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November 21, 2005

Questioning Michael Schiavo's mental state

Topics: Terri Schiavo's Life Matters

Karen Ward, RN has written a very detailed study about some of the factors that were missing in the Schiavo case, factors that could have affected either Terri or Michael.

In his 1993 deposition Michael Schiavo admitted that he was taking Valrelease, a drug that is presribed as an anti-depressant, and sometimes for use with people who have back problems. (Considering the nature of Michael's work as a nurse I doubt that he needed Valrelease for a back problem ). It is also used for people who have bipoloar disorder.

What is intriguing is that everyone, from Bernie McCabe's office down failed to take Michael Schiavo's prescription drugs into account, and they totally failed to investigate whether or not he had violent tendencies towards his now departed wife Theresa Schindler-Schiavo.

The article written by Karen Ward is very comprehensive, and there is one very interesting conclusion that she has reached, which again the police and everyone else involved in Terri's case failed to recognize.

One of the drugs that was in the apartment was the antihistamine Seldane. If this particular drug is combined with any of the other drugs that she discusses, there could be a major reaction - such as the reaction that Terri had on the morning that she collapsed.

Karen's questions and conclusions raise new lines of questioning about what might have happened that morning. For example, although Terri had a toxicology study when she reached the hospital, that study was not comprehensive and it failed to look for the ingestion of something like Seldane.

Terri had an allergic condition and Michael had stated that she had used the Seldane. What if Terri had a reaction to the Seldane?
What if the Seldane had caused her heart to suddenly beat faster, and as a result she found that she could not breathe, and passed out? What if she had taken a medication with pseudoephedrine as well as the Seldane? Could she have had an unusual reaction to that medication? If Terri had a reaction to the Seldane, it is possible that it disturbed the electrical system of her heart. The reaction that this disturbance causes is not a heart attack, but it causes one to grey out and if steps are not taken one can collapse because of the disturbance to the heart from the irregular heartbeat.

So why is it that the hospital staff failed to investigate these possibilities?

Update (by Tim): note that when this post was restored it was inadvertently attributed to Richard, as were a number of other posts. The author was actually Maggie. Sorry about the mix-up.

Posted by at November 21, 2005 5:09 PM

Tonight is the night that you have descended to the depths of Greta, Rita, et al.

I have visited for the very last time - and I will invoke my authority as netops mgr for a very large network - to see fit that a few others don't find their way here either.

(omitted by administrator for language) are you thinking dragging this subject out again - is it November sweeps for bloggers too?

Good bye, Hyscience. Hello, Zip code called reality.

Rocklin, CA

Posted by: Steve W at November 21, 2005 9:44 PM

Harry, you blew it, big time.

Most nurses in hospitals have back problems. You might want to try shifting the elderly, bed-ridden--who now weigh in at an average of 225 pounds.

Very few hospitals have overhead lift systems, and they are too understaffed to follow Workers Compensation and Nurses Association guidelines (and you can forget about seniors homes and smaller patient-care hospitals).

Posted by: dayo at November 21, 2005 10:05 PM

First of all, Harry did not post the above post, and neither did Richard.

It was posted by Maggie in Australia, then when the site went down and was reconstituted, categories and authors got scrambled, resulting in my name showing up as the author (likely to be fixed sometime tonight along with some other problems that Tim is still working on.

Irregardless, Maggie posted on an item of interest to her, and to a lot of people still troubled over trends in the U.S. and elsewhere toward euthanasia.

While we'd like to meet the needs and interests of all readers, and we'd like to continue having Steve and Dayo as readers, we can't please everyone all of the time, and won't have everyone agree with all of our posters - all of the time.

As for Steve, your quite welcome to "invoke your authority," and I am much impressed that you have some to invoke. If you are so impassioned on the issue of euthanasia, you probably won't be happy with a lot of the other life issue - related topics that we often post on. We'll always welcome you back, but of course you're free to do as you wish - with our blessing

As for dayo, fuss at me good buddy, not Harry. After all, I may have not written the post, but my name is on it, at least until Tim gets the rest of the site corrections made.

