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Everything posted by FormerLegalSecy

  1. Sorry to bring this old thread back. I have another question. What is a POLST? I looked it up and it said it is endorsed by the ABA. I got one of these in the mail from my mother. Apparently she couldn't get her dr to agree that she has a terminal illness with less than 6 months to live (what you need for physician assisted suicide in her state). So it looks like she got this POLST instead. Just to be clear, she is not terminally ill at all. She had one near-fainting episode 3 years ago which was diagnosed as heart failure and she's been taking medication for that since then. But her heart dr. says her heart is getting better and has cleared her to resume exercising including aerobic exercise which was recommended (she is not doing that because her knee bothers her). She also has arthritis and a sore knee which is her main problem. She was offered knee replacement surgery but doesn't want it. She prefers to melodramatically think of herself as a dying woman, which she is not. At lease not any more than any of us are. Anyway he dr signed this POLST form which appears to be a DNR order. So let me get this straight. If she becomes dizzy again and has another near-fainting episode on another hot summer day (as happened 3 years ago) this form means that they are supposed to just let her fall to the ground and leave her laying there fainted until she dies? (She currently lives in a Continuous Care Community in the Independent Living section.) It also lists me (again, as elsewhere) as her health care POA. If I get a call saying she fainted and they're not going to resuscitate her, do I have the ability to ask questions and if it sounds like a minor issue like a faint on a hot day rather than a major stroke (etc.) can I direct that they revive her instead of following this POLST form?
  2. pg1067, not the answer I really wanted to hear, but I am coming to get the picture.
  3. If you ever need to replace them check out "Personal Sound Amplification Products" -- there are some that don't work at all - you don't want those, but there are others, e.g. Bluetooth devices, that work just as well as hearing aids particularly for mild hearing loss, but are waaaayy less expensive because they are not regulated and not customized like hearing aids are. The analogy would be like getting "readers" off the rack at the store instead of getting customized prescription eyeglasses. They may not help with complex or more severe hearing/vision issues, but for mild and not disease related amplification needs, both work great for a lot less money. 😊
  4. Thanks TC & AJ. Yes, she lives in a "mildly" religious community (I say "mildly" because people of all faiths actually live there) for people 55+. It is a continuous care community that she chose, and she decided on her own when she wanted to move in. She lives in the independent living portion of the community in her own apartment although she does have a cleaning person who comes in once/week to help with heavier cleaning chores. She has a flower garden and a vegetable garden and is the Head of the Film committee that selects & shows movies in the community theater every weekend. The thing is it is hard and painful (and dangerous) for her to try to walk very far due to her arthritis and it would be MUCH safer and easier for her to use a wheelchair or at least a cane (she goes totally ballistic if anyone dares to suggest a walker). But she keeps saying she'd rather die than be seen using any of those "old people" devices (or move into an assisted living apartment in the same community where she already lives) because in her mind those things would "prove" that she is "crippled" and (according to her) "useless." I obviously do not agree with that point of view and have argued about it a lot with her, which has done no good for either of us.
  5. I am sorry to be repeating myself. As you can imagine it is very difficult to be kind of, but not really, responsible for somebody who keeps threatening to commit suicide. This time was different because she actually sent a letter to several people detailing how she was going to do it, which she hadn't done before. I do thank you for your response(s) both then and now and I will not post about this topic again.
  6. Thank you A.J. I hope you know I appreciate your perspective. I think you're probably right about the appropriate amount of skepticism. I think I just need to take a step back and a couple of deep breaths. I did read the statute and I don't think she qualifies. On the other hand she doesn't need to persuade every Dr. in California of her point of view. Only 2 of them. But hopefully not this time. Thanks.
