Winning Gmail entry #4

It’s been awhile since I’ve received any submissions for my remaining Gmail invites. I still have 3 more left. Send me any entertaining, medically-related story or article, and I’ll give a Gmail invite to what I find interesting. I give preference to entries that are well-written.

This morning, I received this story from someone who works with the developmentally disabled. An eye-opener to say the least.

I work for a nonprofit that funds services for developmentally disabled folks. We constantly have to battle medical professionals to provide decent medical care for our consumers. Physicians need to be educated in developmental disabilities, to realize that people with Autism or mental retardation, for example, can experience quality of life just like their non-disabled peers. I have had clients diagnosed with dementia who were in their 40’s and had nothing wrong other than mild mental retardation. We have a physician on staff who spends a great deal of his time ensuring that our clients who go into the hospital are not automatically issued a DNR (illegal to do so, but it happens with our clients – I guess they think it’s not worth it to resuscitate someone who is retarded and nonverbal)? We often have to work very hard to advocate for our clients, just so they can obtain medical and dental care. Some doctors refuse to order routine or needed tests. For example, we have a client who is currently in a skilled nursing facility. He had a G-tube that kept coming out, and the nurses at the SNF could not reinsert it so they sent him to the hospital. His physician at the hospital sent him back to the SNF without an evaluation from a speech therapist and without a swallow test to see if was in danger of aspirating. The physician said that he didn’t need a G-tube, and to feed him by mouth from now on. I’d like the medical community to be aware that people with developmental disabilities are PEOPLE, and have many of same capabilities as the non-disabled, and can and do live happy, fulfilling, quality lives. They deserve to have the same medial care and attention as anyone!

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