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Sunday, November 20, 2011

ATV death count's, Safety and State Laws.

Please open the link that I've attached to this blog today. It has an interactive map attached to it of the USA and you'll be able to see first hand how many children die from ATV's!  This link also has some useful ATV state law information. But I always advise to check the laws whereever you are riding.  Remember,  the helmets also apply to snow mobiling as some of us are going into the winter months.

The map at this site is under the heading  What Parents Should Know.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

ATV Helment Safety and Features

Always wear a helmet when riding an ATV. The decision to do so may save your life.
              Good, safe choices in a  quality ATV Helmet  should include:
  •        DOT approved
  •        Padded liner
  •         Poly alloy shells
  •      Sized properly
  •        Chin strap fitted
  •        Vented
Always purchase an ATV helmet with a DOT label on the back of the helmet. DOT sets the safety standards for crash protection.
A  Light shell made from thermoplastic poly alloy is usually best.  It is designed for comfort and won’t break or shatter on impact and will protect the skull more effectively.
The fit of the ATV helmet is the most important things to remember when purchasing one.    Venting is an added to  help air flow, keep you cooler and reduce noise.
        Some liners are made of nylon and are for comfort. Hypoallergenic are available.  When selecting a helmet chin straps and chin bars make sure that it is a snug fit to ensure it does it’s job.
All of the above  are  necessary when it comes to riding ATV’s safely.

ATV Helmet           
ATV Helmet Kids

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Have Your Affairs in Order - Power of Attorney, Living Will, Will, Life Insurance

Have your Affairs in Order
Power of Attorney, Living Will, Will, Life Insurance

* Note – I add this entry as a reminder to make sure that you have your affairs in order “before” you ride.  Wear your helmet and ride safe.  Check laws in your state for additional information to this blog. 

 This is the list of legal documents  that I had not  completed as I laid in the hospital on life support after I had crashed on an ATV when I was not wearing a helmet. I had suffered a severe tbi and I was still married to someone that I had been seperated from for 5 years! Yes legally in PA he could have as they say "pulled the plug" because I didn't have my legal affairs in order. He also could have taken our two small children away from me and my family then.  He did neither of those then.  My imediate family went through the legal actions to get power of attorney and take care of any medical directives that were neccessary.  The rest is history.  
                                                   Legal Document Information

1).Power of Attorney – Most state laws are concerned with how an individual who has become incapacitated may exert some influence and control over certain decisions that will be made concerning their health care. A durable power of attorney is a document that is similar to a living will except that it gives authority to a selected individual to decide whether or not to begin or discontinue artificial life support.

Any decision made by the durable power of attorney regarding life support is said to have the exact same legal effect as though the patient were making the decision themselves.  In the "Durable Power of Attorney" state laws chart, you will find information on the specific powers and acts that can be covered in a durable power of attorney,  requirements for making the instrument valid, how a durable power of attorney can be revoked, and more.

2.) Living Will - A living will is a document that establishes  should, and what should not be done, if you are incapacitated and unable to make those decisions.  Reasons for this may be because you are in a coma, suffered a debilitating injury, or because you have become seriously mentally incapacitated. 

Here are some of the most basic considerations to account for in your living will:
Life-Prolonging Medical Care -  living will should state if you want to receive life-sustaining and or treatments at the end of your life.  Typical treatments should  include  transfusions, respirators, dialysis, drug treatment and surgery.
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Directives:  In conjunction with directives about whether you want to receive life-prolonging medical care, most living wills will state whether or not you want to be resuscitated (CPR) at the end of your life.  It is advisable to let your doctor and local hospital know about your DNR decisions and, if you do not want paramedics to try to resuscitate you, to wear a Medic Alert bracelet, anklet or necklace with those instructions.
Life-Prolonging Food and Water - If you are comatose or seriously injured, you will only be able to survive through the external administration of food and water.  When such treatment is stopped, the patient will die naturally of dehydration and medical professionals will typically administer medication to make your passing comfortable. You should state whether you want to receive food and water, under what conditions and timelines you would like to receive it and when this should end. 
Pain Management -   If you decide you want to let death occur naturally, without the intervention of care, it doesn’t mean you have to die with pain.  This is often called “comfort care” or “palliative care”. This care is to emphasize qualify of life and dignity by keeping, you, the patient comfortable and free of pain until they pass.  Remember to specify in your living will if you want doctors to emphasize pain management at the end of your life.
State laws for living wills:

3.) WillA well-written will eases the transition for survivors by transferring property quickly and avoiding many tax burdens. Wills describe the estate, the people who will receive specific property (the "devisees"), and even special instructions about care of minor children, gifts to charity, and formation of posthumous trusts.
Requirements may be different for each state.