  7. I don't know if this is the right place to put this but please forgive me if it is not. My elderly mother lives in California. I will try to make this as short as I can. I apologize in advance for the length. She has always had a particular flair for the melodramatic, a never ending need to be the constant center of attention, and an uncanny ability to charm or persuade just about anybody into believing just about anything. These things have been true of her for her whole life. It is that last skill that I am worried about. Her only real health issue right now is that she does not want to have to start using a wheelchair due to arthritis. She refuses to take pain medication or prescribed antidepressants or use a wheelchair, and then complains that she can't stand the pain of trying to walk. She's one of those people who says they'd rather die than be seen in a wheelchair, and apparently she means it. Well, so now she is planning on making that happen.. She sent me and 3 other people an e-mail saying that she has made a decision to end her life on her own terms "within the next few months" and she hopes we'll all come and be there with her for this momentous event. She also asked us not to tell anyone else. Not only do I not want to be there for it, I don't want to have anything to do with it, because I am opposed to it, and I don't think she is even eligible. She is NOT TERMINALLY ILL. She IS terminally self-centered and manipulative and stubborn, but she is NOT terminally ill. (I'm sorry if this doesn't sound like I am a very loving child; I am just really angry about this stunt right now. But I digress.) My concern is that she does have a doctor who hates to say no to her. She charms him like she charms everyone else and he pretty much just goes along with her. QUESTION 1: As the eldest child with her Health Care Power of Attorney in the event that she is incapacitated, do I have any standing to say, "No, I am opposed to this at this time. Don't do it." (If she really were terminally ill I think I would reluctantly try to respect her wishes, but again, she is NOT TERMINALLY ILL, at least not at this time.) What I want to do is let her doctor know that if he even THINKS about signing that form certifying that she is terminally ill (let alone helping her find another doctor who will go along with it for the 2nd signature) I am going to sue the living daylights out of him for malpractice and wrongful death and better yet, hopefully have him arrested. She is NOT TERMINALLY ILL (unless you count age, itself as a "terminal illness" which SHE DOES, but I went and read the California statute and it looks to me like it explicitly says that neither age nor disability alone qualifies a person as being "terminally ill" for purposes of that statute.) The thing I'm worried about is that she is (and always has been) such an expert at being charming and manipulative -- I'm afraid she'll charm or manipulate some doctor or another into going along with it and giving her the death drug before I can do anything to prevent it. QUESTION 2: What can I actually do, if anything, to prevent this from happening? We have argued about this before, and her view (which I'm sure she will try to charm her own doctor into believing) is that I am heartless and cruel and "just don't understand."
  8. Yes, another good question. I'm not making this up... Madison Rastafarian church founders arrested once again - WISC https://www.channel3000.com/news/madison-rastafarian-church . . .
  9. In our state's capital city the police recently executed a search warrant, raided an establishment, and arrested 2 people for possession and distribution of marijuana. The place that was raided was the Lion of Judah Rastafarian Church, which considers marijuana to be a sacrament. Since the Lion of Judah Church was only founded a few months ago, or at least that branch of it at that particular location, a lot of people, apparently including the police, think it is just an excuse for a drug house. Setting that aside for a moment... What court is qualified to judge whether something is or is not a church? What would count as evidence for & against? My understanding is that courts tend to accept that anything claiming to be a church is a church (and some people don't like the tax implications of that, but the IRS also does not like to get involved in determining what is or isn't a church either). I guess another question is, when does religious practice trump criminal law (if ever)? And if it doesn't, what would prevent states from criminalizing the religious practices of any religion they would prefer not exist in their state? Inquiring minds want to know.
  10. Good news! Apparently my boss went to bat for me and on Friday they approved the Train travel. In return, I promised to work on overcoming my fear of flying so this will not continue to be a problem every time it comes up. Thanks to everybody for all the good feedback & suggestions & encouragement to keep trying to find a way to overcome it.
  11. Okay, well, it might not be quite that easy. I actually did try taking a fear of flying class at our local airport a couple of years ago. I parked the car at the airport and as I was walking up the sidewalk of the main entrance to go to the class I threw up, barely made it to a trash can to avoid puking all over the sidewalk. I wasn't sick before that, or after that, but I did turn around & go home instead of going to the class. The thing is, I do pick up my husband at the airport all the time (he flies pretty often for his job) and that doesn't seem to bother me. The other thing is, I used to be able to fly and it didn't used to bother me either. I don't even have any idea when I got this way or why - nothing bad happened to me on an airplane, that I remember anyway. Its embarrassing. Ugh.
  12. Thank you both. This is helpful. Long term plan: I think I will look for treatment for fear of flying. I'd really rather get over it. (Will have to check if our health insurance covers that kind of treatment...) Short term: I'll talk to my boss, tell him I'm getting a train ticket, & sign up for Vacation time for the time I will be on the Train. I will pay the $12 more that the train ticket costs than a plane ticket would. I know he doesn't want to get in an argument with the Audit folks, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't formally discipline me for doing that (I will ask him to make sure). I don't want to put him in a difficult position. But he also knows that even with some health issues I've had in the past year - including 6 weeks of FMLA - I'm still the top performer in the department ... by a lot. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't want to fire me or hurt my career over a Train ticket. The thing that's kind of ironic is that I've had several consulting firms that have tried to pirate me away from my current job recently. Let's just say that they offered pretty nice compensation packages compared to my paltry civil service salary. I didn't even consider them because I would have had to fly … but if I really can overcome my fear of flying, who knows....
