Emotional and Mental Health

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Olympic Rings

Faster, Higher, Stronger: Your Gold-Medal Run

The 2012 Olympic Games in London have just come to an end. For these two weeks every two years I spend more time watching sports on TV than probably the entire two years between them.
Names like Michael Phelps, Usian Bolt, Gabby Douglas, Missy Franklin, Oscar Pistorius, and others are now household words around the world. There’s something about the Olympic Games that draws us in.

Doctor, Doctor, Tell Me

I do it almost every day. Someone doesn’t feel well. They come to see me as a doctor and talk about their symptoms. I ask questions, do an exam, order tests, and prescribe treatment. For some “simple” medical problems, that is enough.
But more often than not there are so many more issues beyond just the physical symptoms. If I ignore these other factors, the patient may or may not get better. And I have done the patient poor service.

The Bad (or Good) News about STDs

There’s one part of my job as an OB-Gyn physician that I dread. And I’ve had to do it several times in the last two weeks.
I dread telling a woman that she has just been diagnosed with an STD.
Within just the past few days I’ve had to address HIV, HPV, herpes, and chlamydia. There’s just no easy way to tell someone that kind of news. The tears, the physical distress, the fear, often the shame, in a woman’s face just tears at my heart.

A Time for Everything

The Byrds sang it: “A time to every purpose under heaven.”
I wonder how many people who still sing Turn! Turn! Turn! realize that the lyrics were taken essentially word-for-word from the Bible, Ecclesiastes ch. 3. It talks about a truth that those of us who live in this super-charged ultra-fast over-connected society often forget.

A Salute to all Caregivers

I have not been a caregiver in the sense that many are. But if the statistics hold, one day I may be. The number of adults serving as caregiver to a parent, a spouse, or another family member is enormous.
With more of us living longer, the number needing care for illnesses such as Alzheimer’s or other dementia, stroke, or other brain disorders is only getting larger. Numbers can’t describe the emotional, financial, and physical toll caregiving takes on one’s life.
Not having experienced caregiving myself I’m sure anything I say would be inadequate to honor those who take on the responsibility for caring for a loved one. But I do want to say Thank You!

Alzheimer’s Disease: A Scary Thought

What was I going to write about? Oh yes, I remember. I just had a senior moment there.
Have you ever felt like that? Are you worried about whether it’s “just” a “senior moment”, or something much more scary – Alzheimer’s?
Losing one’s mental capacity ranks near the top on any list of fears about the future as people get older.

Did You Build Your Health?

President Obama stirred up some strong controversy last Friday when he stated in one of his speeches, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.” While the politics of that statement have occupied a great deal of the airwaves over the past few days, I have a different take on this controversy. What about your health? Who is responsible for your health or the lack thereof?

HALT: Five Ways to Stay Filled Up

We human beings are needy. It seems like we are always leaking and in need of getting filled up.
Our souls need communication, intimacy, encouragement, challenge, hope, meaning, depth, joy, and love. And when we don’t experience these, we go looking.
And it’s in the LOOKING that we can get into trouble.

steps to forgiveness

Steps to Forgiveness

Holding on to wrongs done to you will eat away at your soul, and eventually your body and mind. We have heard about forgiveness from preachers, and well we should. But I believe we need to hear more about forgiveness from doctors.

Hope Is A Choice

Hope is a powerful biologic force.
We know, for example, that even a relatively small degree of hope can lessen physical pain through the release of endorphins and enkephalins – natural brain substances that block pain and cause a sense of well-being.

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