4.) Life Insurance – Research and select a company of your choice.

*Free forms can be found for the above topics by searching:
 living wills, wills, advance directives and power of attorney.  There are also books with  the legal forms located in one spot. Be sure to have your documents witnessed and notorized. 

Living Wills               Power of Attorney        

Saturday, April 2, 2011

ATV Helmet Law and Statistics

The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources  keeps statewide statistics on ATV accidents, 184 people were injured and 18 people were killed in ATV accidents in Pennsylvania in 2010. Most of the victims in those accidents weren't wearing helmets

There isn't a federal law for use of helmets for ATV's. Each  state has to enact their own law within their jurisdiction.  Primarily  placing the required use of helmets on young riders under  18.y.o.

 States with helmet laws require that riders and their passengers wear helmets approved by the federal Dept. of Transportation and eye protection while operating an ATV.   32 states have helmet laws, with Iowa only requiring the use of a helmet when riding on government-funded trails and parks.
  To the best of my knowledge, these states do not have any type of ATV helmet law in place and they   include:

Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Vermont and Washington.

Before riding in an area check with the local and state government ATV riding laws. Even if it's not the law, wear a helmet it could save your life.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How To Determine Eligibility for Disablitiy and SSA Benefits

**SSA Benefits Website
description for

Disability under Social Security for an adult is based on your inability to work because of a medical condition.

To be considered disabled:
You must be unable to do work you did before and we decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of a medical condition.

Your disability must last or be expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
 Social Security pays only for total disability.

No benefits are payable for partial disability or short-term disability.

For adults, we use a five-step evaluation process to decide whether you are disabled under Social Security. The process considers  any current work activity you are doing, and your medical condition and how it affects your ability to work. For more information, we recommend that you read the publication, Disability Benefits (SSA Publication No. 05-10029)."

All of this information was found along with much more can be found at:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Post traumatic brain injury issues - clinicians & specialists

                                              Traumatic Brain Injury – Closed head injury
Tbi surgery basics - Opening a window in the skull  to  relieve pressure inside the skull to  drain accumulated cerebral spinal fluid and creating a window in the skull that provides more room for swollen tissues.
 Post traumatic brain injury issues

difficult decision making, balance, sleep, issues, urinary incontinence, depression, neuropathy, short term memory loss, immediate memory loss, body temp. issues, hair issues,  cognitive issues, positional vertigo, headaches/migraines, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, herniated disc.
I had to be  seen by each of the following before being released from the rehabilitation hospital after my  tbi surgery.
                                     Physiatrist, occupational therapist - helped  me to  learn and improve skills
 Physical therapist -  helped me with balance and walking
         Speech  pathologist – assisted me with verbal communication
                                 Neuropsychologist or psychiatrist -  assisted me with managed behaviors
                                                            TBI injury nurse specialist -coordinates and educates families about the injury and recovery process

Monday, March 14, 2011

TBI - Hospital Patient Treatment

There definitely were bumps and battles along the way during my hospital stay. That  is exactly what I remember  from earliest to last while admitted. 
My earliest memories of lying in the hospital bed include the following:
Note :
see post tbi care

I remember dreaming of wars, my eyes were bandaged and I was lost in battle someone leading but being I was still lost.  We finally got to the bright place and everyone was loved and at peace here. 
Note: see -
When I came out of the coma I was told that I had used sign language to say “stop Mom”.  While I was in my coma my 80 y.o. mother had been poking me and irritating me and apparently got a response while I was in my coma and my family knew that I was being bothered by her.  Everyone got a big chuckle out of my signal.  I guess I owed them one.  I was told that I had put them through alot of  emotional distress up to this point. 

When my bandages first came off of my eyes the lights were very bright and my doctor  asked me “what do you see”.  Me being me  i.e. little miss sarcasm said: “ I see dead people” quoting the Bruce Willis movie.   Again, a big chuckle at my expense from my family.....but then again I asked for it.

