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An Advanced Care Directive Is Imperative.


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Do you and/or your loved ones have an Advanced Care Directive?

If not, do so immediately please.

 

Having a living will/ advanced directive is imperative in my opinion and has now become

a horrifying personal experience as I am witness to what happens when a loved one has not

designated someone to advocate for them, if/ when they are unable to make medical decisions

for themselves.

 

This is the ugly flip side of HIPPA.

 

My lovely, kind, compassionate, beautiful friend of 20 years is now lying in a mental health facility in Alpena, Mi.

Her dilemma is horrifying and it could be you, a family member, a friend and could happen at any moment.

I cannot stress this enough.  She spent the night at my home just Friday, I took her home Saturday, she attended

church Saturday evening, on Sunday she attended church also.  Sometime Sunday afternoon she began to

behave strangely (her son's word) and by Monday morning her son called the ambulance and she was transported

to the local E.R.

 

Some background;

CJ is 57 years old with typical health issues for her age and is also a mental health patient.  She is the sole caretaker

and payee for her 24 year old disabled son, PS.  Her father is 91 years old and lives in FL. and her 2 siblings aren't

close nor do they treat her well, they are distant at best.  She has no one close that is willing to advocate for her care.

CJ and her son live in the Lansing, Mi area and manage just barely on disability.  Her son does not have the mental

capacity to advocate nor has he been designated to do so.  He cannot function living alone, he does not have access

to funds to pay bills due to his mother being the payee. She handles the banking, bill paying, appointment setting, grocery

shopping... all their life's needs are her responsibility.  So, tomorrow is pay day, rent, bills and food must be attended to

and not only does he not have the ability to take care of his mother, he does not have access to the funds to provide for his basics.

 

When I arrived at the E.R.yesterday, I was told that they could not tell me anything due to HIPPA laws.  I was told only

that they had run a series of tests and didn't find evidence of stroke (bless you young man).  I sat with her and started

asking her direct questions.  She was able to answer with a nod, sometimes a yes or no.  She was coherent, her eyes

were clear and focused on me.  She attempted several times to talk to me and the words just got jumbled up.

We were told that the hospital was transferring her to the local mental health facility ER to see if they could get her

medications regulated as the hospital was not equipped to handle that.  Okay, good... we thought.  Transport arrived

and we left her with the assurance we would see her shortly.  I took PS home to eat as he had nothing all day and

told him I would return once CJ was settled.  Now begins the nightmare;

 

CJ has her son listed as emergency contact only and they did call him a bit after 9pm to let him know she arrived.

Okay good... not.

At 11 pm PS called to let me know they had phoned to tell him they were transporting her to Alpena... hu?  He doesn't

know what to ask or what to do so he called me.  I told him to call back and ask specific questions to which he was

told they couldn't tell him.  He did think to ask "What is wrong with her?" to which he was told "Well, why did you

send her here?" WHAT???  Okay, my turn on the phone.  I explained the situation, let them know I understand hippa

etc... and ask only that they hold her until her doctor arrives in the AM.  I find out this morning that is not the case.

With out conferring with her psychiatrist and having no permission from anyone, they took it upon themselves

to transport her over 4 hrs away from home.

 

On a side note, I thought that persons who became involved in health care did so because they had compassion for

the people they are caring for... I unfortunately discovered the opposite here... I've dealt with some very rude health

care 'professionals' in this case.

 

8 a.m. this morning I make that dreaded call to CJ's 91 year old father, who immediately breaks down and cries.

This is his baby girl, she needs him and he can't help her.  He asked me that if he gave permission to me, could

I take control and make decisions?  I let him know it's not that simple and get him calmed down a bit and assure

him that I will help in what ever way I can.  I then asked for the number to reach her cousin here in MI and see if

he would assist, and he is.  He has made several calls, one of which was to the facility in Alpena.  He was told

that even if he were to drive up there, he could not even see her HU?

 

I am currently waiting on a call from my attorney, trying to re assure her son and father... in the mean time she is

lying in some mental health facility 4 hours from home w/ no one to advocate for her.

 

I made a promise to her and I will do my best to fulfill that promise to help her son.

 

Sorry if this telling is a bit of a mess... I am quite emotional and am doing what I can to relay this horror to all that read.

 

Please get your advance directive in order, please.

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I am sorry to hear this.

 

Absolutely this must be done by people.  For republicans, this is what is known as a "death panel" that Obamacare will cover the cost of the meeting with your/A physician to help advise how to create your personalized advanced care directive.

 

I cannot express the importance  of this having been through this in my own family.  Be specific and clear. It isn't just about a DNR order.

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I phoned both of my brothers this morning and let them know what is happening and demanded they get off their

asses and get this done, NOW.  I have been after them both for nearly 10 years now to get their living will completed.

 

I have mine now for at least that long and all my end life arrangements have been made and paid also.

It is the most loving thing I could ever do for my family.

 

This is not my first time dealing with this, as I am the eldest and decisions about my mother fell to me.  The laws

were different then though.

This that is happening with CJ is pure horror.

 

It's perhaps a little late to speak to a patient advocate Mal.  I think that at the original ER that may have been a good

route however we believed at that time that she would only be across town at a facility where her doctor and therapist work. 

She has been a client there for many years and it mattered not.

NO ONE WILL TALK WITH ANY OF US INCLUDING HER FATHER. < Not yelling only emphasizing.

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I am so sorry to hear this imi.  wow You just never know when this may happen to you or some one very close to you!

 

If I can help I will, you know my situation here!

 

I will most def look into the living will and advanced care directive, I believe mine is way out dated and my parents are responsible, I at one time did not believe I would live longer than them!

 

Thankfully I have a grown son that I can have help me!

 

Thank you so much for the info, and once again, I am so sorry to hear about your friend, she is very lucky to have  you!

 

Peace

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They make it easier on the families too. They don't have to wonder whether or not you want to stay on life support.

This can be a very difficult decision if you don't know for sure what the patient really wants in that situation.

 

I've got one that says if there is no reasonable expectation of living a normal life not to keep me on life support.

 

Here is a link to an easy to fill in form complete with instructions that is legal in Michigan. Just make sure you have it notarized.

Give copies to your Doctors and hospitals and make sure your family has copies.

 

http://www.caringinfo.org/files/public/ad/Michigan.pdf

 

The State of Michigan also has a web site for advanced directives.

 

https://www.mipeaceofmind.org/

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All the hospitals in my area have packets in the waiting lobbies.

These packets do simplify the process and is what I used.

 

Each time we go to have a procedure that requires anesthesia the facility will

require an Advanced Care Directive, it is the standard now.

 

This goes far beyond just a DNR as someone already mentioned.

 

And yes Wild Bill an ACD can help to provide some relief for families in an already stressful situation.

 

 

 

Update on my friend:

 

CJ's condition has not changed and now they are not certain if this may be neurological in nature.

I just spoke to the social worker at the hospital and she asked me if I would be willing to make medical decisions.

This is where I had to step aside and refer her to family members. 

The hospital will now contact the probate dept in CJ's county of residence and begin the process.

If no family member steps forward as guardian, the hospital will then make CJ's medical decisions.

 

 

 

Again... I cannot stress enough the importance of an Advanced Care Directive.

You do not need an attorney for this to be a legal document.

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