Happy 2020 to you all.
Beginning a new decade, having been run ragged, through the ringer, proping up my elderly father who has spent many months in several hospitals these past two years...
Saving him is of course worth the effort, but living out of a suitcase in another state, shlepping from one hotwire or priceline hotel deal to the next, shuffling back and forth on the weekends from Tulsa to mom's house in McAlester, away from my own home in Georgia for months on end is extremely draining, expensive, and overwhelmingly emotional. On top of all the other endeavors this family is pursuing in the betterment of mental health care, treatment options and legal remedies. Daunting to say the least. I'm beat. Thus has been the delay in my blogging, lately.
I am delighted, though, to see my previous blogs have been getting hits and still being read. I'm sorry I literally have had no time to write.
The "fight" has been priority one: Real and unrelenting.
Yet, as I say, the "proof is in the pudding" because as always, after I stand my ground and micro-manage dad's life, he always gets better. In 2018 he nearly died, and would've been locked in a psychiatric nursing home (several times over the years) had I not advocated fiercely for his proper recovery. In 2019, after he did so very well, I left Oklahoma and sadly, he proved that his nutrition choices led him right back into the hospital. What we learned is that he isn't understanding what we know from experience. His profound sugar cravings lead directly to his demise.
This is a very simplified version of what happened:
Summer 2019 he was living independently, and he admits to consuming four two-liters of Mountain Dew every day, and eating only peanut butter, candy, ice-cream, and McDonald's dollar menu items. Sadly, his brain became inflammed and manic. He NEVER slept, except for dozing off in his car on the side of the road or at several gas stations or sleeping in fast-food parking lots and EMSA asking him to move. Then I would get calls from either EMSA, the Tulsa Fire Department, the Tulsa Sheriff's department, or Tulsa Police and I would request they take him to the nearest ER. Sometimes they would, sometimes they wouldn't. He was suffering terribly. Was taken twice to the ER, and sure enough, he had yet another UTI (dehydration because he wasn't drinking the water with flavorings I taught him to use. I thought he understood from last year's sepsis was the number one issue, but it didn't sink in apparently.)
This is a billboard on the eastbound Skelly Bypass in Tulsa:
The above photo is a typical soda vending machine.This particular one located at the Ernest Childer's VA outpatient clinic at 41st & Mingo in Tulsa.
Not everyone is affected badly like my dad (and brother) are by Mountain Dew,
but the following links prove there is an ingredient that should be banned.
Our legal nonprofit will have to put this on the (long) list of items to deal with.
It seems dad's glucose or insulin receptors do not work properly. I've told his doctors, but they either don't know how to test for this, or they simply say they aren't allowed to prohibit dad from eating only sugar all day, every day. He's Type II diabetic. His "episodic mania" as one psychiatrist called it, is 100% consistently linked to this behavior, (same as in previous years) yet none of these doctors were taught about this in medical school, so they don't believe what I tell them. So, I printed and handed out, or email this and other articles, in an attempt to give credence to the patterns in dad's health. I gave various articles to every doctor that treated dad this year, such as:
(From this Psychology Today article): https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/advancing-psychiatry/201904/chronic-schizophrenia-put-remission-without-medication
"...emerging evidence suggests that something else might be behind schizophrenia. Attention has turned to bioenergetics, or energy production in the brain cells. It is well known that people with schizophrenia are three times more likely to develop diabetes. A common debate in the field is whether the antipsychotic medications, which are known to cause weight
gain and diabetes, are to blame. Recent research suggests that this is not the entire explanation.
Even people newly diagnosed with schizophrenia appear to already have insulin resistance
, even though most don’t yet have diabetes. This means that their brains may not be getting enough energy from glucose. Other brain studies have found metabolic abnormalities, such as higher levels of oxidative stress and inflammation as well."
"This diet is known to produce ketones which are used as a fuel source in place of glucose. This may help to provide fuel to insulin resistant brain cells. This diet is also known to affect a number of neurotransmitters and ion channels in the brain, improve metabolism, and decrease inflammation. So there is existing science to support why this diet might help schizophrenia."
Let this information sink in. Herein lies some of the reasons mental illness statistics are rising. And some of the main items WJWMHLF (upcoming nonprofit) will be addressing.
These are vital issues that demand attention. My hope is that the public and medical establishment will start understanding and addressing these causal issues, instead of treating symptoms with neuroleptic medications that are not cures.
Quote from the New England Journal of Medicine:
“...psychiatric diagnoses and medications proliferate under the banner of scientific medicine, though there is no comprehensive biologic understanding of either the causes or the treatments of psychiatric disorders."
(From this NEJM article): https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1910603?fbclid=IwAR36D7wQdSrw_siGbQ-7qS_--HLsDQNKrngm3rIYg7M_TvGoGsGqwzZQcvo
Also, FYI: To our horror, my elderly father has been "restrained and sedated" many times in this past year, against the lawful Treatment Advocate instructions, no less.
In our Oklahoma experience, this practice of restrain and sedate is standard even with elderly disabled in all kinds of hospitals and EMSA. Sadly, the joking "memes" I've seen on Facebook and Pinterest about the numbers of combo medications that can be used in one syringe are disgusting. I understand when the patient is dangerous, but an 83 year old man that can't walk isn't dangerous. And the "laughing" attitude on social media about this makes my stomach turn and needs to stop. It lacks care, compassion and proper medical ethics, and needs an adjustment across the board.
Read and learn the following new BEST PRACTICES. We have to be humane and stop the harm.
(From this Psychiatric Times article): https://www.psychiatrictimes.com/psychiatric-emergencies/new-guidelines-shake-treatment-agitation?fbclid=IwAR26Y2UWjFdKNVeInG6Bb1cTmyZnUC-7U9wrATtDP8FPMGQqCrZw06vQyRc
Quote:"The problem is not simply one of scientific and intellectual integrity. This state of affairs influences training and reimbursement and does a great disservice to patients, practicing psychiatrists, and our medical colleagues who are striving to provide the best and most humane care to people with medically and psychologically complicated conditions.” ...“restrain and sedate,” has been a standard of practice for many years. The approach has staunch advocates, who insist that it is the best means of maintaining safety for the staff and others in the area. But this stance can fail to recognize that at the center of this raucous activity is a human being— one who is commonly very scared, vulnerable, and fragile — and that the acts of forcible restraint and involuntary medication can often cause more harm than good. Further, quite often, takedowns, restraints, and injections can be easily avoided, in a way that is safer and faster —while improving both short- and long-term outcomes.”
My brother has been restrained and sedated more times than we can count in his 31 year odyssey in the failing mental health system. His trauma from these experiences is exponential.
So, about all I can muster to celebrate in this new year is the fact that there is much potential for things to start looking up. I remain hopeful...as always, though it's against all odds and very difficult. And we try to rest as best we can, on this January 1st. I just got home last night, and have been under the weather for over two weeks...
...probably due to stress.
But we will keep on, keepin' on. Because we know our family better than the doctors, and we have legal right to communicate. If they don't listen, it only causes problems. Hopefully that glass ceiling will be broken as time progresses. It's wisest to listen and remain humble, when a life is in the balance. No room for arrogance in patient care, but after reading hospital record chart notes, arrogance and misrepresentations abound. So many unnecessary problems when there is no line of communication. And their fear should never override proper care for the patient.
Too much to say, in too little time.
Please share any of the articles to your own medical professionals and mental health advocate entities. These items cannot be mainstreamed fast enough.
Jackie Welton DiPillo