Next I was asked a few my math skill questions. Such as what do you get when you add 13 to 2? I answered: “ a very cheap pair of ear rings”  again laughter at my expense.

One of the final questions was "where do you live"?   Not kidding this time with my answer, scouts honor here. I answered: “Regis Philbin”!  More of the same, chuckle, chuckle, hardy, har, har…..

 I just remembered some things I’d like to pass one.  Before the bandages came off of my eyes there was a stupid, awful, irritating tube  down my throat.  This I will never ever forget!  How I hated that thing and yes I remember now they had things going up in my nose too! Double UGH!  The reason that I remember this so vividly is because I kept pulling both of them out!  No sooner would the  nose  and the throat tubes  get pulled out by me then a nurse would be back in to jam them down the nasal passages and throat.  The only way to describe it while they’re going in is  that you feel as if you are suffocating yourself and you can’t stop it.  I would sit there and start to cry which certainly doesn’t help because everything in your mouth and nose start to constrict when one doest that.  Every muscle in your nasal passage and throat have to be completely relaxed when those tubes are slid into you.
Eventually something more awful then the tubes being inserted happened to me while I was at the first hospital.  They strapped me into the bed!!! Yes, they did! They did this  so I wouldn’t be able to pull the hoses out any more.  I said that I wouldn’t.  They didn’t believe me. ( I wouldn’t have either but it was certainly worth a shot)     The worst thing about the restraints was that I had been  diagnosed with panic disorder pre-accident and took Paxil every day  for it.   One of the worst things that you can do to a person with panic disorder is restrain them .  Even medicated it made me feel like I was going crazy.  I remember screaming out into the night darkness  HELP ME!!! ANYONE HELP ME!!!  No one came, no one answered.    This was my lowest of low during my entire stay at both hospitals and I have to state that it was not accident induced, a side effect of any medication but a result of ineffective care by the staff at the hospital.  I don’t know how but they should or could have done something differently for me in this case.  It was shear terror that I felt except for one similar incident that I felt at the next hospital in which that had to restrain me in a similar yet different way.

I’m jumping way ahead here but I said I would as this incident is so similar.  At this point I was at the tbi rehabilitation facility and it was at in patient facility in which I was not permitted to get out of bed alone.  I did not see this as reasonable as I thought that I was “capable”.   Their answer to this was to put an enclosure around my bed in which I could not escape. It was like a netted cage that completely encompassed my bed. They zipped it from the outside so I didn’t have access to any opening at all unless I rang for help.  Again, as I mention beforehand I have agoraphobia and can’t be in enclosed places or restrained and this didn’t work out to well for them however.  I was to blame in their minds.  Not them for mishandling the patient.  I only wanted to walk from my bed to the bathroom at night if I had to go.  Really, restraining was not necessary.

Wheelchairs were another issue. They wanted me to push my own but I didn’t want to do it some days.  I think some nurses were just lazy.  Sorry,  but it is what it is.  To make them I tried to prove my point by wheeling myself down the hall backwards and say how  is this for a liability issue;-) Not being permitted to  walk to the bathroom at night! HA!  Who got the last laugh there?

I'm inserting an edit here as I said that I would because I remembered something else horrible in my eyes as a pt. 
When I was in  the hospital and I think that it happened as soon as I was admitted.  It  was while I was in a coma to try and get my temperature down.  This is what they did. THEY PUT ME ON ICE SHEETS/BLANKETS!! Unbelievably cold, teeth chattering for what seemed to be hours on end but I'm sure that it wasn't.  They had to to get my temperature down to a level that it wouldn't effect my brain.

 Side note: Side Affects from TBI - Cognitive, sight, memory, neurological. a list of these that are affected by tbi can be found at.

As an aside I will admit to throwing cans of soda at the nurses as they walked in my room because they had never came to take me to the restroom when I had called for assistance to the restroom.  They had  left me to do my business in bed.  This also led me to calling 911 on the telephone several times because I thought that it justified an “emergency” situation.  When my sister (caregiver) was notified of this she did not find it humorous and was angry as a hornet when she found out why I had called 911 repeatedly.  She came to the hospital at once and had a word with the head nurse.  I never had to call 911 or throw another pop .  However  my attempt for “help” was not documented as  the staffs lack of attendance.   it was once again turned around on me as being a “difficult” patient.  Where's the justice there for tbi patients?