diagnosis and misdiagnosis

When the Answers Are Just Out of Reach

child trying to climb higher

The caller, named Barbara, was in tears, and at first it was difficult to understand what she needed – what she hoped I could help with. “I have no voice! They don’t hear me!” Barbara repeated that phrase several times – meaning – I could clearly hear her, so her statement made no sense to me. At least, it made no sense until I asked her what she was trying to voice – what could …

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It’s Time. And It’s Imperative.

For most of us, it’s been about 14 months since life came to a halt and we began our pandemic distancing and avoiding. For those who actually distanced and avoided appropriately, I say – well done! You did what you could to avoid not only getting sick with COVID yourself, but you helped keep others safe and healthy, too. Unfortunately, in the ying and yang of life, there is also a not-so-good side to that …

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Don’t Let Medical Professionals Make You Feel Guilty

scolding doctor

A recent post on social media caught my eye…. My husband was very clear. He didn’t want his life prolonged. But they guilted me into it! So I told them to go ahead and put him on a ventilator… I wish I hadn’t done that. I will always feel guilty. And, a comment from an email a few months ago…. They told me the only thing they could do was amputate my mother’s foot because …

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Gaslighting: When Your Doctor Tells You It’s All in Your Head

man with a headache

Jessie has trouble describing the pain in her stomach. It comes and goes. Sometimes it’s a stabbing pain, and sometimes its just dull. Sometimes it takes her breath away. She wants to know what causes the pain, and what can be done about it. She’s frightened; afraid it could be life threatening. She wants an accurate diagnosis. Jeremy suffers from headaches, sometimes 4 or 5 times a week. He has been unable to figure out …

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Getting Revenge in the Face of Malpractice

woman with boxing gloves

Sometimes when patients or caregivers do a search in the AdvoConnection Directory for an advocate to help them, they are unable to find someone. There are a number of reasons for that, such as believing an advocate needs to be local (she may not) or not finding someone who the searcher thinks has the skill set to help… When searchers can’t find someone, they are invited to post a request for their “unmet needs”. We, …

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Cancer and COVID-19: A Guide

camcer patient in radiation during covid-19

With thanks to advocate and guest blogger, Claire Thevenot. Find Claire’s advocacy profile here: Clarity Patient Advocates “COVID cancer sucks,” my client said.  She discovered a cancerous lump in her breast a couple of weeks ago and has had to go through the many initial appointments amid the chaos, isolation, and uncertainty of COVID-19. As if a cancer diagnosis isn’t daunting enough, dealing with cancer in a pandemic setting is especially frightening and challenging. If …

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“Invisible Patients” and the COVID Pandemic

telehealth

With thanks to advocate and guest blogger, Karen Leitson. Find Karen’s advocacy profile here: Personalized Healthcare Advocate Do you or does someone in your family have an unattended medical condition or illness that might be taking a back seat to the coronavirus public health crisis? There is never a “good time” to be sick or to have an ill family member, loved one or friend. But now, during this period of the Covid-19 pandemic, is …

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Understanding Coronovirus / COVID-19 Testing

With thanks to advocate and guest blogger, Angie Galatas. Find Angie’s advocacy profile here: Medical Advocacy Plus, LLC Antigen, antibody, viral, serology, these are intimidating words that show up in news articles, media, and insurance documents related to COVID-19. The pandemic has led us to become investigators of not only the virus, but the medical terminology associated with it. Many people are suffering from fear, uncertainty, and exhaustion, trying to decode the information, and this …

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Cyberchondria – Are we Putting Too Much Faith in Dr. Google?

cyberchondria

You may be reading this post because you are curious about that term – “cyberchondria.”  It’s not hard to figure out what it means. It means hypochondriac-ism as a result of doing online searches. More precisely, the act of diagnosing ourselves by using the web, then upsetting ourselves through our findings. It’s when we decide a headache is really brain cancer, or low blood sugar is translated as Parkinsons, or forgetfulness becomes Alzheimers. The word …

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When Your Provider Says, “It’s All in Your Head”

Infusion pump feeding IV drip into patients arm focus on needle

In a recent conversation with Annette, a young woman who has MS (multiple sclerosis), she described to me the first time she went for a drug infusion which had been prescribed by her neurologist. She arrived for the session using her walker, barely able to keep her balance. Exhausted, she was finally able to get comfortable in the infusion chair. As the nurse began setting up the needle and catheter injection system into her vein, …

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