And folks just might want to read the information at the link, you'll find that there's much more to the story than Maggie mentioned.

Posted by: Richard at November 21, 2005 10:30 PM

One more little thing, you might want to read the linked article before you jump on that back problem issue, I think you may find the point you make about the weight of patients and back problems of nursing staffs to be right on, but when applied to Michael Schiavo, a little off the mark.

Again, in the article, the entire issue is more about the pharmacology of psychotropic combinations, and less about back trouble medications. Interestingly, the article takes a peek at a possible logical explanation for Terri to have collapsed due to her having taken some of Michael's meds. The article cuts both ways.

Posted by: Richard at November 21, 2005 11:21 PM

It goes to show that people who do not know the facts jump to all sorts of wrong conclusions, and the vehemence of the comments here prove my point.

First of all, my aside about Michael becoming a nurse was a sarcastic comment. The point of the comment happened to be that at the time that Terri collapsed he was a manager of a restaurant, not a nurse. If his back was so bad that he needed a drug like Valrelease then I cannot see how he contemplated nursing as a career option, knowing full well that lifting might be involved.

Second, my late sister was a nurse's aide. From what I understand about what happened to her, it is believed that she did get a back injury due to her work. That injury turned out to be bone cancer. I have lots of friends who are nurses and so I am well aware of what is required. This knowledge prompted my comment in the first place.

Third, Richard is correct to point out that the nurse who wrote the article, has given a lot of detail about the interaction of certain drugs, and importantly she has raised an issue that was never contemplated or investigated at the time. Karen has explained that whilst Terri was alive a lot of the information that has now come her way was hidden and she was unable to use her wonderful skills in attempting to solve what actually happened on the morning that Teri collapsed.

As of this moment, we still have a mystery that implicates Michael Schiavo as the perpetrator of some possible form of violence towards his wife. A collapse due to the action of Seldane upon Teri's system is very much on the cards since this was her prescribed medication, and the only medication that Michael admitted that she took. Having read what Karen had to say about Seldane I can instantly relate because of an incident in my own life as a result of taking two CODRAL cold and flu tablets, when I ended up with fast heartbeats and almost blacking out. This is not a heart attack but the rhythmn of the heart is disrupted and one is not able to breathe properly which then causes the syncope. There is a possibility that this might have happened to Teri if she was suffering from sinusitis at that point in time and she took Seldane for relief. (In my own case, which was investigated by a heart specialist, I had an electrical disturbance to the heart). Karen then made some excellent points about what can happen if any of the drugs taken by Michael were also ingested (accidentally) by Teri.

The only other explanation for that collapse is that there was an argument and that Michael attempted to strangle Teri, via the policeman's hold, which would also explain the injury to her neck.

Neither of these points were ever investigated because of the shoddy police work. The hospital is also culpable for not pursuing all possible avenues in the attempt to find out why Terri collapsed in the first place.

It is also worth noting that in a variety of testimonies, people have stated that Michael Schiavo came across as a man to fear. That is a sign of bipolar disorder, not a bad back as Michael claimed was the reason for taking Valrelease. My own scepticism about the prescribing of Valrelease as a back medication also stemmed from my own back pain history. The only time I was prescribed Valium happened to be after I had fractured and dislocated my coccyx and I was put into hospital for some treatment. Apparently I was supposed to remain quiet in bed or something like that. At no other time, even when I have had severe back pain from the muscles contracting have I been prescribed something like that. If Valrelease was being used for something like that, then a lot of patients with fibromyalgia would have been using it... hence my own scepticism about why it was prescribed to Michael Schiavo in the first place. Yes, this is very relevant if a murderer is being allowed to remain free because no one will investigate the truth. Yes, it is relevant because this is the worst case of spousal abuse (psychological abuse is still a potent form of abuse) that I have ever come across.

Posted by: Maggie4Life Author Profile Page at November 22, 2005 12:09 PM

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