Transforming Medical Crisis into Opportunities to Find Meaning in One’s Life

The Center for Communication in Medicine, which I am a founder, decided that our next SpeakSooner Community Education Program on October 26 in Bennington would focus on the theme of transforming a medical crisis into an opportunity to find meaning and joy in one’s life. Planning this event brought to mind a woman whom I had known from time passed.

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When The Conversation Changes

“Learn the art of fragmented, irrational conversations and follow
the patient’s lead instead of trying to control the dialogue.”
Zen and the Art of Coping With Alzheimer’s

In the days when there were video stores I would walk by the film “Iris” countless times, knowing it was a story of the writer Iris Murdoch and her husband’s experience with her cognitive decline due to Alzheimer’s disease.

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The Illusion of Caring—is That Enough?

I recently stumbled upon a writing exercise completed by a patient who participated in the “Writing is Good Medicine”TM, program, which I created to help patients put words to their experience of living with illness. Participants were encouraged to share their writing with family and healthcare providers in order to open communication about issues and concerns. For one exercise I posed the question, “What do you expect from your doctors?”

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…Stories as a Reminder of Love

 

“Learn the art of fragmented, irrational conversations and follow the patient’s lead instead of trying to control the dialogue.”

– Zen and the Art of Coping With Alzheimer’s
Denise Grady, New York Times (August 14, 2007)

Recently a colleague e-mailed me the link to Jane Brody’s New York Time’s article Alzheimer’s Patients Keep The Spark Alive by Sharing Stories. 

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