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

Archive for the ‘MENTAL HEALTH’ Category

#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.

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“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!!!!!

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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.

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“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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The #BeKindBecauseYouCantRewindHate Challenge…..

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Important Disclaimers: I am NOT a clinically trained medical or mental health professional, nor am I trained in matters of law enforcement or public safety.

IF anyone you know, is in danger of hurting themselves or others, please contact emergency services, immediately.

***

“I’d rather be a little nobody than an evil somebody”- Abraham Lincoln

I haven’t blogged for awhile…

Sometimes, I get to the point with school shootings, domestic homicides and plots, if not attempts that are tragically executed to kill a lot of people, are now becoming a daily event, I’ve been kind of stewing in a lot of sadness for what our society is becoming more violent, on an hourly basis.

While in da olden days when I was young, when it came to anti-bullying efforts we were stuck with “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” and we now know that neither about that adage is actually true, and we are trying now, to find ways to prevent all this violence and bullying going on, there’s one thing I’d like to suggest that might help.

I’ve never wondered why, as someone who was so bullied for so long and then that probably factored into mental health issues of why I didn’t hate others, I just hated myself.

I’ve blogged ad nauseum about the unintentional hurt it caused people I love, I don’t need to rehash it.

I never wanted hurt or harm to happen to those who’ve hated on me for the last four and half decades.

I just wanted it to STOP!!!

To help others, whether they turn hating on them inwardly or to others, the one thing I think that could help others realize that everyone has a right to a peaceful and violence free life, is trying to find one thing, and concentrate on that, about a person or a population of people, that one is predisposed to not like and find something kind, to think about them or something you might have in common, with like us being human beings and all.

That’s the only ONE part of the challenge.

The 2nd part is, while teaching kindness in our society and the sanctity of life, is just as, if not more important and imperative as it’s ever been, the second part is more of an actual challenge.

What and who you choose to find kind things to say about, keep it to yourself.

If you want to do something public, positive, proactive and productive, make your social media and offline spaces “hate-free” zones.

“The best way to destroy your enemy is to make them your friend”- Abraham Lincoln

Okay, maybe that’s asking too much.

Not everyone can be friends with each other.

But, WE all can make an effort NOT to make people their enemy, and have active hate campaigns, both in words and in actions to people, just because they are of different races, cultures, gender identification, religion, weight,ideologies and political affiliations than ourselves.

And it’s not terribly difficult, even with someone you may have major differences in almost everything with, to find ONE good thing about them.

And just concentrate on that and their right, just like your own, to a peaceful and violence free life.

Because, you don’t just have to choose from being a little or big nobody and an evil somebody, you can be your authentic true self, who’s not perfect but is a good somebody.

Just don’t participate in hate of ANY kind in the world.

“Whatever you are, be a good one”- Abraham Lincoln

 

A gentle reminder: That TWO separate tragedies involving children occurred in Minnesota on 4/12/2019….

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Important Disclaimer: I’m not a clinically trained medical or mental health professional, nor am I trained in law enforcement or public safety.

If you or someone you know is capable of hurting themselves or others, please seek emergency help right away.

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It goes without saying, I didn’t want to write this blog.

I want to respect that families are suffering and grieving about 2 separate horrific tragedies that happened in Minnesota on Friday, April 12, 2019.

My last 2 previous blogs addressed them.

The reason though I’m writing this again, with really wanting to respect the privacy that these families have asked for, need and deserve, is the court of social media felt one was more newsworthy than another.

To repeat, last Friday, a 24 year old man, threw a 5 year old boy off the 3rd floor at Mall of America in an attempted homicide.

That tragedy made national news outlets.

About 5 hours before that tragedy though, a 36 year old father in the greater Minnesota area, has been suspected of intentional arson to kill him and the 4 children in the  house and he did horrifically kill his 1 year old daughter and 2 year old son, before succumbing to his own injuries, the next day.

The current status of the 9 and 7 year old are that they are recovering.

I spent most of this weekend, following the local news about both families, then following the GoFundMe pages for the families, seeing the comments about the Minneapolis man charged with the attempted homicides and knew I was going to have to write a 3rd blog, especially when I saw on Twitter of how my last blog was so misguidedly being shared on Twitter for the wrong reasons, which I’ll address in a separate blog.

