We have all lost loved ones. Although not forgotten, the departed can recede to the back of our minds unless prompted by a memory such as a photo, song, written note or countless other things personal to the relationship.
“When I was first diagnosed, I felt I didn’t need you,” she said. “After all, I am a nurse. I know how to get what I need in the medical system. I speak their language. Now I find that I need your help.”
I am struck by the similarity between anxieties precipitated by the current COVID-19 crisis and facing cancer. In each, there’s a feeling of not being in control and an uncertainty about the future. These emotions often linger and can be difficult to manage.
I recall a patient telling me that she played “peekaboo” with her cancer diagnosis. She described how hard it was to think about an uncertain future and the prospect of dying. She needed time to look away and catch her breath. How can any of us keep our eyes wide open without a reprieve when […]
In my previous blog “Waiting for Test Results” I shared a conversation from the early 2000’s that I had with a receptionist at the cancer center about responding to inquiries for test results.
“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.
A colleague recently forwarded a New York Times article, “The Appointment Ends. Now The Patient is Listening.” The author Paula Span notes new efforts to help patients understand their health status by recording appointments.
On Thursday, November 12, 2015, the Center for Communication in Medicine held a community program at Oldcastle Theater in Bennington, VT. The program, “SpeakSooner: Building Your Team & Navigating the System” was offered to help improve communication between patients and their families, friends and healthcare providers. Over 120 people attended! Read More . The first in a series of SpeakSooner […]
Who among us has not attended a professional conference and exchanged a slew of business cards with like-minded colleagues promising to be in touch? But how many of us actually follow up?
Two years ago, I posted a blog, Inviting Doctors to Tell Difficult Truths about this very subject