The mud is deep and thick and black. The smoothness of its surface is deceiving, drawing me closer to it with promises of contentment. It lures those who dare to tread upon it into its hidden depths. Hopes are dashed as one struggles for freedom. It is tenacious: Lift one foot upward and the other sinks deeper into Mother Earth. A sense of futility in escaping its grasp erodes the ...

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I’ve been concerned lately. Here’s why. In 2001, I got sick with what the doctors assumed was an acute viral infection, but I never recovered. I’m mostly housebound, often bedbound. My diagnosis is the little understood (but much misunderstood) myalgic encephalomyelitis, also known as chronic fatigue syndrome or ME/CFS. I describe it as “the flu without the fever.” This means that fatigue is only one of many symptoms I contend with ...

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In a recent article for Pain Medicine News, "4 Steps Every Provider Must Take Before Prescribing an Opioid," two lawyers detail the voluminous documentation doctors must collect and maintain to protect themselves against all these new anti-opioid rules. When even so many doctors don't understand chronic pain, it's no surprise that lawyers don't either. They are trying to fit the practice of pain management into a ...

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Eye contact is one of the most basic mammalian traits that signals an interaction. Anybody who has a dog or cat at home sees on a daily basis how much animals value eye contact (and with dogs, it signals you’ve lost the battle!). In the case of health care, during frequent emotional exchanges between two human beings, it naturally follows then that simple eye contact has to be at the ...

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John and I met as young children and were high-school sweethearts. We married and put him through college and had four children during the process. He joined the Air Force to pay for medical school, and we spent four years overseas to help pay off the costs of his education. We recently counted how many years of his life were spent being educated. If you go back to the beginning and ...

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When you enter the doors of an emergency department, what you are entering is the realm of the unknown. Needles, blood, blaring alarms and all-nighters with nurses are about to become your new norm. For your whole life, you thought good food, sleep, and TV reruns could fix anything. But those are in short supply in a place you need it the most. Oh, and when else in your adult ...

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My local hospital in an affluent suburb of New York City displays its Outstanding Patient Experience Award 2018 and Magnet Recognized status on its website. My experiences tell a different story. This hospital is located approximately five to seven minutes from my home and is my go-to in an emergency. I have multiple medical conditions, which despite my best efforts sometimes require emergency care and unfortunately admission. I was working ...

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As we have moved into the 21st century, we have witnessed a deterioration in our perception of our doctors of medicine. This has been a gradual, eroding process, quite possibly by the design of those in powers of authority in our government, health insurance corporations and the plethora of health care corporations. The assumption might have been to make these changes in the mode of operation gradually so that they ...

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Part 1 of a series. The battle I walk into my parents’ home to pick my mom up for a family gathering. And like most days over the past few weeks, palpable sorrow greets me at the door. Our old dog lies sleeping on the couch, heavy with years, she’s difficult to rouse. She finally welcomes me with a geriatric tail wag and labored breathing. I glance at the ...

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Health care safety efforts have long focused on improving the behavior of providers and improving the systems of care. A proven model of safety is in the airline industry. There are undoubtedly many parallels between airline safety and health care working toward common goals. This work should continue in both industries to ensure the safety of the people they serve. The airline safety model, though, can only look at health care ...

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