where is the care in healthcare?

by WizardOfWords on July 23, 2014

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I think that everyone who knows me and/or reads this blog, knows that I like to focus on the positive. I rarely rant or let negativity occupy my thoughts.

But I’d posted the following on facebook last night after a nasty encounter at one of our local healthcare facilities with a health care ‘professional’ and based on the passionate responses I rec’d to the post, I believe the subject merits further discussion with a broader audience.

getting caught with her pants down

Here is what happened. There was a really noisy patient in the next room to my husband who began using profanity in addition to being overly obnoxious and loud. Neither my husband nor his roommate could rest because of the constant moaning and vocalizing. In fact, my husband’s roommate had said that he’d gotten almost no sleep the night before because of it.

When I politely mentioned the situation to one of the aids, she said she’d mention it to one of the nurses and see what could be done. I coincidentally approached the nursing station a few moments later at my husband’s request to ask why his test was being delayed and heard a nurse saying to fellow staff, “What does she think this is, the RITZ?!” I was stunned! Not only was that comment unkind, disrespectful–and certainly not one that should have been made openly to other staff members–but when I said, “I am the person you are making fun of  …” expecting some form of apology and remorse, the nurse in question defended her position, indicating that people should not expect a hospital to be quiet, and if I didn’t like it, I could leave!

As a patient advocate, I wasn’t making the case for myself, but rather for my husband, who was attempting to rest before his surgical procedure, and for his roommate who was also irritated by the noise coming from next door. Neither of them could leave to get away from the nauseating noise, and I wasn’t about to leave my husband, who was overcome with concern about the impending procedure. Feeling I was getting nowhere with this glaring nurse, I quietly said the word “b*tch” and proceeded to speak to my husband’s nurse, about the time of the test. I then turned and walked away from the nursing station.

The irate and irritating nurse proceeded to follow me into my husband’s room (she wasn’t his nurse) and advised me that she could have me forcibly removed from the premises for being disrespectful to her!

I agree that I shouldn’t have sworn at her, albeit softly. But she had pushed my buttons.

After a very stressful period of more than six weeks during which my husband had been extremely ill, and the fact that the doctor had said there may be cancer involved, I was unable to contain myself and used the “b” word when she didn’t seem to care that I had overheard her openly insulting me. Instead of being kind, empathetic, respectful, and showing common courtesy for the spouse of someone who might be facing life-threatening illness, I was treated with rudeness and threatened.

I realize that we all have bad days and who knows? She may be under some stress herself, but she is being paid to be caring. She is a health care professional. She met my act of caring with rudeness and a threat. I really doubt this situation ever would have happened in a paid healthcare system. Is the fact that healthcare professionals are unionized in my home province causing some of the workers to believe they are above reproach? She got her manager to come speak to me, and the manager assured me this individual was a very capable employee. So perhaps this was an isolated case. And I admit I was partly to blame by uttering a swear word in response.

Has anything like this ever happened to you in a hospital or public institution? If so, let’s talk about it! 

And then please join me back here the week of August 4th for our next new post. I’m sure it will be a happier one!

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what’s in a name?

by WizardOfWords on July 9, 2014

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This week, I have the pleasure of welcoming a Toastmasters friend and colleague to my blog, with a guest post that’s actually a reprint of the amazing speech she recently presented to the Toastmasters in the Arts club in Gimli, Manitoba. Carolyn Dyane had us sitting on the edge of our seats with this thought-provoking, entertaining, and compelling presentation. Please welcome Carolyn, (pictured below receiving a certificate of participation in her first-ever speech contest) as she tells us the importance and significance the art of choosing a new name has played in her life.

Carolyne Dyane at TMIA

What’s in a Name?

by Carolyn Dyane

I am a wasted time artist, able to fill a day with little bits of things and lots of relaxing. I don’t write, don’t draw or paint, don’t sew, garden minimally and find that what I create best is wasted time! When I try to find the time to begin a creative project, particularly one that involves creating something with my hands, the time is never there. It is all gone with my bits and peices of things that fill my day.

I belong to the Toastmasters in the Arts club. My fellow group members are writers, quilters, painters, gardeners. Artists all, and I wonder “What am I doing in such creative company?”

Being involved with creative people has nudged me to take a look at what it is that I have created in my life and it seems to me that just living my life and creating “Me” is an enormous act of ongoing creation and has been as long as I can remember.

Things weren’t going well for me when I was in my 30′s and in a quest to become more comfortable within my own skin and my own thoughts I started a journey of personal growth which, in retrospect, has been a journey of re-invention. That re-invention of myself has brought me to a place in life where I now feel that I am more aware of and in control of my consciousness – I find that I have become semi-conscious, and can look back on a journey of creative choices that have brought me to where I am today.

When I review those choices, I find that one of the most creative tasks I undertook was the search for a new surname, one that reflected who I am to both myself and to the world.

I’d like to tell you about how my name is both an act of creation and part of my personal journey.

I had never liked the sound of my married name. It had a harsh sound and was difficult to spell and pronounce. In the 1970′s women still automatically took the name of their husband upon marriage and I was no exception to that rule. Once my marriage ended, however, I had the opportunity to think about changing my name to something I liked better.

