An excerpt from How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide. Copyright 2015 by Toni Bernhard. Excerpted with permission from Wisdom Publications. "Freedom is instantaneous the moment we accept the way things are." - Karen Maezen Miller A well-known Buddhist story known as the Mustard Seed helped me ...

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After having an echocardiogram recently, I saw a cardiologist, which seemed the prudent thing to do.  I was not symptomatic, and I think the echo was pretty much unremarkable -- to use a bit of doctor's lingo.  I saw the word "mild" here and there in the report describing processes of my heart's functions.  When you're over seventy-three, "mild" sounds pretty all right.  Better than the word "acute," I figure.  ...

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If you weren’t aware of the prevalence and severity of diagnostic errors, (misdiagnosis, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis) maybe you should be now. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a new report called, Improving Diagnosis in Health Care. The report cited that most people will experience one or more diagnostic errors over their lifetimes. It also revealed that diagnostic errors contribute to 10 percent of patient deaths and account for up ...

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Since 1921, the Miss America competition has ignited public debate. Typically though, the controversy doesn’t revolve around a contestant’s attempt to convey the positive influences nurses have on their patients. Contestant Kelley Johnson’s decision to perform a monologue for the talent portion of the Miss America program was a surprising departure from traditional acts generally showcased. Her recent appearance in scrubs and a ponytail prompted ridiculing banter between hosts on ...

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An excerpt from How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide. Copyright 2015 by Toni Bernhard. Excerpted with permission from Wisdom Publications. "Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were." - Marcel Proust For the most part, I’ve adjusted to my new ...

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Dear health care industry: I think we have a serious problem, and I think we both deserve some of the blame.  Over the last couple of decades, I the patient have been demanding many things of you: reduced wait times, increased access to medications and procedures, more luxurious and colorful accommodations, and numerous scheduling conveniences among other things. Meanwhile, I have watched as an industry long-based on the revered call of service ...

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“Don't ever land in a teaching hospital on a holiday weekend, they always staff up with residents," noted a close friend who was all too familiar with the inner workings of hospitals. That statement sticks in my head heavily today as I prepare to visit my father’s year-old grave.  My father, a man that was involved in the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and private sector research societies for decades, ...

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On July 3, 2015, at approximately 2:00 a.m., I was awakened by my mobile phone ringing.  I looked at the number the call was originating from and was fearful this was the call I was dreading to receive.  My mother’s long-term care facility was calling, and the news was not good.  My mother was found without a pulse and was rushed to a local hospital. I called the emergency department of ...

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Have you ever been a patient? Yeah, me too. Many newly insured Americans will visit doctors’ offices this year. The average time you -- or anyone -- has with a primary care provider is 15 minutes. What’s a sick person to do? Happier patients make happier doctors. Here’s a helpful list that I’ve developed to help patient visits go smoother: 1. Pick three questions or concerns that you have for your doctor and write ...

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For years, and especially as he entered his nineties, my father kept begging me not to "dump" him into a nursing home. He had seen too many of his cronies abandoned in this way by family members; his visits with these friends left him feeling depressed and hopeless for days. I assured Dad that I'd never put him in a facility. It was an easy promise to make. I didn't want ...

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