We greatly appreciate all the help and feedback from the Open Ideo Community in furthering our mission. We congratulate the winners of this challenge and look forward to improvements in the lives of carers and care recipients through all contributors.
Today is a day for speaking about mental health in Canada supported by a campaign called "Bell Lets Talk". Honestly everyday should have a few minutes dedicated for speaking about mental health and emotional hygiene.
Over the past week I became quite exhausted and ill while taking care of my mom. I have now recovered and I'm happy that my mom has recovered very well from an ischemic seizure.
Part of the reason for my cold and cough I'd say was the travel from Canada to India and the particular flue season in northern hemisphere. The other part was trying to convince my mom to take appropriate steps to recover after her incident.
On the first day she was discharged form the hospital she was having difficulty completing sentences. She absolutely refused the idea of recording her speech and viewing herself recover. In the following days as her speech recovered she complained about severe dizziness. We went to the hospital and the doctor adjusted her medication. The dizziness could have been a side effect and now she seems better.
During the last month I made a gratitude video each night along with a message to myself about what to look forward to in the next day. I then watched the video the next morning at scheduled time to positively improve my mental hygiene and orient myself to the thing I was looking forward to. This is a personal adaption of the extinction method and positive psychology from my masters research.
I boost my positivity and ability to reflect on daily achievements through the videos. Every morning, I recount the help I received from people and feel grateful for my situation by watching myself expressing genuine gratitude for factual events of the previous day. This high fidelity information helps me avoid illusory positive sentiments. I further boost genuine satisfaction in a day’s work by extinguishing sentiments of dissatisfaction by merely excluding them from my daily video logs. I can feel that this has helped me improve my relationships and to stay motivated. It has kept me going so that I can produce my best work in building a pioneering cognitive science company from scratch with Krysta.
But here is the hard truth: In none of the videos did I ever express that I was looking forward to dealing with my mom or going to the hospital with her. I hate hospitals. And I really reached my wit's end in trying to convince my mom to comply with her prescriptions. She is extremely well educated, a linguistics professor and one of the three living people in the world who can translate Sanskrit to Arabic. Yet, she is utterly stubborn about doing things the way she wants to do instead of following medical advice.
The cardiologist we met just didn't take the time to council her, the neurologist tried a bit but mostly nodded and mumbled. Finally, three days ago the pulmonologist took quite a bit of time to explain what each of her medicines was supposed to do and how her routine was supposed to help. He took a lot of time to deal with her questions and misgivings about medical prescriptions and reports. But towards the end he gave up with the sentence "Its my job to provide the prescription and the patient has a right to refusal of the treatment". I understand this ethical concern but her refusal of treatment was putting me into a mental crisis and ill health!
Two days ago my mom agreed to stick to her regime after seeing me unable to do my research work and out of concern for me she is taking better care of her self. I can only imagine how much harder it is for dementia carers who cannot reason with their loved one about simple things like eating or hygiene let alone complex medication or therapy routines.
Even though I have fair bit of experience and knowledge in this field I'm barely able to cope. And in the mean time, my neighbour who had a stroke three years ago is super enthusiastic in working with me and using BrightGuide. Her husband is a professor in physics and is extremely glad that I'm working to help his wife. They both are so gleeful to see evidence of the improvement through her rehabilitation regime in her videos. But in contrast, I can barely help my mom.
It seems attitudinal and personality traits of "openness to experience" and "agreeableness" are key to the success of a policy, program, product or service. If a person's belief system and attitude aren't conducive to accepting help, the task of helping the person becomes close to martyrdom.
I found out yesterday that my mom in India had a stroke and is now in a hospital. When I spoke to her she had difficulty understanding me and her speech was slurred. The doctors say that her MRI shows a small damage in the left part of her brain and that it isn't a haemorrhage.
I will be heading to Hyderabad, India on Jan 15th and will be working to help my mom recover using what I can.
Krysta will be working with families at Trinity Village in Canada and we hope that in the coming months we will be united again. We thank you all for your support and hope that you will support BrightGuide where ever we are in the globe.