The search for a new name was on. But how does one find a new name? What does one look for? Looking back, I realize that I was clear on what I didn’t want in a name and gradually became clear on what I did want. I wanted a girl’s name, something reflected me as a woman. And I wanted a name that did not identify me by my relationship to anyone other than myself.

My family encouraged me to take back my birth name. I found when I tried that the person I’d been earlier in life had disappeared during the years I’d been married and I could no longer find her. At that time I was at university and my Women’s Studies courses were developing the art of critical thinking in myself as well as shaping my feminist thought processes. When I started examining names my feminist eye found that in our culture most, if not all surnames represent male lineage and can be quite masculine in sound and meaning. And the son’s! There are so many sons around – Johnson, Wilson, Dickson, Anderson, Einarson, Thompson. I sure wasn’t a son, nor was I a man, another common name ender. So I considered the Icelandic tradition where females take on their mom’s name. Llike I had started doing with most names that caught my attention, I tried Bertsdottir – my mom is called Bert. Bertdottir just didn’t fit for me and that name went by the wayside.

What eventually happened was that it was through two remarkable men that found the name that I finally chose.

During the time of my name search my daughter, Sara, was taking the lessons necessary to pray and read from the Torah in Hebrew at her Bat Mitzvah. Her teacher’s last name was Daien. He was the cantor at our synagogue and he impressed me as one of the loveliest, most gentle people I’d met in a long time. It had become clear to me that I could only choose a name that came from persons who I liked and respected. I would automatically discard any names that had negative connotations for me. His name held positive connotations for me and I also liked the sound of it although I found the spelling a little complicated.

I was also interested in the name of the famous Israeli general, Moshe Dayan. He was in the news at that time and I tried on his name for size and liked how Dayan felt and sounded.

I worked with both the name Daien and Dayan, saying them in my head, mentally introducing myself and having imaginery conversations that included using the names with my first name of Carolyn. And somehow, I put them together and came up with the name I had been seeking for over two years – Dyane.

All it took to make the change was a trip to the Vital Statistics office, fill out the forms, pay the money and six weeks later I received a change of name certificate. I also received something that surprised me, a new birth certificate indicating that Carolyn Dyane was my name from the time I was born.

I so clearly recollect the thrill of using my new name for the first year or so. It was love! I would happily sign cheques and forms. I would do almost anything to write, see and experience my new name. My delight must have rubbed off on others for there didn’t seem to be any problem for friends and family to make the shift to using my new name.

Choosing my own name became one of the critical and important first steps in my journey to creating who I am today. I continue on that journey of growth and exploration as I transition into a new stage of life with solid appreciation of the person I have created.

Thanks so much to Carolyn for sharing these words of inspiration with us. Have you chosen your own name? How important is your name to you? Let’s discuss the importance of a name, and then please join us back here the week of  July 21st for our next new post.

 

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Book Review: 10% Happier by Dan Harris

June 25, 2014
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This week, we have the privilege of a guest post from author, writer, editor, blogger Jeri Walker-Bickett, whom I met via the Bloggers Helping Bloggers group on LinkedIn. Jeri Walker-Bickett (@JeriWB) writes short stories, creative nonfiction, and psychological suspense. The rough Idaho mining town she grew up in populates her literary landscape. She also works as […]

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planning a virtual book tour

June 6, 2014
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I’ve been learning much from D’vorah Lansky during the past 4 weeks in her 30-day Book Marketing Challenge. Although I haven’t had time to properly digest all the material, the one thing that has really motivated me in the course material, is to plan a virtual book tour for my chocolate travel book, “Chocolatour: A […]

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collaboration: a key to success

May 29, 2014
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I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993, and over the past 20+ years, time and time again I’ve realized that collaboration is and continues to be the key to my success.   Indeed, freelancing can be a solitary life if you let it. But that gets you nowhere. Joining professional groups such as the Professional […]

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the impact of colour in our lives

May 16, 2014
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With signs of the fresh new shades of green finally springing up after the long cold winter, my attentions have turned to the importance of colour to me, and the impact it has on my life. Colour fuels my creativity and feeds my emotions. Without colour, my brain and my life feel void of stimulation. […]

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how to deliver an award-winning speech

April 29, 2014
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Those of you who have been reading this blog for a long while know that I love Toastmasters and have been an active member of Toastmasters International since 2001.I had the pleasure of attending the District 64 Toastmasters Spring Convention in Winnipeg on April 25 and 26, 2014. The highlight of the conference for me […]

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book review: Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight

April 15, 2014
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I don’t do a lot of book reviews on this site, but couldn’t resist the opportunity to review this one as the topic of chocolate is so close to my heart. And Lord knows … I eat a lot of chocolate in accordance with my research for Chocolatour, so learning how to better manage my […]

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poll #1: separate or combine?

April 2, 2014
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Welcome, everyone, to my first-ever poll!  I seem to be in a state of evolution, and am seeking the advice of you, my readers.  When I began blogging in early 2009, I posted about whatever I wanted and blended it all into one site. That was fine, as I didn’t have much content back then. […]

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Write on! The writing process blog hop

March 16, 2014
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Hi everyone! I’m thrilled to be participating in my third blog hop! (The two previous ones were under the tag “Blog Jog Day” but they are essentially the same.) Thanks to A.K. Andrew for inviting me to participate in this highly-focused writing process blog hop that gives you insight into the motivation, drive, and focus […]

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