The Soapbox Archives:
In hindsight, I've lived a fairly uneventful life. I've never been married and I have no kids. I don't have an advanced degree (though I'm quite proud of being a graduate of the Boston Latin School). I have the usual issues with relatives, though I keep running into people whose problems would push mine to a tiny paragraph *after* the comics section.
However, I did something that for which I will always be proud. I talked someone out of wanting to die.
I was in a hospital for most of the other week visiting someone who was in pretty bad shape. When we arrived, our hearts dropped because we thought we'd lose him that night. We argued for changes that made things better but the patient was still in bad shape and extremely depressed. He fretted and tried to pull out all wires and tubes. He said that he didn't want to live like that and that he wanted to die. He really hated being there more than he wanted to live.
I told him that he now had a goal for which to live. His job was to get healthy enough so he could walk out of that hospital eventually or get rolled out in a wheelchair. On that day he would tell all the doctors and nurses what he really thought of them. When he left the building, he was going to turn around and give the hospital the finger.
He stopped fretting and with great clarity in his eyes, he considered what I had said. He relaxed and tried to breathe (more) normally. He stopped trying to pull out his tubes. He was able to sleep (more) comfortably. I don't know if he later remembered what I had said, but at least for now, he had a reason to live. He was now on a mission.
I think that medical personnel should refrain from making personal comments, especially judgemental comments, and especially when they have no context.
Criticizing the children of a patient for not being at the hospital isn't fun when the kids have lives in other parts of the country and can't take a leave without pay for a couple of months. I would imagine that the staff would change their opinion if they knew all the dirty laundry. There are so many facts that aren't known.
It's hard enough when someone can't be around loved ones when they're sick; they don't need hospital staff making them feel guilty.
If you get down to the Largo area, I *highly* recommend the E&E Stakeout Grill in Belleair Bluffs. I was there for lunch and the prices are very reasonable for what you get and the service was great; I'd go back there again.
When it comes to people grieving about a departed loved one, or even worse, before that loved one passes away, sometimes less is more. It's not necessary to say any more than "I'm so sorry for your loss"; sometimes what's really needed is a big hug.
There are a lot of people out there who feel the need to say something and instead of thinking about what they should say, they just spit out the first thing that comes into their minds. I can think of three things that shouldn't be said, at least not within the first few months:
These comments are mean because they assume that you're happy that your relative or loved one finally died, or that you just don't care. I'd hate to have these people be responsible my final healthcare. That last one is particularly cruel because for some people life *doesn't* go on, at least not after a long and painful period of mourning. Sometimes it never goes away. It's worse when some people, in spite of their best intentions, rub dirt into the open wound.
There are a bunch of short videos produced by the Cleveland Clinic on empathy with patients. Some of these are used in training at hospitals and other medical facilities. Please check them out. I can think of a certain former social worker who could learn a lot from these.
Someone asked to be listed on every Wednesday between now and the end of the year. It took me about 10 seconds to notice on the calendar that Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve were on Wednesdays so I asked about that. Of course, they had no clue because they never looked at the calendar, which was my point.
It is the dance organizer's *job* to get the information right before releasing it. It's a waste of my time to have to ask to see if the organizer had gotten it right. Do you think the organizer would might have noticed the discrepancy? Maybe on the day before the event and you know they'll insist on my dropping everything to correct *their* error.
Maybe I'm missing something, but....
If businesses are allowed to exclude birth control coverage in their employee's health plans, wouldn't that most likely increase the likelyhood of their employees getting an *abortion*? Or maybe I just don't get it.
On the other hand, what is the monetary cost of birth control without a health plan?
But yet, isn't the whole point of "ObamaCare" intended to make sure the poor can get the same access to medical coverage as rich people who don't need the government subsidy?