. As I wasn’t completely blameless, just in a non violent medical and mental health crisis who was never in danger of hurting anyone else other than myself.

I couldn’t though write this blog without being transparent about my own history and the factors that played into my medical and mental health history, I write about as a non monetized blogger, in hopes to help others in crisis, get help sooner and to advocate for more treatment options, so what I went through and the ones I love, didn’t go through in vain and to prevent that if possible from someone else having to go through the same thing.

***
I’ve been blogging for years now, about violent crime prevention.

I knew after though after writing blogs about local violent crimes and seeing the records of those who perpetuated those horrific acts, if something at the time, especially since many of those who I’ve written about in the last several years to a month ago, their criminal histories even for someone who has NO formal training in medical, mental health, criminal forensics could possibly forecast that their crimes could escalate to tragic violent physical harm to innocent others and to violent fatalities.

When I tried to research initiatives for safety improvements and injury statistics for employees at AMRTC where that nurse was violently assaulted, at St. Peter Regional Treatment Center, as well as Minnesota Department of Corrections stats, when an Oak Park Heights correctional officer who was  murdered ,when trying to help a fellow correctional officer who was also being brutally attacked by an inmate , last fall.

The above table in this blog, which was is ALMOST 30 years old, was as close as I got to finding any statistics online for AMRTC.

I got a little closer seeing a few articles about staff picketing about safety in the past  and even a little more insight when reading online employee review sites, where employees, even recently, where they share how rewarding it feels to help patients they work with, they DO NOT feel safe at work.

I have confidence that change will happen one way or another, I think primarily it will occur because employees are going to fight for safer conditions in that facility and in other facilities where people have to work with people who are confined because they of the public safety threat that they pose (which I need to clarify again ABSOLUTELY not everyone in a mental health treatment center or even in prison, long term committed/incarcerated  are violent predators or have past violent crime convictions , but quite a few do).

The problem is, that is too late for the nurse who could’ve been killed last night and if changes aren’t IMMEDIATE, more unnecessary risk is posed to these employees.

It’s also at the risk of employees in local medical centers where more acts of violence are taken place and those employees are also claiming fear of being harmed on the job, that there aren’t more safety initiatives in place.

As well as the risk to the general public, as exhibited horrifically last month when that 5 year old boy was thrown from the 3rd floor by someone who had incurred 3 charges in the Summer of 2015, 2 of them were for violent acts and one was for property damage, he then until 2019 had 6 traffic offenses, which is not a stretch that his blatant disregard for the law, didn’t lead to him weaponizing a motor vehicle to harm or kill someone.

What Emmanuel Aranda didn’t have though, was any civil legal action in regards to his mental health, which had exhibited propensity to be violent which he exhibited several times, in a short of period of time, 3 1/2 years before he would attempt to kill someone on purpose.

People who work to help others in medical, mental health and law enforcement deserve protection and a right to a violence free workplace and in public , just like the general public deserves that same kind of protection wherever they may be.

Changes in law have to take place, more initiatives on mental health need to take place and if people cannot feel safe when working with people who already incarcerated or confined due to the potential safety hazards they present to the general public, more innocent people are going to be violently assaulted, if not killed.

This is not Minnesota specific, obviously.

This is happening all over the country, as well as the world.

But we have to do something to honor these victims, to prevent these tragedies from happening over and over again.

It’s just going to take more effort to pass legislation that concentrates on the rights of victims or potential victims with a concentrated effort by public safety, DHS, DOC, legislators, law enforcement, psychiatric and medical professionals and violent crime activists, so innocent people have the chance of being protected like convicted assailants are.

And maybe for repeat violent offenders, whether they are incarcerated, confined or walking free like Brian Fitch (I should probably clarify Sr, as his son by the same name, is currently racking up his own record)  was who had dozens of violent felony convictions before he murdered Mendota Heights Officer Scott Patrick in 2014, by studying them more might be able to predict on the side of safety their inability to be rehabilitated.

My thoughts and prayers are with the victim of Thursday nights assault, family and friends, as well as all the employees who’ve been assaulted, if not killed while working trying to help people that may not have any control over their violent tendencies but their confinement doesn’t protect the people who are treating them.

Note: Being a disabled activist, I welcome ANY productive and constructive feedback from any entity or party where if I missed something or could be educated more, about prevention, planned enhanced safety initiatives or anything that can help people be safer.

I do also as an activist will address non violent mental health patients who are misplaced in either jails, prisons or the safety nets that could help prevent others like me, where safety nets for both myself and my family could’ve prevented an unnecessary loss of freedom in someone who posed absolutely NO threat to the public.

Just not on this blog, but given that I am a mental health activist, I didn’t want the population of people who follow me, who are non violent mental health patients to feel I am not going to address their right to freedom, safety and security initiatives , in future blogs.

Just NOT today.

This blog was published 5/10/2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

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