  13. I hope this is an easy question. Can my employer, which is a state agency (so I'm not going to name the State), force me to fly for work? I wasn't always afraid of flying but somehow I seem to have developed a fear of it. The last time I had to fly for work was about 5 years ago and it was horrible. I had a panic attack that lasted the entire 4-hour flight each way, and since then I have not gone anywhere near an airport. The few times I've had to travel out of state for work since then I've always managed to come up with some excuse for either driving or taking the train. I know it is not rational to be afraid of flying, and it is actually pretty embarrassing. But I can't help it. I have an upcoming trip and our travel auditor said "no" to the train & to driving ("does not conform to policy"). I offered to take vacation days for the travel time via train but did ask them to pay for the ticket. They said No and told me to get a plane ticket. My boss is okay with me traveling via train but the travel auditor isn't. Can they really tell me I have to fly?
  14. Thank you adjusterjack. This is very helpful info and much appreciated.
  15. Well, thanks everybody. I think my policy is supposed to be easy to read ("plain language") but it is still hard to read -- and reading contracts is what I do for a living these days. It has "underinsured motorist" coverage which is separate from the "uninsured" motorist coverage. This incident does not qualify for coverage under the "underinsured" motorist coverage though. It only lists "bodily injury" as covered by the "Uninsured motorist" coverage so I think that is my answer, although it has some mystifying references in that section to not covering bodily injury or property damage due to nuclear war which makes it appear as though under some other circumstances property damage might be covered. (If I were redlining this contract at work I would flag that as "confusing" and seek clarification.) At any rate, it doesn't look like it intends to cover property damage under the uninsured motorist coverage so I need to let them know whether I want to cover it under my collision coverage & pay the $500 deductible, in which case they want to have an adjuster inspect it, or whether I just want to get repair estimates outside of my collision coverage and handle it without putting in an insurance claim at all. Apparently because it is a 5-year old car they seem to think that it may have depreciated so much that I might not have much of a claim after the deductible is paid. That is a real drag because I take meticulous care of it and only have one more car payment left on it, at which time I was hoping to trade it in & get a new vehicle. But I think the trade-in value of it is reduced by this damage so I will either pay (possibly more than the insurance company thinks I should...) to completely eliminate all traces of damage in order to preserve its trade-in value, or else get the less expensive repairs that my insurance company seems to think appropriate for a 5-year old car and take the hit on the trade-in value . Grr.
  16. My vehicle was parked in a hotel parking lot. I heard a lot of back-up alarm BEEP-BEEP-BEEPing at 11:30 at night & thought that was odd for that time of the day so I got up and looked out the window. I saw a much-too-big truck for the corner it was trying to navigate going back and forth and back and forth to try to get around a much too tight corner. My car was parked in the end stall & looked like it was going to get creamed. I started pulling on shoes and street clothes so I could run out and see whether I could somehow rescue my car or do anything else to help avoid this collision that was about to happen. But before I got out the door of the hotel, the truck driver gave up trying not to hit my car & just crunched it & dragged it a few feet & kept going. Silly me, I thought the driver would immediately go to the hotel office to try to locate the owner of the vehicle they just clobbered. So I called the front desk & said if a truck driver comes in trying to find the owner of the vehicle they just hit, it's my car. The front desk said they didn't know anything about it and no truck fitting that description was listed for a registered guest but they could give me the non-emergency number for the police so I could call them if I wanted to. Which I did. The sheriff's office did send an officer out who was very nice and all, but he made it really clear that he was not going to investigate this crash any further. I had taken photos with my phone of tire tracks (in the snow) and parts laying on the ground, photos of the damage, etc., but they didn't want any of those. The officer said the driver was "probably lost" and undoubtedly "long gone" by now and said my police report would be available to retrieve on line in 10-15 business days. So then I went to my car insurance company's web site, which wants customers to file initial insurance claims on its website, which I did. I filed it under "Collision" which is what I figured it was, but later I went on the Internet and read that I would be better off filing it as a property damage claim under my uninsured motorist coverage. Is that true? How do I know they are uninsured if I don't know who they are? My collision insurance has a $500 deductible (I know, that was my choice) but I'd really rather not be out $500 bucks just because some chicken livered truck driver decided not to do the right thing and identify themselves as the driver that hit my car. Any other ideas or suggestions or options I have here? I don't want to hire a private accident investigator either, which I'm guessing would likely cost more than the $500 deductible. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
