Family

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Many illnesses have support groups and even official organizations that help sufferers and families understand and cope with that illness.  You know, like The Arthritis Foundation and the Diabetic Association. Read more on “Accomodating” or “Taking Advantage Of?”…

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I felt nostalgia for my native Boston area when my husband and I took a Sunday walk through Heritage Park in Cerritos California. I chose the park, which is always potentially dangerous.  That means it is likely to have ducks, architectural curiosities and (disaster of disasters) other people — including children. It had all of the above.  In particular the architectural curiosities included a miniature version of revolutionary Boston.  It was maybe 2/3 or 3/4 size.  It was easy to tell for some one who had grown up in close proximity to plenty of (downtown Boston) statuary that this was no life-size equestrian statue.

Read more on Heritage Park Is A Time Machine…

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I saw one of my brink-of-divorce patients yesterday.  I have plenty of them. They tell me how horrible their men are but they seem mysteriously held to this person who is generally, by their descriptions, a devil on the way to hell so he can commiserate with his demonic colleagues. He devalues her in front of the children or cheats on her of has more drugs in the medicine cabinet than your average pharmacy except they are not the kind where insurance pays for the prescription. And they tell me for all the world about what sounds like an incurable lout who has declined, avoided, or failed every available treatment for a condition she is convinced he is somehow enjoying or profiting from.

I had a colleague, allegedly my preceptor, who would treat woman patients by writing on a small piece of paper the words “Divorce the bastard,” and simply, but ceremoniously, handing it to her. Me, that’s not my style.  I would tell her, “You need to know where you came from, who you are, and what you believe.  You need to know the situation you are in.  And you need to know what you want for the future.” My current patient’s  marriage counselor (she still showed up for sessions.  Her husband had stopped) told her to weigh the “pros and cons.”  Rational.  Great. Read more on Divorce Is Not Death…

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She was an active patient, who I am still trying to see once a week until I direct her in how to survive and flourish in the universe. She was in her forties, depressed and anxious.  She had “a little panic attack,” some chest pain and the feeling her breath was cut off. I wasted no time sending her to an Emergency Room, (or, if she really did not feel it was that bad, to an Urgent Care — what we used to call it a “doc in a box”) because it is cheaper, sounds less foreboding, and any doctor who is sentient and has a pulse and is on duty would send her to an Emergency Room if anything was really wrong.

Chest pain or tightness or shortness of breath or a “tight feeling, like a vice” could always be a heart problem, and could always be life threatening until proven otherwise.  I tend to send  even the most mild discomforts of this nature, that people had for years to primary physicians for a “cardiocentric examination.”  For “auscultation,” the old fashioned Latin-origin word for a good listening to the well as generally an electrocardiogram and sometimes even an echocardiogram.

Read more on Don’t Ignore Chest Pain…

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I love snails. After the rain in California, the damp earth drives them to the sidewalk. Usually in twos — they move along in parallel, but slowly. They are hermaphrodites. That means that each one has the requisite sex organs to function as both sexes. It must be very hard for them to get together as a couple. First they have to decide which one is going to be which sex that day.

I had a patient once who tenderly explained to me what that situation could be like for humans. Last I heard, I am pleased to report they are a most excellent couple. People really can find happiness. Some people do not know the road until they are already on it.

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My husband will drive me a bit to go see a patient, closer to his home. I may nod off briefly, although I have had enough sleep.  Only to wake up again briskly when he slams on the brakes, which he will a few times, at least. I continue to be shocked by the total lack of empathy drivers have for each other.

Read more on Another Day Of Spreading Kindness…

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The southern California sun is blinding this morning. I really need my shades.

March is not over yet and I see the requisite blonde in a bikini, working on her tan, stretched out near the swimming pool.

The radio is barely audible; something about how we are all becoming heartless bureaucrats. Read more on Getting Some Rays…

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I think I was in my teens when I heard the playwright Edward Albee interviewed.  It was one of those interviews that sears your soul and that you remember over 40 years later. He said something about people who get older, like when their children who are adults and start having families of their own.  They all ask themselves the same question, which is “Did I do it right?” — meaning “Life” definitely with a capital “L.”

Read more on Don’t Live A Life Of Regrets…

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What you have been through makes you who you are.
A man abused by his father told me he all too often finds that he has abused his own son.  He did not want to.  He did not mean to.  He realized he was becoming his father and he trembled.

Read more on Breaking The Chain Of Abuse…

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I never enjoyed driving.  I am grateful to my husband as he takes me wherever I need to be and I have the precious luxury of focusing on the classical music on the radio, or letting my spirit fly to dizzying heights as I try to figure out what somebody’s brain cells are doing.  Sometimes, I can even steal a nap.

Read more on The Joy of Cursing…

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