Category Archives: Patient

A patient imagines a conversation with Alexa

0 Shares Share Tweet Share When Hubby isn’t around to act as a sounding board, when I’m not feeling well, I talk to my dog.  She sometimes gets a fearful, tearful earful.  I think if I could channel her thoughts to Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant, our conversation might go something like this: Me: Alexa, it took seven … Continue reading

Our doctors are feeling the emotional burden of the state of health care

3 Shares Share Tweet Share Death is an inevitable part of the journey of life. We all have experienced its effects: the death of a family member, the death of a friend or those special individuals who we might have barely known but who left an indelible mark upon our consciousness of living. I will … Continue reading

How to be a merry widow

3 Shares Share Tweet Share An excerpt from How To Be A Merry Widow – Life after Death for the Older Lady. You are like an animal cut off from the herd; people are social beings and need to be with others. The very word ‘”solitary” brings fear even to the most hardened criminal. Familiar … Continue reading

A veteran tells an unexpected story

1 Shares Share Tweet Share “You ever work with vets?” asks the young man sitting across from me in the hospital waiting room. He’s been sitting there all morning. So have I. Since 5:30 a.m., my father-in-law, 88, has been undergoing surgery to remove a tumor in his lung. The surgeons just sent word that … Continue reading

Blame the pain, not the opioids

503 Shares Share Tweet Share I’ve noticed a frightening trend in the latest research on patients taking prescribed opioids: whatever the negative outcomes, researchers attribute them to the opioid medications instead of the underlying pain. The many detrimental outcomes these studies find are exactly what you’d expect from a person suffering long-term chronic pain. They … Continue reading

The value of personal narratives in addiction treatment and integrated care

51 Shares Share Tweet Share I was standing behind my trolley in our local supermarket when, in my wallet, I came across that drawing of a human heart. In the miniature pen-and-ink composition, the heart is suspended between two birds’ wings. At the bottom is a dateline: Opioid Vigil, October 19, 2012. Memory is a … Continue reading

A wife who couldn’t fully accept her spouse’s health problems

123 Shares Share Tweet Share My husband, who’s had type 2 diabetes for 20 years, had been struggling for a long while to lower his hemoglobin A1C — a number that measures how well he’s managing his blood sugar over time. When he and I finally investigated the issue, it turned out that someone close … Continue reading

Patients turn to GoFundMe when money and hope run out

2 Shares Share Tweet Share Tammy Fox wanted to help after a friend took ill with a rare and difficult-to-diagnose autoimmune disorder that required many trips to the Mayo Clinic. Although Fox couldn’t do anything medically, she knew there was a way to ease some of the burden of medical bills and costs associated with … Continue reading

Healers: Peel away the layers

14 Shares Share Tweet Share The mud is deep and thick and black. The smoothness of its surface is deceiving, drawing me closer to it with promises of contentment. It lures those who dare to tread upon it into its hidden depths. Hopes are dashed as one struggles for freedom. It is tenacious: Lift one … Continue reading

The dilemmas faced by the chronically ill as they age  

15 Shares Share Tweet Share I’ve been concerned lately. Here’s why. In 2001, I got sick with what the doctors assumed was an acute viral infection, but I never recovered. I’m mostly housebound, often bedbound. My diagnosis is the little understood (but much misunderstood) myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome or ME/CFS. I … Continue reading