  17. A relative of mine was brought to a company's main HQ for a 2-day job interview in KANSAS and the prospective employer put her up overnight in a hotel. While she was in the shower the morning of the 2nd day she said a sudden burst of boiling hot water came out of the shower nozzle with no warning. She had already been in the shower for at least 5 minutes and the water had not been anywhere near that hot up until then. She had already washed her hair and had put conditioner in it. She stood under the shower nozzle to rinse the conditioner out and a sudden burst of boiling hot water instantly scalded the whole top of her head. She said she inadvertently screamed and jumped backwards and then scrambled out of the shower. She stood there a little stunned and in pain for a few minutes & then reached in and turned off the shower. She says she doesn't remember whether it was still scalding hot when she reached in to turn it off or not. She says she was crying and almost kind of in shock. She said it was hard to think straight, but her main thought was that she couldn't be late for day 2 of the job interview. She got dressed and checked out and went to the scheduled breakfast meeting with wet hair and a burned scalp but she didn't say anything about the shower incident because she didn't want to "ruin her interview." I asked if she notified the hotel and she said no because the company that was interviewing her was paying the bill and she didn't want to make any trouble. (This makes me wonder if anyone else got hurt by the malfunctioning shower, or might get hurt in the future because the hotel still might not realize it's malfunctioning.) I saw her today and there is a huge blister that covers most of the top of her head. You can't see it without looking through her hair because she has long hair. She says it still hurts. I asked if she has been to a dr. and she said no because she can't afford it, and she doesn't have a regular dr. anyway. She said she can't afford to go to urgent care, and claims she doesn't need a dr. I disagree. I think she needs to see a dr. and the hotel ought to pay the bill for whatever medical care she might need. She says it is too late now anyway, and nobody will believe it happened at the hotel because she didn't say anything to anybody when it happened. I told her I would pay her dr. bill if the hotel doesn't, but I think she needs to see a dr. either way. It doesn't look good and she is still in pain. For all I know it might get infected or cause all her hair fall out where the blister is or something, which is the whole top of her head. Is she right that it is too late now to report it and submit her medical bills to the hotel? She still doesn't want to say anything to the hotel because she hasn't heard back about the job interview yet, and she doesn't want to do anything that might hurt her chances of getting the job. I think she is also afraid she might get in trouble for not having health insurance.
  18. I'm sorry to hear about your sister and your other sister's friend, Tax. I don't really know much about Lyme Disease but I'm learning more about it now. My dr mentioned that there are a couple of ongoing clinical trials for people who've already been treated but still have symptoms. I am being treated as an outpatient at a research and teaching hospital so I had asked about clinical trials. I'm hoping I won't ever be eligible for them (treated but still have symptoms) but maybe your sister and your other sister's friend should ask about that? They have my sympathy, it is definitely no fun.
  19. Follow-up: When I had a spinal tap they discovered that my spinal fluid was infected with Lyme Disease. Then they found heart and kidney abnormalities consistent with Late Lyme Disease. So I am starting on 3-4 weeks of IV antibiotics (gee, happy holidays) and working from home part time. So much for keeping my personal health issues private. At least I have good health insurance and I can have the IV treatment at home. They don't know if Lyme Disease is what caused all my symptoms or not, but the Lyme Disease needs to be treated either way, and the neuro thinks there is a good chance that may do the trick. I hope so.
  20. Thank you Tax. You are of course right. I suspect you are a very good lawyer because you have a way of explaining things so that even if the listener doesn't want to agree with you it's hard to deny that what you are saying makes sense.
