My family and close friends have done so much for me since I became chronically ill in 2001, and I’m deeply grateful to them. I’ve written this piece because there are a few important things I want them to know about how I feel. Although this piece is personal in nature, I’ve been hanging out online for over a dozen years with other people who are chronically ill (which includes those ...

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shutterstock_131122526 She is a time traveler. She spends an hour with each patient, takes note of each symptom, listens to each emotional concern, takes every call from every worried patient, handles all emergency situations, fills every prescription, handles each every insurance concern, breaks bad news gently, does her hospital rounds, yet is never late to see those in the waiting room. She treats ...

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Being sick isn’t easy, but neither is being the sibling of someone who’s sick. We’ve shared many stories about children who are living with a serious illness. We’ve talked about their disease, what life is like for them, how they cope in such dire circumstances. But in all of these conversations, one thing we’ve overlooked is telling the stories of the brothers and sisters who sometimes feel that they live in ...

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Dr. Peterson, the radiation oncologist, gets right to the point. "The medical center's tumor board has concluded that your cancer is inoperable, incurable and untreatable," he says flatly. "Any chemotherapy or radiation treatments would be palliative in nature." He begins explaining the reasons behind the board's verdict, but everything he's saying washes out. My mind stopped working as soon as I heard the words "incurable" and "palliative." I am sliding into shock. Dr. ...

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It started with a mild case of nausea and got progressively worse. I became dizzy and shaky, but tried to ignore it. There was work to be done that afternoon. We were moving boxes into storage at my in-laws’ house in Michigan, and I needed to be strong. I carried boxes on unsteady feet, catching myself before bumping into walls. By early evening my legs were wobbly, and I felt ...

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shutterstock_107400536 This is an open love letter about my left leg. I broke it at a roller derby scrimmage in Detroit on September 6. It was my third time representing the Glass City Rollers on the road and the beginning of a long ordeal that has given me plenty of opportunity to reflect on my body and my wellness goals. Before this injury, my ...

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shutterstock_223599997 With roughly 1 billion in Medicare reimbursement dollars being tied to patient satisfaction, it’s no wonder the focus on patient experience is swelling. Of course there are other factors fueling the focus -- the proliferation of online physician ratings websites, ACOs, and CG-CAHPS to name a few. Over the past decade I have visited 100+ different inpatient and outpatient ...

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Jewish history has all too often been written in tears … I am fascinated by people and groups with the capacity to recover, Who, having suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Are not defeated by them but fight back, Strengthened and renewed. - Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, PhD,To Heal a Fractured World In some situations, the whole idea of complete recovery from bereavement makes no sense.  Bereavement can be fully expected to last a lifetime.  ...

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I have been a victim of diagnostic overshadowing by a primary care physician.  I’ve been dealing with major depressive disorder, recurrent, severe and anorexia for twenty-five years -- practically my entire adult life.  However, I work full-time and I’m a published writer.  At the time I saw this PCP, I was on hefty doses of Cymbalta (an antidepressant) and Abilify (an antipsychotic which can also be used to boost the effects of an ...

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shutterstock_134903705 My illness has been as hard on my caregiver-husband as it’s been on me. I know how fortunate I am that he’s stuck around and that he never complains about the extra burdens he’s had to take on. My heart goes out to those of you who don’t have someone to care for you in this way. This piece covers several ways ...

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