Thanks! My Operation a Success. My Restraints. WHO Calls for Ending All Mental Health Restraints. Complex? It’s Simple: Revolution of Course!

Posted by on May 13, 2017 in Activism, Alternatives, Disability, Mental Health, Peer Support | 7 comments

May 15, 2017: I am OK, back at Mad Swan, what we call our home. Thanks all!

In Lithuanian, the word for “thanks” is aciu! So:

Aaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-chooooooooooooooooo!

Photo of bodybuilder Aaron Maddron

Aaron Maddron as a professional bodybuilder. He was one of my many great respiratory therapists this past week. I found Aaron to be especially supportive. Aaaaaaahhhhhh-chooo!!

Two folks to single out for appreciation:

Thanks of course to Debra, my amazing wife. Near the bottom of my blog entry are two very brief videos by her, just after the operation. In both videos I am mute. My being silent for a while may bring great pleasure to some beloved viewers.

Also, thanks to one of my very helpful respiratory therapists (RT) Aaron Maddron, see his photo here by Eric Jacobson, published in East Coast Muscle Magazine. I appreciate your positive support and advice, Aaron, my friend, I hope it is OK to post this public info. Some fans are wondering what happened to you after winning body building championships.

I can assure folks that Mr. Maddron is now an effective healer.

Thanks, respect and dignity for all.

Briefly, Let Us Start At the Beginning of This Past Week: 

Exactly one week ago, on Monday morning, 8 May 2017, I experienced some significant health difficulties including nausea & radiating pain in my back. My brilliant loving and amazing wife, Debra, encouraged me to consult with Dr. Hurtado, my primary care physician. Based on my health experiences this past year and a recent visit with him, he encouraged me to go to an emergency room.

I have taken ambulances to various ER’s several times and knew the drill: This meant that we phoned 911 and took an ambulance to an ER room. I did not have time to inform a lot of folks, please forgive me if you did not know. Also, because of confidentiality laws, my wonderful team of employees could not transmit info about me. Everyone has permission to share this message, and I asked the wonderful webmaster, Jeffrey Bousquet, with Aciu Instititute to add this to my personal blog. (Thanks, Jeff!)

Just after my surgery. Since I could order restraints removed, they actually were not real restraints in a way. I speak with my hands, and I do not want to pull on any of these many tubes! I agree with WHO: End mental health restraints!

After three days, I felt so much better, I sent out a message that this blog is based on. And today I am at home. Over this past week I experienced the following:

  • My sixth ambulance trip, I think, in about a year.
  • I chose this time to go back to Riverbend PeaceHealth, the site of my original ER arrival four years and five months ago when I fell in December 2012, and broke my spine.
  • My diagnosis this time: Emergency pancreatitis.
  • My fifth operation in five years.
  • A glimpse at some past trauma while chatting with great caretakers.
  • I got to play with many caretakers and friends our newest games, Wacco, free, face-to-face, question-oriented. I was able to listen and find out a bunch about what they were Nuts4, or nuts for.
  • Not eating for three days.
  • (Oops did I say briefly?)

Here are some videos from just after the operation:

By my beloved Debra, only 17 seconds, I am still unconscious:

A 25 second video by Debra after I wake up post-op, only 25 seconds, I am still mute, but my eyes are open. Note the devices that I am wearing that would normally be called restraints. Normal? Hoooowwwwl!:

Because a bunch of tubes were still in my nose and throat and gut, I did not stop the use of “restraints.” My restraints involved post-op, not mental health. The topic in general can be very complex. I admire Martin Luther King warning us about the paralysis of analysis. As a trauma survivor, I can advise River Bend on some possible improvements on this process.

After about 40 years working for human rights in mental health, there is a very simple way for you to address the issue of “restraints.” I talk with my hands & arms so there was a risk of pulling the tubes out. But do not worry, in a way they are not real restraints if I can have them removed. Complex? Or is it.

What? Oaks in Restraints? 

My main purpose here is to thank people for this past week. However, I do need to address more the topic of involuntary mental health restraints including chemical restraints.

You see, President Trump nominated an individual to a key new “mental health czar” position who very much supports involuntary outpatient psychiatric treatment. The US Senate will ask her questions during the approval process, and so now is the time to reach all US Senators about this topic, because their approval of her nomination is required. Mad In America re-published my blog about this topic, and quite a lot of readers have been interested, https://www.madinamerica.com/2017/04/trump-appoints-leader-campaigned-involuntary-outpatient-drugging/

I hope everyone who reads this provides feedback via my blog or Mad In America. While I have difficulty getting all messages, I also try to keep up with feedback via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I am an First Amendment fanatic! What are your views and questions? Hey, what is this, Russia?

Russia, by the way, is famous for doing a lot of involuntary psychiatric drugging. It is easier somehow for us Americans to see such human rights violations in another country. Same drug, needle just as sharp, different perspective. Gee, our President Trump seems to ignore some negativity over in Russia. Same President who has recently nominated Elinore F. McCance-Katz of Rhode Island for our new “mental health czar.”

The topic of restraints, physical tie-downs after surgery versus mental health restraints including psychiatric drug injections, appears to be very complex.

Let Us Get Real Simple Here:

I agree with Michelle Funk who speaks for the World Health Organization (WHO), based in Geneva, Switzerland, connected to the United Nations. Thanks WHO!

