Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Brought to our Knees

In case you haven't noticed, I started a Care List found in the column next to the posts. It is a place where concerns and needs are posted for anyone anywhere. In the last week, I have seen a trend that concerns me. Young mothers.

My daughter-in-law was one young mother who was in trouble when she delivered the twins. She was diagnosed with preeclampsia which is most often characterized by a rapid rise in blood pressure that can lead to seizure, stroke, multiple organ failure and death of the mother and/or baby. It can affect the mother and children the rest of their lives. So why didn't the doctors do more when they saw that Lisa was retaining so much water in her body and not throwing it off? Why weren't they more aggressive in preventing lifelong possible problems for all concerned? Why did they wait until it was full fledged preeclampsia to make their move?

Yesterday my friend told me of another friend whose daughter was rushed back to the hospital after going home with her newborn. She suffered peripartum cardiomyopathy. Her heart was crashing. A new mother with a rare heart condition that had not been diagnosed was fighting for her life. Was she thoroughly checked before she was released? Did they take enough time with a seemingly healthy mom to make sure she was indeed healthy? It is a rare condition and easily missed, I guess. But tell that to the baby.

My friend and I were talking that maybe doctors are afraid to do too much because of the risk of lawsuit. I find more and more that doctors don't really check you out by touching you. They ask a list of investigative questions. Far be it for a doctor to actually diagnose by hands-on. I'm not blaming the doctors. I think I'm blaming the lawyers who are so eager to take cases to court. Watch morning TV and see all the ads for ambulance chasers. I blame those people who decide to make a case where there is none causing hospitals and doctors to pay higher insurance fees and to avoid anything that might turn into a lawsuit.

We have a fairy tale vision of birth. Birth is not a done deal. Mothers and babies are at risk until that child and mother are home and well. A mother gives all for the welfare of her child. Sometimes she truly does risk all. Women often died in childbirth back in the 'olden' days. Even when I was having my babies some forty years ago, women were at risk. I'm wondering if we have become so dependent on a system that we believe to be modernized that we forget the problems that can still take lives and alter the future health of the mother and child. I know there are grandparents caring for their grandchildren because of such circumstances.

Today a care was brought to me for a new mommy who was hit by a semi truck. She is in very critical condition. Another new mom struck down. A child who may never know her mother. My heart goes out to these new mommies who are so excited to begin this journey with their new babies. The fathers who are looking forward to sharing a life with the new mom raising their children. Parents who have their hearts torn out when their child suffers. Parents beginning again in their later years helping to raise babies. Mothers torn from their children.

Perhaps I'm a bit pulled under today by the sadness I feel for these families. I'm feeling helpless. We live in unknowns. We live trusting doctors to care for us. We live trusting that happiness comes with new babies. We feel invincible most of the time. All too often we are brought to our knees. This is the reason I added the Care List. There is a power in the energy we all have within us. Combine this energy, and we can create miracles. We can create a world of the caring heart. Each day on Facebook posts inform me of concerns. I add the names to my list. Each day at work I help people find get well card, encouragement cards, sympathy cards. I add these people to my list. This is a list not just for me. It is for you and your concerns as well. You can email me your concerns, and I will add them to the list.

The power of the caring heart. You and me. A list that brings us to our knees.

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