Again, a reminder, I blog as a non violent  medically, mentally and cognitive disabled mother to hopefully remove stigma, as I made horrible mistakes and was so unintentionally neglectful of my children, that still managed to cause emotional hurt to those I love the most and while it irrevocably changed my family’s life, almost 11 years ago, so others don’t make the same mistakes I did and get help sooner than I did.

I try to explain that hearing how bad I was my entire life based upon what I looked liked and weighed, didn’t have just horrible consequences for me, unfortunately as unintended as it was, it had for those I love the most.

To honor these families and many others, I have for years been saying that there is more work to be done in how we deal with those who have issues that could be harmful to themselves and others, whether it’s strangers or their own families.

That it doesn’t matter what everything on the outside looks like, in the era of social media, your houses, your cars, your vacations, your children, what you look like, if inside one is hurting and is capable of harming themselves or another.

That words and actions and lack of them, matter.

They matter A LOT.

That there is hate limit that everyone has when it comes to be targeted, before it turns inward in some manner or it hurts someone else and is now becoming more deadly to innocent others.

That if someone isn’t doing anything that risks one’s life in any way, maybe it isn’t their right or place to throw judgement at them, in any form.

Absolutely, everyone can work on being more careful on their words and actions that could hurt another, it should’ve always been that way, but it’s never mattered as much, in the digital era.

I didn’t digress.

I am trying to concentrate on showing those families the respect they deserve, trying to help in such a miniscule way, of point out, there’s multiple ways to help them with support, as well as in trying to prevent these tragedies from happening in the first place.

The GoFundMe for the Landen, the little boy who was horrifically targeted at Mall of America, has met its goal.

If you want to help the  family for the burial expenses of Landon age 2 and Spencer age 1, who died on Friday, in the fire  that their father set in Big Lake, MN,  you can use the link below.

https://www.gofundme.com/1lugpwmwtc?fbclid=IwAR0XzXgE8GaNQWfZwqfK-Za0IOaGsWyzeHGSQuoGDG1Zn13OJtTwLEzASfQ

But again, a gentle reminder that last Friday in Minnesota, their were TWO separate horrific acts of violence against 5 children under the age of 10.

For 2 completely different reasons and in 2 completely different circumstances.

And that all of us can do our miniscule part to try, going forward, to prevent these tragedies from occurring, by being mindful of not stigmatizing any population of people, and just concentrating on trying to be a part of the solution that helps prevent them from happening and supporting others, when they do tragically occur, and encouraging those in need of help, of getting it, before they do irrevocable harm to themselves or others.

Note: I will NOT publish any comments that could  be hurtful to anyone.

 

Thoughts and prayers don’t prevent non gun violence, either….

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Important Disclaimers: I’m not a clinically trained medical or mental health professional, nor trained in law enforcement or public safety.

If you or anyone you know, is a danger to yourself or others, please contact emergency services.

I didn’t bother watching much of the news nationally, today.

It was a heartbreaking day, locally.

First that hit the news, was a 24 year old man, pushed or threw (investigation being ongoing, there’s not much information being released, yet)  a 5 year old boy he didn’t know from the 3rd floor to the first floor at Mall of America, where the child is reported to be in critical condition.

In greater Minnesota, a 36 year old father set fire to his house today, killing his 2 youngest children who were toddlers, his other 2 children who were 9 and 7 are in the hospital and the father is in critical condition.

I’m just going to concentrate on today’s events here locally regarding children that were murdered  by family or an attempted murder by a stranger.

We need more initiatives that can help people realize that everyone, regardless of age has a right to a peaceful and violence free life.

These 2 isolated incidents had 5 victims, 2 of them dead, all under the age of 10 years old.

I keep internally debating on whether or not that empathy for others who are different can be taught, that people who have severe mental illness diagnosed or not can have more initiatives in place for education on how important the sanctity of life is and if people can’t see that for themselves, that they do not infringe in any way in everyone’s right to have a healthy peaceful life without all this violence that is now happening on a daily basis, locally, nationally and around the world.

The victims, their families (although truthfully I’m not praying for that father), friends and communities, are in my thoughts and prayers.

With my own disabilities, I can’t do more than bring awareness of the urgent need for more resources and initiatives in place.

And the urgent need for people to check in one another, as well as having more initiatives and if one feels that they are in danger of hurting themselves and others, that they get the help they need for themselves and/or others, so that more of these tragedies can be prevented.

