Friday, May 22, 2015

MediKin Demo Doll (Hydrocephalus) Update

We went to Goodwill this week and I looked at shoes for the doll. I got some CUTE sneakers for it (they go well with the jeans & sweatshirt jacket). I also got a pair of pink cowboy boots (they go great with the OshKosh dress) and four pairs of Sesame Street bootie/socks. Next time I'll look for some other items. The more we do to get creative with the doll the more accessible it becomes. We were already getting double takes from people, thinking that it was a real baby. That only increases with every added item. The great thing about that is that it opens the door for conversation, which is a great thing for us! I would really like to create a social media platform for the doll and have pictures following the doll on its 'travels'. It would be great to have a couple of other dolls and follow them on 'travels' further afield than Western Washington.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

May Meeting Discussion

The May meeting was interesting. We are going to be discussing more ideas for the 2015 Hydrocephalus Awareness Month in September, at the June meeting. We briefly talked about joining forces with some other groups, with brain issue interests/focus, to come up with some ideas for increasing visibility of the month. Hard to believe that September is only months away! Kim brought the Hydrocephalus Doll (Medikin) back from Olympia, along with a new wardrobe and a stroller. It is now a lot easier to take the doll from place to place. We had another double take in the elevator on the way to the meeting--someone thinking that the doll was a real baby, then realizing that it wasn't. That never gets old! I'll be looking for more clothing & 'shoes' for the doll in the coming weeks at thrift stores. The health fair Kim took the doll to was a success. We, as always, talked about possible ways to generate more interest in the meetings. It would be great to get our meeting numbers up again. I'm always encouraging people with an interest in brain issues, specifically hydrocephalus, to attend. So are the other members. We were also talking about re-introducing the summer picnic. We used to have an annual summer picnic, but for a variety of reasons, that fell by the wayside. We had donations made by some local stores and rented space in a couple of local parks. We always tried reserving a picnic shelter, so we had cooking space, picnic tables and running water. with more participation, it would be nice to bring the picnic back. I have a CT and neurosurgeon appt. scheduled for June.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Upcoming May Meeting

Hard to believe that we are already looking at the fifth meeting of the year! May 16th is the next meeting of the Hydrocephalus Support Group, Inc. As usual, we will be meeting in the Casey Room at Swedish Hospital's Cherry Hill campus (17th & E. Jefferson, Seattle) from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. We welcome anyone with an interest in hydrocephalus, no reservations needed.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Update To 'Here We Go Again Part 2'

While I'm glad to see attorney Mosley taking a strong stand against what happened, the nitty gritty details of what happened still haven't been revealed; they need to be. It is nice to see that someone has decided to hold those involved accountable, but it goes much further than that. What happened in Baltimore isn't an 'isolated incident' and the WHOLE problem has to be dealt with. That means including training for police and other, non-medical, first responders who often arrive before EMTs. There also needs to be a lot more education about what happens with traumatic head injury (TBI) after an accident/incident. The brain doesn't distinguish between the foot of a cop or the foot of some random person on the street. Just as it doesn't make distinction between someone on or off duty or their rank. Aiming for the head or spine areas is simply not acceptable. I still can't believe that someone couldn't tell the difference between a seizure and intentional harm to themselves. A seizure can last only seconds. If someone goes into status (having numerous seizures, one after the other) they will, at best have brain damage as a result of not having medical intervention, or they will die. Ignoring it won't make it better or improve the person's situation. As much as the officers are being held accountable, TPTB need to take a serious look at what their people know and DON'T know, then change it so that they DO have the information and can do the right thing.

Here We Go Again...Part 2

I will start by saying that I DO support the police and appreciate the difficult job they have. However, last night's news only proves that there is a real problem with training, in general. The job is about much more than target shooting. It is about dealing with a WHOLE community. That community includes those who have a variety of impairments. Head injuries and the post-trauma issues around that, especially with a closed head/spine injury, shouldn't be an unknown to ANY first responder. The more that comes out about what happened after Freddy Gray was injured, however that happened, the more I see a traumatic head/spine injury (TBI) with neuro complications. The flow of the cerebral spinal fluid impacts the pressure on the brain and anything that impacts that flow can cause pressure to build up. That would cause incredible pain and for someone with no experience with it, they wouldn't be able to articulate what was going on. In addition, as I said before, not imobilizing the neck and spine would have only increased the injury, if there was an internal decapitation going on. There is a reason that EMTs secure a patient's neck and spine before transporting them to the ER. Those officers didn't call for appropriate assistance, even when the victim was asking for that assistance. It didn't help Mr. Gray to NOT secure him in the van in the first place. Now we are hearing that a second person in the van, along with the driver, heard banging and noises coming from where Mr. Gray was seated. They didn't see him and it only lasted "a few seconds". With ANY TBI, there is a high risk of the patient having a grand mal seizure. That wouldn't last minutes, necessarily, but seconds. It also speaks to the severity of Mr. Gray's injury. From what has been reported, the assumption was that he (Mr. Gray) was doing this on purpose. That he was trying to hurt himself. A seizure, of any type (there are over 100 types) is involuntary. It is a short circuiting of the brain and should be a sign to go to the nearest ER, rather than dragging the patient/victim out of the van and putting them in restraints. All of that could easily have contributed to furthering Mr. Gray's injuries. I realize that it is popular right now blame police for excessive force. IMO, if all of this is accurate, it is all about lack of training and awareness of head injury, as well as a lack of common sense. What also concerns me is the report that stated that while the DA will look at the final report on what happened to Mr. Gray, none of the facts will be made public. All that leaves is speculation and keeps the 'exessive force' issue for the public to consider. It certainly doesn't clear anything up or inform the public about what probably DID happen.