An “Advance” New Year’s Resolution

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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 you to find some peace-of-mind for yourself, ...

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

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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 “cyberchondria” has been around for 20 years ...

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Preventing a Deadly Outcome from a Visit to the Doctor

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Today I’m sharing an experience with you in hopes of preventing something we do but don’t think about; something which can be dangerous.

At a recent doctor appointment, I found two people in the waiting room just hacking away, coughing up a storm, and very likely infecting others. They were together, and there for only a minute before the nurse took them back to the exam room, removing them from proximity to the rest of us who were waiting. I went ...

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The Surgical Assembly Line

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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 than ever before.

I thought of both when ...

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Ac-cen-tu-ate – the Negative?

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It’s time to take a trip with the Way-Back Machine to a song many of us heard when we were kids – because our parents played it on the radio or record player. We all sang along!

With lyrics by Johnny Mercer, and sung by Ella Fitzgerald (that’s Ella in the photo above), the song “Ac-cen-tu-ate the Positive” became popular in the mid-1940s, with its very (yes) positive message of how we should focus our lives.. on ...

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“When I’m Sixty-Four” and If I’m Alone….

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Back in 2004, I was between husbands, and in my early 50s. As silly as that may sound (“between husbands”), the truth was, I spent 18 years with that status, between divorce and remarriage… and I was alone.

“Alone” is the key to today’s post.

Back in 2004, I was also diagnosed with a rare and terminal lymphoma. Yes – terminal – and yet here I am writing about it in 2019. You can read the story in ...

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The Folly of Driving to the ER

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Hugh, a gentleman of about 68 years, lived alone. Hugh wasn’t feeling well. It was just a general feeling that something – who knows what? – just wasn’t right.

After a short while, Hugh walked over to see Phil, his next door neighbor. Phil agreed to drive Hugh to the Emergency Room.

It took them about 30 minutes to get there. Hugh signed in, and together he and Phil sat down in the waiting room. Within 15 minutes, Hugh keeled over, out ...

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A HUGE Step Forward for Patients: BCPA

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When you run into problems with the legal system, who do you call?  A lawyer, of course.

When you run into problems with your taxes, who do you call?  An accountant, of course.

If you have trouble with your hair, you call a hairdresser. If the wires or pipes in your house give out, you call a plumber or electrician….

Each of these service careers is represented by skilled professionals who have earned credentials through national certification programs. When you go in search ...

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OK, But What’s the Question?

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In my previous life as a speaker and writer on patient empowerment issues, I received email, even postal mail (meaning, yes, someone paid for a stamp!) from patients who were being challenged in some way by the healthcare system. Sometimes I would hear from 8 or 10 people in a week, 25, 30 or more a month.

Their stories were often sickening and terrifying. At the least they were frustrating to read (even more so to live through, I’m sure) and ...

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

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There are many names now being used to describe those of the baby-boomer generation who are aging and alone. “Elder Orphans” or “Solo Seniors” are two of them; describing the concept of someone who is older and has no family or younger friends to help them in time of medical crisis (or any other life-assisting event like moving, or shifting financial needs.)

  • Who can help them make end-of-life decisions?
  • Who can make decisions for them if they get sick?
  • Who can help them ...
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