Archive for September, 2012

Blogging for Others

Since starting my blog, I have become much more interested in others’ blogs, thoughts, and posts.  One blog that I regularly subscribe to is http://healmyptsd.com/.  A blog that highlights one woman’s inspiring story regarding her own PTSD, regularly features others’ stories about their individual struggles and triumphs with PTSD, and  encourages all who visit that there are ways to “triumph over trauma.”

I petitioned the writer of the blog, Michele Rosenthal, for a chance to add my story to her postings, in an effort to reach out to others by way of a different venue.  I am honored to have my guest post on her blog.  You can read it here:  http://healmyptsd.com/2012/09/birth-trauma.html.

If you are, or someone you love is, suffering from the debilitating effects of PTSD, I encourage you to read my story, Michele’s story, and other stories of survival, hope, and success.  As I always say, talking about experiences that are often stigmatized in our society is the first step to a change in how those experiences will be viewed by our society in the future.
Thanks for reading,

Lauren

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Security

One part of the Interstim therapy that takes getting used to is the fact that you have a little device inside your body that will set off security systems and that the device can potentially be ruined by some security systems.  In knowing this, Interstim provides all implanted patients with a nice little medical card that states that “I have a device that may set off your airport/security system.”  Since getting my device implanted, I have had to use this medical card in situations that require me to pass through security systems.  Some security guards at these security checkpoints have been more than professional, some downright rude.

It is important to note that the protocol which I have been instructed to use as an implanted Interstim patient encountering a security system is the following:

1.  Present medical card, explain to the guard that you have an implanted medical device that will trigger security and could be damaged by certain systems.

2.  Ask for a pat down versus going through the security system.

Unfortunately, even with this very polite request, backed up by a medical card, some security guards have been downright befuddled at my request.  On more than one occasion, I am met with the response, “Well this system won’t really impact the device,” or the baffling “I’ll just scan you quickly.”  I have also been refused entry unless I was scanned, after the security guard refused to meet my request for a pat down.  Additionally, I have been embarrassed on more than one occasion as security guards talk in loud tones about my physical situation, inquire why I have the device, and talk about how I can just have the scan done because “this guy over here has a pacemaker in his heart and he never has had a problem going through.”

If you are met with the above situation, where security guards are not accommodating your medical situation, contact Medtronic.  Medtronic will advise you on the second course of action while going through security which is to do the following:

1.  Turn off your device.

2.  Ask for the handheld scanner (no magnets).  I am not even sure if you can go through those huge walk through devices safely.  I never have since being implanted.

3.  Place your hand over the implant.  Advise the security guard that scanning directly on the device will wreck the device, ask them to scan around.

4.  After going through security, turn the device back on.
I am hopeful that as the Interstim surgery and device become more prominently known that the training of security personnel in accommodations for security systems while increase.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren

Celebrating my 100th post!

This is my 100th post.

I thought I should probably make it somewhat meaningful, possibly a celebration of how far I have come, or a glance at what I have become.

Or both.

Well, I have come from a place of despair, of darkness, of hopelessness, of fear.

I have become a fighter, a survivor,….. an advocate.
In March 2008, I gave birth to one of the most precious blessings in my life.  4 1/2 years ago I experienced both the best and worst day of my life.  At the same time this beautiful light entered my life, my own light went out.  I suffered both physical and emotional consequences I could not have even imagined.  My world stopped making sense.

Through my struggles my family remained by my side, supporting me in my therapies, medical testing, and surgeries.

Slowly, with time, support, and extensive therapy, I began to emerge, a stronger, better, LOUDER, advocating individual.  I fight for women’s choice in birthing options, access to timely and correct prenatal and postpartum care, and recognition of the very real devastating effects of physical and emotional birth trauma.

I am happy to announce that I have been able to take the next step in my life journey.  I am expecting.  A thought, a dream, that I could not entertain for months, years, because of the physical and emotional ramifications of my first delivery.  I am so very happy to be able to share this with you, my readers, with the very real hope that I am offering YOU hope.  Things can and will get better.  It is possible.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren (and baby bump)