  21. Okay, thank you everybody. It is embarrassing to even write about this here. My main symptom is that sometimes my legs feel abnormally heavy like as if they are 100 lb rocks instead of legs, and sometimes gripping things when I have to squeeze hard to do it is a challenge (like using a manual can opener). But those are mostly internal feelings, not something others would notice outwardly unless they were really watching me, which it often seems like they are. Yes, when my legs feel like 100 lb concrete blocks I change my routine a little. Like if I have to walk around the office or the building picking up documents or mail or something I plan my route before I go so that I only have to get up and walk around once instead of several times, and I plan the shortest route with the least steps before I do it. When I schedule meetings I schedule them closer to my office instead of on a different floor or in a different building. I come in early so that I can park as close as possible to the building instead of a long way away. Sometimes when I stand up it takes an extra couple of seconds to make sure I have my balance and am mentally prepared to put the extra effort into each step because if I just jump up and don't think about it ahead of time that makes me more likely to trip or stumble. Honestly, I know I'm doing these things but unless somebody was particularly eyeballing me trying to "catch" me doing them I don't think anyone would notice. They do not affect my work. For example a couple of weeks ago I had to give an hour long presentation standing up and on that particular day my legs weren't feeling totally wonderful and I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it, but I did. Some times I feel almost totally normal and then some other days are not as great, but I really don't think it is affecting my work and I don't want my health to be a topic of workplace conversation. I also applied for a promotion recently that I know I was qualified for and I didn't get it. There could be a million reasons why not. Maybe I think more highly of my own qualifications than I should, or maybe my interview went a lot worse than I thought it did. But I get paranoid that maybe I didn't get it because of the rumors and speculations about my health, and I hate that. I'd rather be told that I didn't get it because I'm not qualified than "suspect" that I didn't get it for some reason related to office speculation about my health. I would never know if somebody on the hiring committee might have commented something like, "Yes, but this is a demanding job, is she really up to it, y'know, physically?" unless somebody leaked that info, which nobody has. But the reason I was given was strange. They said that "at a different time" I'd be a great fit for that position but "the timing wasn't right" so they selected somebody else. What does that mean? (I wasn't offered any further explanation.) It's frustrating.
  22. Thank you TA, that was helpful. I have seen a neurologist. The neurologist said there is not enough history yet to make a diagnosis. I have had a couple of episodes of unexplained muscle weakness and other symptoms that could also be plenty of other things too. The neuro mentioned MS but said it is too soon to make that diagnosis. Basically they have to rule out everything else first, which has not been done yet. They did tests and ruled out a brain tumor etc. They said I had low levels of potassium & told me to eat more bananas which I am doing. But basically right now it is wait & see. They said it could completely go away and I might never have any other issues. Or lots of other things. They also tested me for other stuff that was all negative. My co-workers noticed not because I was unable to do my work but because of a dumb episode on a hot day where a number of people all had to go to another location. I wanted to take my own car, which I knew I could do, but my boss insisted that everybody go in his SUV. I really didn't want to but everybody kept saying oh come on let's go, we're going to be late, hurry up (etc., etc.). The problem is that the SUV is a very high vehicle with a large step up and on that particular day I couldn't lift my legs high enough to get into the vehicle. I tried to pull myself up with my arms but didn't have a good grip and in the end with everybody watching I wound up having to basically roll onto the floor in the back and then hike myself up into a seat, which was hard. It seemed like the more embarrassed and humiliated I was the less my body wanted to cooperate, which could just be psychological. I wound up having to have co-workers help pull me into a seat. It was horribly embarrassing. After that they started noticing every little thing about how I walk or move or if I ever drop anything, etc.. Most of the time I feel pretty much fine, or if I notice anything it would only be noticeable to me if everybody else wasn't watching me like a hawk. I am getting to hate going to work because I feel like people are just waiting to "catch me" dropping something or tripping over a carpet or something. I hope I don't have MS but the neuro said even if I do there are some very effective drugs for treating the symptoms of it now, but I don't have that diagnosis yet. Mostly I just want people to leave me alone. Whatever the problem is, I feel that its personal and I don't want it to be a subject of workplace discussion or speculation. Union: I was a Union steward years ago but my Governor effectively killed off public sector employee Unions in 2011. I am no longer in or represented by a Union and there is no Union contract. There are only a couple of smaller Unions left and mine is not one of them.
  23. Okay, more to the point. I doubt if they are speculating about whether I have the flu. I suspect that they are speculating about whether or not I have MS given some of the issues I've been experiencing. I do not have an answer to that question myself, nor do I wish to discuss it with my employer before, or maybe even after, I have any answers.
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