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Showing posts from April, 2012

Keep Calm and ePatient On

This blog post is part of WEGO Health's Health Activists Writer's Month Challenge (#HAWMC). Prompt: create your own "keep calm and carry on" poster. 

Patient Privacy in the Age of Social Media

Every Sunday night, healthcare Tweeps from around the world come together for the #hcsm (healthcare and social media) chat. The chat moves at lightning pace — and often overwhelms those new to the conversations. However, the #hcsm chat is the place to jump in with both feet. This Sunday, the first topic addressed dealt with patient privacy and social media. I've excerpted my own comments and those directly in return. 
What does patient privacy mean in age of social media? And, does that mean patients have a right to broadcast their care?

@AfternoonNapper Pt privacy=I can share about my health & care. What I share makes me fair game to be contacted by like-patients.#hcsm

@AfternoonNapper Broadcasting care - good & bad - falls under the realm of free speech; therefore pts have the right whether HCPs like it or not.#hcsm

@AfternoonNapper However, what is of interest is where the line of slander/libel can be drawn in re: the "print" of SoMe re: docs/facilities. #hcsm

@Ry…

RLS

twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch restless legs syndrome
twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch just leave me alone
twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch meds 20 mgs strong
twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch not always enough
twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch i bang with my fist
twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch confusing the nerves
twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch beating the culprit
twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch twitch who won't let me sleep
This blog post is part of WEGO Health's Health Activists Writer's Month Challenge (#HAWMC). Prompt: write a health haiku. 

Predator vs. Prey

There is a saying among empowered patients: "I may have _____, but _____ doesn't have me." It is our attitude that defines this relationship. Are we the predator, seizing our health in mighty talons? Or are we the prey, cowering in fear of disease's grasp? 
At any given time we may be either. At any given time we may be both. Our vulnerability as patients can change without a moment's notice. There are those who are given tools to fight — financial stability, support from family and friends, positive attitudes, health literacy, medical technology, caring and competent doctors, access to needed services. There are those who are less well equipped. 
We try our best to plan. Yet, health is fickle. Situations change. We may lose or we may gain. Vulnerability rises and falls like wind currents against which we fight or upon which we soar. 
This blog post is part of WEGO Health's Health Activists Writer's Month Challenge (#HAWMC). Prompt: Go to flickr.com/explo…

Why I Write... About Health

I write because writing is the most efficient and effective way to reach into my soul, grab the slimy bits, pull them out, and put them on display. Why I want to put them on display is another question altogether. I need to. I must. If I don't, they fester and rot such that great sadness consumes me. At times, I am lucky—what I pull out from my soul is a rough nugget of glimmering joy or a jagged ember of passion. Yet these too must be extricated and catalogued lest they take up too much room in an already full heart. By writing, by sharing, I form tiny exhibits in a personal museum. The only admission charge for others is time and the willingness to read. For myself, the cost is much greater, but perhaps so is the reward, as it is so hard to ascertain what benefit my museum of words brings to others.

Recently, I was told that I helped motivate someone to become an organ donor. One organ donor can save up to eight lives. That person's decision is real. The benefit is real. Wi…

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

I once asked my mother what job she would do if she could do any job in the world.

"Be a concierge," she said.

I blinked a few times.

"A concierge? Like in a hotel?" I asked.

"Yes."

"Why in the world would you want to be a concierge?"

"Because I would like to be able to make things happen for people," Mom said.

I couldn't help but smile; what Mom called a concierge I envisioned more as a cross between a fairy godmother and a mob boss. Her desire was to make sure that deserving people had what they needed and wanted, to be able to pull out all the stops, to be able to quickly, quietly, and efficiently meet and exceed expectations.

Imagine we could all do that — every day and in everything we do. That would be a truly super power.


This blog post is part of WEGO Health's Health Activists Writer's Month Challenge (#HAWMC). Prompt: Superpower Day - if you had a superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?

The Itty Bitty Pity Party

"I just had grits for dinner and my coffee pot has broken,  how do you think I feel?" - T.B.
Sometimes we lose. Nothing goes right. Life fails to cooperate, or, even worse, seems to conspire against us. It is then, when we are frustrated and dejected, that we must allow ourselves an itty bitty pity party. 
I am a firm believer that one's attitude directly corresponds to one's health. The more sullen and bitter one becomes in the face of adversity, the more negative impacts will result. Pragmatic optimism partnered with the determination to always celebrate the small victories and continue looking forward enables one to survive, recover, and carry on. This philosophy of mine has been noted by more than one healthcare provider—often comments about my positive attitude are accompanied by slightly furrowed brows and cocked heads, as if the speaker can't quite understand why, in light of my medical history, I am not angry and dejected. 
The fact of the matter is that o…

Digging in the Dirt

The seed catalogs have been arriving in the mail. I tend to collect them, take them to bed with me, and peer at images of heirloom varieties and newly cultivated hybrids in the soft light of the bedside lamp that inspires garden dreams. It’s been my habit of stashing the catalogs under the bed that has earned them a moniker given in jest yet holding much truth—plant porn. The pictures are all so tantalizing … great round tomatoes, sturdy zucchini, curvaceous eggplant. I want to order more plant varieties than I could ever hope to grow in my two small garden plots, and unless my husband allows me to take over even more of the yard or I get the hang of vertical and container-based gardening, I’m at my square footage max. Last year, I failed to show much restraint after winning a decorative planter full of seed packs at a fundraiser for the local community college’s wildlife program. Overwhelmed with choices, I set up my miniature greenhouses on the washer and dryer by the windows of th…