May is Mental Health Month here in the USA. Here is Michelle’s May 4, 2017 tweet:

“The use of seclusion & restraint in must end. Together we can reach this goal with

If you view my retweet comment about this the same day, just a few weeks ago, to help get out this extremely important news, WHO calls for end to use of solitary confinement and restraints in mental health, you see I agree with her and the WHO.

“I really enjoyed being an ‘expert consultant’ for this set of pilot modules from the World Health Organization with the UN.”

As a consultant expert during 2016 for the World Health Organization on human rights in mental health, I was one of those with personal lived experience of real restraints. Not the tie-down types. The sharp end of the needle kind. I am a survivor of involuntary psychiatric drug injections as a college student back in the 1970’s. I graduated Harvard despite these experiences 40 years ago this year.

The topics of my psychiatric survivor story, restraints, and a lot more may seem very complex but I am trying to be brief here. Ha-ha!

Simply put, WHO calls for ending involuntary restraints in mental health now. I agree. Note that these restraints include chemical ones.

More to come, but to learn about ending restraints in mental health, here is a free PDF link to one of the new 15 WHO documents that I advised on, Strategies to end the use of seclusion, restraint and other coercive practices: Training to act, unite and empower for mental health (Pilot Version):

http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/254809/1/WHO-MSD-MHP-17.9-eng.pdf

Back to My Stay Last Week in the Hospital

I was mute for a few hours, I realized that my brother’s invention of a letter board that I used on the same ICU four years ago would have really, really come in handy. Laminate and sell that puppy, Tony!

During my recovery after my surgery, I asked Debra’s help in getting a chaplain and we met a couple including one from my Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene, Kimberly. Thanks Kim! Visit our Facebook group that brings together more than one hundred of us: UU Mental Health Justice.

I had time to reflect there inside Riverbend PeaceHealth Hospital in Springfield, Oregon, city of the Simpsons this past week. Time to rest with more simplicity. Thanks for helping everyone who produced this blog entry, much of it written a few days ago including this line: “Debra has provided so much support and love–she blows a kiss. Ian is typing this.”

Yes, the personal is the political.

Love Earth Revolution! Now! Now! Now! Now!

AAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH-CHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooo!

Posted this morning, Monday, May 15, 2017:

Thanks to you who:

Spotted the problem

Wisely encouraged intervention

Transported me by ambulance

Debra thanks for being my amazing wife and true love all these decades, once more you are saving me!

Everybody who sent well wishes

All messages including phone calls were very much appreciated, thanks

Those of you who were supportive even though we were unable to inform all who would like to know such things. (May I suggest getting to my Twitter account and adding yourself as what is called “follower.” In the future I will try to tweet very significant news.)

Thanks again to Aaron!

And thanks to Patch Adams, MD, even though you were not in the room, and even though you do not go on the Internet, and even though this time I did not phone you up my dear friend, AAAAAAAHHH-CHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

7 Comments

  1. Everybody, I am doing well since release from the hospital just three days ago. A topic I wish that I had more time to address in this piece is that:

    Immediately upon awaking from surgery I knew that RiverBend could make some improvements about pre-op briefing for us folks undergoing surgery who they knew would wake up with the risk of their hands pulling on tubes.

    Of course, I also wanted the restraints to stay on, but I know there are better ways to prepare for this. It would only take a few moments to inform people before certain types of surgery that they may wake up in restraints.

    This can be important, especially because some folks may be survivors of trauma involving restraints.

    Combine these challenges with the fact that post-op the person may be mute, maybe because of the tubes, and you have some real communication challenges. I can see many ways to potentially improve the situation, including the use of simple but sometimes not well-known ways to at least say “yes” or “no” in a non-verbal way. In this method, raising the hand, raising the elbow, clucking the tongue, gently- slapping the mattress, signifying “yes.” In other words, “one of anything means ‘yes.'”

    “Two of anything means ‘no.'”

    By the way, since Boy Scouts, we knew that some smart folks have long established that, “Three of anything means alarm!”

    Ask my brother about more detailed non-verbal communication, using boards, as I wrote in the article.

    • Yes! Pediatric nurses already are tuned into this, but adult nurses “forget.” Another thing across the board they all forget, is when they hand you your eyeglasses. It’s the very first thing a few of us reach for upon waking. After waking up from surgery (and waking up after a coma as well), we are frantic for our eyeglasses.

      A nurse who has worn eyeglasses all her life will know this since every single day, upon waking, this is what she reaches for.

      I highly doubt that that most nurses might have the foggiest clue that the feeling of being restrained might bring back yucky memories. Even if they’ve been the ones to do the restraining, sadly.

      My experience with nurses, also, is that by the time you get to THIS MANY SENTENCES, or even one sentence, they’ve long ago left the room.

  2. Get well soon, David!

    • Thanks, I got out yesterday.

  3. One delicious Revolution simmering on the grille to be served up soon!

    You are in my prayers.

    Julie and Puzzle

    • Thanks for phoning, let us chat soon.

      LABEL ME REVOLUTIONARY!

      • Hmm… Let’s see, The Patient was diagnosed REVOLUTIONARY and attempted Revolt numerous times. I think this is should be highlighted in the chart as a HIGH RISK…to the Establishment……

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