medical decision making

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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Aging and Alone? Who Will Hold Your Hand Through Healthcare Challenges?

There are terms used to describe those who are aging and alone. “Elder Orphans” is one. “Solo Seniors” is another. Both describe the concept of someone who is older and has no family or younger friends to help out in time of medical crisis (or, for that matter, any other life-assisting event like moving, or shifting financial needs.) If these terms describe you, then you may be asking yourself questions like:

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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Prepare for the Hospital – A Checklist for Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic

woman hospitalized for COVID

With thanks to advocate and guest blogger, Kim McIlnay.  Find Kim’s advocacy profile here: Together Patient Advocates, LLC Under the best of circumstances, a hospital stay is stressful and uncomfortable. New challenges with the current COVID pandemic make this a time fraught with even more worry, uncertainty and isolation. But there are still many things you can do to prepare. I’m hopeful that these brief tips can help you prepare now for an improved hospitalization …

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An “Advance” New Year’s Resolution

notebook

Happy 2020 to you, my “patient” readers. I wish you much good health and happiness and importantly, peace-of-mind in this new year. OK – yes – it’s mid-January, so it might be a wee-bit late to be listing our resolutions for the year, but that doesn’t make this piece of advice any less important. I want to share something with you that has brought ME some huge peace of mind. And I’m going to challenge …

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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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The Surgical Assembly Line

When I think of an assembly line, two images pop into my head: The I Love Lucy Chocolate Factory episode where Lucy and Ethel are trying to wrap chocolates (and eat them too!) and can’t possibly keep up. My high school history class, when we learned about Henry Ford’s invention of the concept of an assembly line, where hundreds of cars were being assembled in one day. It revolutionized manufacturing, helping companies produce much more …

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Treat Your Human Body Like You Treat Your Car

leg wound

My friend Janet has a bad wound on her leg. It has been there for two months, and just looks worse and worse. Now it looks so bad she doesn’t even want to leave the house. “What does your doctor say about it?” I asked her. “I’ve been back to him five times!”, she responded. “He keeps giving me antibiotics, but it doesn’t seem to get any better.” “Five times???” I asked her, incredulously. It …

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Busting the Cure Balloon and Finding a Workable Solution

popping balloon image

“The cure cannot come soon enough.”  As someone who works in healthcare, and who speaks to patients and their loved ones every day, this is a statement I hear frequently. Whether we’re talking about someone’s cancer diagnosis, or Alzheimer’s Disease, or ALS, or MS, or diabetes…  it seems to be everyone’s hope – that a cure is on the horizon. When my father was alive, and in his 24th year after his prostate cancer diagnosis, …

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