Adventures With Healthcare

My experience with the healthcare system has been vast and varied.  Recent events have reminded me once again how important it is for both sides to try to communicate properly with one another; not presuming that the other knows everything about your side of the situation.  Even when it seems the other knows you, what you expect of them, the situation, and its outcome, there is plenty of room for misunderstanding, miscommunication, and mistaken conclusions.

In other words, for best possible outcomes, both patients and caregivers must ask for and give lots of information.  Over-communicating is better than under-communicating.

One situation I am quite familiar with is chronic pain.  Happily I can report that healthcare has made great advances in dealing with people who have chronic pain.  With the pain scale having become the gold-standard for assessing the amount of pain patients are feeling, physicians and other caregivers can have a much clearer picture of what is going on.  This helps guide their decision-making processes, enabling them to give greater comfort and aid than might otherwise be possible.

There are healthcare professionals who are very aware of chronic pain and how it affects patients.  They strive to take proper care of all patients, even hiring pain management teams to assist.  They see the situations their patients experience, and are increasing their knowledge in order to relieve greater suffering.  They take into account that not all patients feel pain in the same way, that some have an incredibly high threshold for pain while others have a very low tolerance for it.  And they seek to treat each as an individual with his or her own treatment plan.

They have talked with patients and learned that some, particularly those with chronic pain, are never pain-free and must be kept at a pain-medication maintenance level at all times, even when in the hospital.  They have acknowledged the fact that these patients need pain medicine to make the pain tolerable and help them function.  These patients do not ask for ever-increasing amounts of the medicine, they remain at the same dosage level for years.

These patients need additional pain medication when having had surgery or a serious injury that causes increased pain.  Well-informed caregivers realize that it is much easier, and takes less medication, to stay on top of the pain than it is to try to play catch-up after the pain has reached searing heights.

Additionally they recognize that there are some patients who should be, or perhaps are, feeling great pain because of their situation, yet are more concerned with remaining drug-free or at least under-medicated.  Reasons for this can vary from having previously had a negative reaction to the normal pain medication regimen all the way to believing they will be driving themselves home soon and wanting to remain clear-headed.

I have experienced situations where the attending physician went to great lengths to solve the underlying problem and continue treatment until it was resolved.  And I have experienced situations where the caregivers simply act along the baseline for that type of situation, not looking any deeper to become familiar with the whole picture (or perhaps just failing to review the situation with the patient where assurances could have been given, and needs properly addressed).  The more we know and understand all sides of issues within healthcare, the better off all will be.  Suffering can decrease and wellness increase as pain and other complications are handled properly or avoided altogether.

What types of healthcare experiences have impacted you?

Grounded For The Week

I am grounded for the week!

What brought this about?

Could it be the number of people involved?

Could it be the music?

Could it be the stories that were told?

Could it be the activities we engaged in?

Could it be the feeling that pervaded the room?

Could it be the people involved?

Could it be the type of humor used?

Could it be what those involved were doing to each other?

Could it be the pictures we were exposed to?

Could it be that this wasn’t the first time it happened?

Could it be the attitude exhibited there?

Could it be the crowd I had put myself with?

Could it be the way we were dressed?


Grounded – “used to describe a person who is sensible and has a good understanding of what is really important in life.”

Yep, that’s what Primary did for me!  :)

Primary – The Great Equalizer!

Primary never ceases to amaze me.  I recently realized that Primary is the great equalizer!

As we go about our daily lives, we find that we are all different.  We have various talents, interests, strengths, opinions, biases, and thoughts.  At times it seems there is no reconciliation whatsoever, because try as we might, we can still find ourselves on opposite sides and with no idea why others don’t see things as we do!

Enter, Primary.

Something truly amazing happens when people start serving in Primary.  They still have various talents, interests, strengths, opinions, biases, and thoughts, but now they also have something in common.

They are teaching children about their Father in Heaven and His plan of happiness.

Viola’!  Instantly their various talents, interests, strengths, opinions, biases, and thoughts meld together into one – one purpose, one goal, one mind, one heart.

They are all suddenly friends, and fellow-servants with Christ, using their various talents, interests, strengths, opinions, biases, and thoughts for a higher purpose.  The outcome of this metamorphosis is astonishing!

