Chronic pain affects almost every aspect of a person’s life. I know because I live with it every day. Here are five seldom-recognized and, thus, seldom-understood consequences of living with chronic pain. 1. Sleep deprivation Some people with chronic pain can find a sleeping position that allows their pain to subside enough to fall asleep. I usually can. Unfortunately, something that worked when I turned the lights out can wake me up ...

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It's been a rough and difficult year for us. Separation, desperation, depression, illness, and death are scattered among the months that have passed by.  Hope, for the longest time, seemed non-existent. The COVID virus gave the world a "sucker punch," leveling us all to the ground. Positivity test rates sky-rocketed, death rates at unacceptable levels. The days have been dark. Faulty political power plays brought havoc upon our country when we ...

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Some years ago, my husband and I sat with his mother at her kitchen table and went over advance care planning documents her doctor had given her. She was in her mid-70s then, living independently but managing several chronic health issues.

The documents included a living will, which specified the kind of care she wished to receive – or not receive – if she were unable to ...

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My heart pumps rhythmically, as does yours, and aches when sadness strikes. I am stressed and discouraged when I feel I have no control over an illness that invades my body.  Is this not true for you as you lay in your bed at night, feeling that "your best was not good enough" to help your patient? We enter this world and we will leave it someday; our mortality confronts us. Our ...

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Yes Virginia, there are still some doctors who truly care for their patients. On December 13, 1993, my husband Bill was playing golf.  Early in his round, he suffered a massive heart attack.  Bill was 56 years old.  Thanks to the staff and emergency room staff's quick action, Bill was stabilized by the ER physician.  That same afternoon, Bill suffered a second heart attack, and Dr. Robert Barden performed Bill’s first angioplasty. To make a ...

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"The practice of medicine is an art, not a trade; a calling, not a business; a calling in which your heart will be exercised equally with your head." - Sir William Osler One of the most sacred and intimate relationships is that which exists between patient and physician. A patient shares feelings and fears as he traverses the path of illness or chronic disease. As roadblocks in health emerge, a patient looks ...

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We live in a world today where there is misinformation in abundant supply. What we see and hear in the media one day seems to be reversed the following day. What to believe, who to believe? Our world appears to be in a state of turmoil, a state of contradictions. Amid all of this, people are struggling to find some sense of peace and balance in their lives. It is also ...

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I taught myself as a child how to lip read.  I needed something to help me know what was going on around me other than relying on my hearing aids.  I went to a deaf school as a kindergartner for all of three months and hated it, so my parents switched me over to the local public school system.  I was the first deaf student to be mainstreamed in that ...

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There are times when I feel that I am boxed-in by this unrelenting virus, COVID-19. This microscopic entity has put the majority of the world into lockdown, affecting all aspects of human life and social interaction.  The virus does not discriminate due to race, creed, or color. Be you rich or poor, a professional or laborer, you are fair game to be its next victim. It stealthily works its evil ...

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I walk this dark and winding path between wellness and illness, moving between darkness and light on this journey of life. As I move between well-being and an uneasy state of uncertainty, a roller-coaster of emotions moves over me. I am brought to my knees with doubt, restlessness, discontent, anger, and fear. At times, I feel heavy with the weight of the world upon my shoulders; other moments, I feel ...

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