Do you wake up these days thinking that you've been whisked off your feet by some strange force and dropped in some unidentifiable place, similar to what happened to Dorothy and Toto in the Wizard of Oz?  For the two of them, there was a happy ending. The ending of our current dilemma seems to be uncertain. As a patient with more than one chronic disease in my repertoire,  I find ...

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I’m writing this piece partly to celebrate the release of my new book, How to Be Sick: Your Pocket Companion, and partly, as always, to try and help readers. I thought I would share the challenges that the book covers, adding some comments as I go. Many of the challenges turn out to apply to the restricted lives all of us are leading in light of ...

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The third week of September is Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week: a time to fundraise, light up buildings in green, and hold events that highlight mitochondrial disease research and awareness. My family has never heard of mitochondrial disease until 2017, when our newborn daughter, Miriam, tragically died from it at seven weeks old. Our family felt a profound sense of loss and tried out best to participate in awareness and fundraising efforts ...

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Pages of my life turn over As the breezes of time flow over me. Remembrances of your presence As the world welcomed my first born so many years ago. Your calming voice and words of wisdom reminded me that life Would be different, but oh so much better. My little baby girl would grow to be a healer just as you, Offering hope and consolation to those who seek her out. Expert hands stitching the brow of my ...

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Where have the months of summer gone? The hazy, lazy days of summer to be spent out on the lake, picnicking with friends and family, state fairs, all the fun things we long to take part in. Occasions that should call for one to be present at with anticipation such as class reunions, weddings, baptisms of new babies, graduation ceremonies - all have come to a screeching halt. Even the ...

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He shoved the paper with the address in his pocket. Then he found his little black bag with the oils and other implements for giving what once was called the last rites of the church, but were now termed the sacrament of the sick, and headed off in the direction of the Flats. Sixty-six Center Street. He'd been there before, he was sure. Only the week before, the adjoining block ...

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My mom was beyond vulnerable to the virus. May of 2020 marked two years since she'd become a nursing home resident—receiving care for several chronic illnesses. She died of failure to thrive due to Coronavirus 2019 on June 1, 2020, at the age of 75. As her oldest child, her health care proxy, and a health care writer for more than 15 years, I knew that a positive result in a ...

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“Time is generally the best doctor,” according to the Roman poet Ovid. But these days, in the middle of the pandemic, what doctor has time? Health care professionals already have 29-hour days. In many places, hospitals are at or near capacity because of Covid-19 cases. Some hospitals and staff are functioning in crisis mode; chaos reigns, particularly in areas where the surge came on suddenly.  As a result, clinicians are stretched ...

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Modern medical practices are assisted by advances in technology but remain challenged by the costs of doing business.  Physicians and surgeons are meeting the need to deliver care to large caseloads by employing nurse practitioners and physician assistants and using patient portals to report test results, answer questions, and arrange appointments, including telemedicine consultations.  These systems are designed for efficient care-giving that enables the physician to personally address only the ...

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In March, I began receiving photographs on my social media apps of my daughter’s Match Day celebration seven years ago at Tulane Medical School. It was a glorious day, in particular, because my daughter got her first choice: Not only would she be an internal medicine resident at a top-tier hospital in New York, with a reputation for excellent training, but she would be in the same city as her sister ...

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