People who used to be at odds with each other suddenly become good friends.  They now see that they are not so very different after all, in fact, they have quite a lot in common.  And they discover, perhaps to their surprise, that that which makes us the same far outweighs that which makes us different.

Thank you, Father in Heaven, for Primary – the great equalizer!  :)

Finding Less to Fight About

How nice it is when you finally settle down and don’t take everything so personally anymore!

When you’re young and don’t know any better, you can take offense so easily.  Things that really don’t matter get you bristling, an innocent word or action by someone instantly jumps you into fight or flight mode, and heaven forbid anyone actually outright tries to insult you!

That makes for a rough, stressful, often gut-wrenching life.  :(

How nice it is when you finally settle down and don’t take everything so personally anymore!

Then things that don’t really matter usually run off you like water on a duck’s back, innocent words and actions stay innocent and may even make you smile, and you finally find yourself overlooking insults as thoughtless or actually meaningless moments by someone who is in some type of immediate distress, feeling insecure.

And you can easily let it go.

Especially when it comes from someone you love.  You put them first, and more important, than whatever it is that is trying to get between you.  You might let it in for a moment, that’s only human.  But you know how to rise above it and move on to more important things.

True bliss!

Do You Ever Feel Weird?

Recently as I was leaving the building, I suddenly felt kind of weird.  You may have felt it before yourself, something just kind of hits you, feels a bit strange.

I found myself wondering what brought it on.  I immediately began a mental checklist to see if I can discover why I’m feeling this way right now.

  • Did I forget something? 
  • Did something happen that I need to deal with? 
  • Did someone say or do something that is affecting me? 
  • Did a negative thought just jump into my head?
  • Is it something positive that I just haven’t been able to really give some thought to?
  • Is there something I need to share with someone that I haven’t taken care of yet?
  • Is it something that bothers me that I have no control over, but worry about anyway?

It amazes me how much my emotions and thoughts can affect me!  This time I can’t discern a specific reason for the feeling, so I set it aside and think about where I’m going.  If the checklist had brought something to my attention, I could have considered it, contemplated what the best course of action might be around it, and decided what to do about it.  Or not.

Sometimes I’m just not ready to deal with the issue and need a little time to adjust.

Oh well, this too shall pass!  :)  Feelings are interesting!

I Hate DVDs!

DVDs, CDs………I hate them!

“But!” you may say, “the picture is so much better, they are so thin they take up almost no room, you can have 100 in an easy-to-carry compact case!”

And I would have to say that you bring up some good points. 

But information, movies, shows, etc. are only as good as their vehicle of delivery.  Does this sound familiar?

You go to the store and find the very CD, or DVD, that you have been wanting forever.  You buy it on the spot!

You unpackage it (this could be a whole other story in and of itself), go over to the device you are going to play it in, and carefully lift it out of the holder.  You pop it into the electronic appliance that will magically “read” and play it for you.  You sit back to relax and enjoy your new-found prize!


What’s this?  It just skipped ahead!  You can’t get it to go back and play correctly.  So, you take it out of the machine, turn it over, and look. 


A huge scratch across the disk!

And you thought balloons deflate fast when they are popped.  Ha! 

Now you have to live with a disk you can never enjoy, try to go all the way back to the store to exchange it, or just throw it away.  :(

Nope, I hate DVDs, and CDs.  Give me back a good old VCR or audio cassette tape.  Those things live forever.  They take more punishment and replays than anything else around! 

Yep, give me back the tapes!  :)

The Men’s Turn

Do you ever wonder what the true vision of manhood is? 

Do you have trouble finding balance in today’s world with society’s awkward and often disjointed views of men, particularly because of all the so-called advances?

Do you long to find your rightful place – your reason for living?

Everyone struggles with these questions, and more, from time to time.  Especially today, when we seek the real meaning of manhood, equality, fatherhood, personhood, etc. it can seem that no one really knows, and everyone is simply putting forth their own opinion of what should be.

I invite you to find out for yourself, to feel a peace and calm that will fill your soul and satisfy your yearnings!

Today, Saturday, April 4, 2015 was the Priesthood broadcast of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!  It is available to view at your leisure at  If you missed it, or want to see it again, or see previous ones, go there and enjoy the spiritual feast!

You may never be the same again!  :)