Editorial Note: Blog published while it’s still April 12th, 2019 here in Minnesota.

An Open Letter to #HennepinHealthcare’s Emergency Department’s physicians…

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Dear Dr. S and Dr. C (purposely not using last names, for physician’s right to safety and anonymity),

I was in your Emergency Department on 1/15/2019, in the morning around 8 a.m.

I understand as I presented as a very unkempt but for the most part, polite 49 year old obese tobacco using patient complaining about a bad cough, but more concerned about the severe left flank pain that occurred every time I coughed or sneezed that a pulmonary issue might take precedence over a digestive one.

I stopped being quite as polite when I checked my tests online and found after almost 3 hours of being there that I only had a urine analysis and pregnancy test, that was run.

I could understand with your facility being a level 1 trauma center that you may not have had time to read my chart, which doesn’t contain much, as I’m a Fairview patient.

Even though I did have a bilateral salpingectomy with endometrial abalation and d/c at your hospital, over 5 years ago and that my chart while not up to date with diagnoses, is update to with medications I am on, which gives an idea of my health issues.

However, while you got Lisa the vulnerable patient yesterday, you’re getting Lisa the activist today, in hopes it helps with others like me, who honestly thought they had an acute health issue and was NOT drug seeking.

This is what I can’t understand and is unacceptable to me, and when things are that way, I try to say something, make it a teaching moment, regardless of the socio-economics, education and profession of those who’s biases effect how I and others, get treated.

NOT every patient who goes through your ED, is looking for opiates, some of us patients who are obese to morbidly obese, have done everything under the sun, to lose weight (hence my side gig as an activist, like one of 3 GLOBALLY, who helps people in medical and mental health trauma with serious gastric bypass complications, on the scale that I do, as well as other medical and mental health activism that I do).

My visit yesterday at Hennepin Healthcare’s Emergency Department, wasted time and money.

It caused me unnecessary duress, because you have patients with barriers that have a propensity to possibly be violent, which caused enormous anxiety.

But the worst duress I experienced, was the assumptions and absolutely NO questions asked about certain things by physicians, that could’ve made my visit a lot more pleasant.

I did see, after I pushed for a blood work up, that were ordered FOUR hours in to my visit, my labs were good.

I also saw today, that I was prescribed a script that was ordered and filled at your pharmacy of high strength ibuprofen when I have a bleeding ulcer history and NSAIDS are an absolute terrible treatment option for pain for me ( and again, I did NOT ask for ANY medications, nor will I get or take script).

Unfortunately, when the IV came out, my vein spurted which wrecked my discharge paperwork and the pants I was wearing and all over my hands and some of the staff was ready to send me home with no help, until another set of staff saw that I was tired and shaky and helped me and I was appreciative of their help.

For quiet non violent introverts, your Emergency Room department is a terrifying place to be.

As I’m sure it is for a lot of people, introverted or not.

For those of us who’ve been labeled  due to mental health issues, it’s even more amplified, with anxiety caused by patients who are violent and fear of medical professionals who’ve labeled me, in the last 17 years, not just for mental health issues, but because I had bariatric surgery.

And while some staff was great at the hospital, what will leave a last impression from what will be my last visit to your facility, is that a busy physicians didn’t take the time to ask me anything, either assuming I didn’t know or wouldn’t be truthful and while you were nice, once I said something about being upset about that, that’s NOT okay.

So please, for the mental wellbeing of your future patients, if they are ambulatory, alert, articulate and polite, don’t label or practice medicine with preconceived notions about a  patient.

Actually, just DO NOT  practice medicine with any preconceived notions about a patient, like EVER.

As in my case, I loathe seeking medical attention and my visit from yesterday made it that much harder, way harder than it should’ve had to be.

As well as it made it more difficult for yourselves, and I have the utmost respect for physicians (as well nurses and all other hospital staff)  of any specialty, but especially for those who work tirelessly and usually without thanks, in an Emergency Room.

So thank you for your time yesterday and today, and hopefully going forward this will help both patients and physicians in your hospital, going forward.

Respectfully, Alissa “Lisa” Kasen

Update: 1/17/2019, when I wrote this yesterday, I tweeted it to Hennepin Healthcare and to my delight, they actually tracked me down and called me, today,  to address my concerns, which is much appreciated.

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