When I spoke at the eHITS2014 Vancouver conference on health and technology recently, I was happy to share with the mostly-physician audience my enthusiasm for a new health care initiative called Flip The Clinic. Have you heard about it yet?
This Robert Woods Johnson Foundation project asks our health care providers to start thinking seriously “beyond the walls” about the way medicine is practiced during a doctor’s visit. Continue reading
Based on a post originally published here on May 13, 2012
This month marks both the occasion of my mother’s birthday (she would have turned 86 on May 7th) and, of course, Mother’s Day – the third Mother’s Day in a row that I didn’t send my Mom a card and flowers. That’s because she died two years ago on February 21st. Last month, she missed the birthdays of her first child (me) and her first grandchild (my own son, Ben) – but since the cruel diagnosis of vascular dementia invaded her brain cells some time ago, she’d long been unable to keep track of things like family birthdays anymore.
As Christopher Buckley wrote in his memoir, Losing Mum and Pup, when the last of your parents dies, you are an orphan:
“But you also lose the true keeper of your memories, your triumphs, your losses. Your mother is a scrapbook for all your enthusiasms. She is the one who validates and the one who shames, and when she’s gone, you are alone in a terrible way.” Continue reading
While I was in my hospital’s Coronary Care Unit recuperating from a heart attack, my longtime family physician knew nothing about what had just happened to her patient of over 32 years. At some point, a hospital report signed by the cardiologist in charge of my care was sent off to her (probably by fax – and by the way, can you name any other profession that still uses the fax machine as a mode of urgent communication?) Continue reading
by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters
While clinical psychologist Susan Silk was recuperating from surgery, she decided that she wasn’t feeling up to having any visitors. But when one of her work colleagues who really, really wanted to visit was asked to respect Susan’s request for privacy, her astonishing response to Susan was:
“This isn’t just about you!”
Well, actually, it was all about Susan, and only about Susan. Yet sometimes, our friends, family and other visitors seem to forget what to say – and what never to say – to people suffering a trauma, as Susan described in a Los Angeles Times article co-written with Barry Goldman last year.
In fact, her own experience as a patient prompted Susan to come up with a deceptively simple technique to help others avoid doing or saying the wrong thing. She claims that this technique works for all kinds of crises: medical, legal, financial, romantic, even existential. Susan calls it the Ring Theory: Continue reading
by Carolyn Thomas ♥ @HeartSisters
This guest post was originally posted online by Holly Strawbridge of Harvard Health Publications on June 25, 2012.
A heart attack is a life-changing event. For some people, surviving a heart attack brings renewed appreciation for life. For others, the event is so traumatic that worrying about having a second heart attack consumes their lives.
By the latest account, one in eight heart attack survivors experiences a reaction called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although PTSD is usually associated with extreme trauma such as war, rape or a natural disaster, heart attack survivors can experience the same key symptoms: flashbacks that occur as nightmares or intrusive thoughts. As a result, the survivor actively tries to avoid being reminded of the event and becomes hyper-vigilant worrying that it will happen again.
It’s a high price to pay for having your life spared. Continue reading