Embarrassment is a feeling of awkward self-consciousness or shame. It manifests as a sense of discomfort or even foolishness around others. Feeling embarrassed is emotionally painful because it means you feel uncomfortable with yourself. The problem with embarrassment is that it adds a layer of mental suffering to the difficulties you’re already facing with your health. Here are four reasons why those of us who are chronically ill feel embarrassed at ...

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Running late for school in the morning.

Again.

You yell upstairs to your daughter, “Hurry up.”

While she’s slipping on her sneakers and hustling out the door, you grab her backpack from the chair in the dining room. “Wow,” you think. “That’s heavy.”

Even when she’s soaking wet, your daughter weighs all of seventy pounds. You wonder, “Is that backpack too heavy for her? Can it be damaging her ...

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An excerpt from Ending Back Pain: 5 Powerful Steps to Diagnose, Understand, and Treat Your Ailing Back. Copyright © by Jack Stern, MD, PhD. Published by Avery. All rights reserved. Most feelings of discomfort in life have clear solutions. For a stuffy nose, decongestants do the trick. For a pounding headache, ...

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The younger you are when you are exposed to opioids, the higher the likelihood of addiction later in life. The prefrontal cortex is not fully formed until the age of 25. This means that alterations in the “feel-good” neurotransmitters, specifically dopamine (released by opioids), can have an effect that predisposes the person towards future opioid use. Because teenagers have an overactive impulse to seek pleasure and less ability to consider the ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 67-year-old man is evaluated for a carotid bruit detected on routine medical examination. He reports no history of previous focal neurologic symptoms or visual loss. He has type 2 diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia treated with metformin, moderate-intensity pravastatin, and aspirin. On physical examination, blood pressure is 128/64 mm Hg, ...

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Janelle had overdosed 32 times. Fentanyl coursed through her veins as she was given naloxone (Narcan) for the 32nd time in the ER, from the police, from a bystander. She could never get off of fentanyl. It had made her feel warm and numbed her from the trauma and horrors she had grown accustomed to. When she would wake up in the hospital, sore and discombobulated, she would beg for help. She ...

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An excerpt from With Mirth and Laughter: Finding Joy in Medicine After Cancer. I am sitting in the waiting area for the one year follow up appointment with my oncologist, Dr. Anne Blaes. Using the handy phone app, “How Long Ago,” I see it’s been eleven months, nine days, five ...

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Who remembers Jack Kevorkian, Doctor Death? He was found guilty in 1998 of second-degree murder. Still, it was because of his advocacy that the terminally ill patient's right to die by physician-assisted suicide was propelled into the public arena. And who can forget Brittany Maynard? It was her advocacy for physician-assisted suicide that reignited the debate on its legality in 2014 — but this ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 38-year-old woman is evaluated during a follow-up visit for primary membranous glomerulopathy. Diagnosis was made by kidney biopsy 4 months ago, and she was found to be positive for anti–phospholipase A2 receptor (PLA2R) antibodies. Medications are furosemide, losartan, and simvastatin. Recent age- and sex-appropriate cancer screening tests were ...

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You’ve probably heard this one in one format or another: kid gets wisdom teeth yanked, dentist prescribes a handful of Vicodin, next thing you know, he’s on the street busking for change to pay the man for the big H. Meanwhile, the dentist is on cruises paid by Big Pharma and taking kickbacks from his local drug dealers. This author is here to tell you that such yarns have probably been verified, ...

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