Happy Father’s Day — Be Well!

We love you dads!

Father’s Day is a special time for many of us. I lost my father Joseph and father-in-law Murray quite a while ago. But this is when I think of them the most. It is also special for me because I always get to celebrate with my wife Linda and daughters Jennifer and Stacey, and their spouses Phil and Adam. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

My wish on this day is for all of us, including you dear readers, to be as well as you can for as long you can.

And remember …..

Happy Father's Day -- Be Well!
from https://i1.wp.com/momydady.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/love-u-dad-quotes.png

 

Happy Father’s Day — Be Well!

Did you know that this past week was National Men’s Health Week? As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes:

“National Men’s Health Week is observed each year leading up to Father’s Day. This week is a reminder for men to take steps to be healthier. But they don’t have to do it alone! Whether it’s your husband, partner, dad, brother, son, or friend you can help support the health and safety of the men in your life.”

Here’s how:

“You can support the men in your life by having healthy habits yourself and by making healthy choices. Eat healthy and include a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Regular physical activity has many benefits. It can help control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers, and can improve your mental health and mood. Find fun ways to be active together. Set an example by choosing not to smoke and encourage the men in your life to quit smoking.  Help the men in your life recognize and reduce stress. Learn ways to manage stress including finding support, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and avoiding drugs and alcohol.”

“Encourage men to see a doctor or health professional for regular checkups and to learn about their family health history. Every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. has a heart attack. Know the signs of a heart attack and if you think you or someone you know is having a heart attack call 911 immediately.”

Depression is one of the leading causes of disease or injury worldwide for both men and women. Learn to recognize the signs and how to help the men in your life. Signs of depression include persistent sadness, grumpiness, feelings of hopelessness, tiredness and decreased energy, and thoughts of suicide.”

Happy Father's Day -- Be Well!

 

Preparing for the First Day of Chemotherapy

Advice for getting ready for chemo.

From personal experience, I know how scary the anticipation of the first day of chemo can be. In my case, there was a month interval between my Whipple surgery and chemotherapy. That was to let me be strong enough to endure the rigors of chemo. And rigorous it was. With numerous side effects. BUT, I’d do it all over again because it has improved the overall quality of my life. Thank you Team Vacirca and all the folks at New York Cancer and Blood Specialists.

So, when I came across an infographic on preparing for the first day of chemotherapy, I knew it had to be shared.

As reported by Healthline:

The best advice comes from the person who’s been there herself. We polled our community of women living with breast cancer for their tips on what to bring, and what to wear, on your first day of chemotherapy. Read on for their advice.”

Preparing for the First Day of Chemotherapy
 

Grief and Your Immune System

We have all experienced some form of grief.

First, we look at grief in general. Then we consider grief and your immune system.

An Overview of Grief

Consider these observations from the Mayo Clinic:

“Grief is a strong, sometimes overwhelming emotion for people, regardless of whether their sadness stems from the loss of a loved one or from a terminal diagnosis they or someone they love have received. They might find themselves feeling numb and removed from daily life, unable to carry on with regular duties while saddled with their sense of loss.”

“Grief is the natural reaction to loss. Grief is both a universal and a personal experience. Individual experiences of grief vary and are influenced by the nature of the loss. Some examples of loss include the death of a loved one, the ending of an important relationship, job loss, loss through theft, or the loss of independence through disability.”

“Experts advise those grieving to realize they can’t control the process and to prepare for varying stages of grief. Understanding why they’re suffering can help, as can talking to others and trying to resolve issues that cause significant emotional pain, such as feeling guilty for a loved one’s death.”

“Mourning can last for months or years. Generally, pain is tempered as time passes and as the bereaved adapts to life without a loved one, to the news of a terminal diagnosis or to the realization that someone they love may die.”

“If you’re uncertain about whether your grieving process is normal, consult your health care professional. Outside help is sometimes beneficial to people trying to recover and adjust to a death or diagnosis of a terminal illness.”

Grief and Your Immune System

From our own health perspective, grief can have a dramatic effect on our immune systems. Understanding this is vital.

According to new research as reported by Futurity:

“Losing a loved one is one of the most stressful life experiences a person will endure. And its toll can be physical as well as emotional. Science has shown, for example, that widows and widowers have a 41 percent higher risk of early death, compared to their still-married peers.”

“The relationship between grief and the immune system may explain bereavement’s association with increased risk for disease and early mortality, at least in part. Since researchers began studying it in 1977, evidence has shown that people may experience negative changes in their immune function following the loss of a loved one.”

In a new research review article in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, Lindsey Knowles, a psychology doctoral student at University of Arizona, and associate professors of psychology Mary-Frances O’Connor and John Ruiz examined 41 years of existing research on bereavement and the immune system. They focused specifically on 13 studies deemed to be of high scientific quality.”

Click the image to read Knowles and O’Connor discussion of their findings, as well possible directions for future research.

Grief and Your Immune System
(Credit: LoboStudio Hamburg/Unsplash)

 

Online Mayo Clinic Resources

Great resources and information.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the Mayo Clinic is ranked as number one on its Best Hospitals Honor Roll:

“It is nationally ranked in 15 adult and 7 pediatric specialties and rated high performing in 1 adult specialty and 9 procedures and conditions. It is a general medical and surgical facility. What became the Mayo Clinic was founded in 1889 in Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic opened hospitals in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1986 and Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1987. The Mayo Clinic Health System was established in 1992 and owns 19 hospitals in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. The Mayo Clinic School of Medicine is the teaching arm of the Mayo Clinic. The hospital’s two Rochester campuses include the Mayo Eugenio Litta Children’s Hospital. The Mayo Clinic has a large integrated transplantation program.”

All of this means that the online Mayo Clinic resources are quite valuable. Check them out.
 

Mayo Clinic Main Web Site

At its main Web site, the Mayo Clinic provides a lot of information. Click the image to visit the home page.

Online Mayo Clinic Resources

Mayo Clinic YouTube Channel

The Mayo Clinic has its own YouTube channel with numerous videos. Here is one example.

Mayo Clinic News Network

At this Web site, the Mayo Clinic:

Here is an example.

Mayo Clinic Facebook and Instagram Pages

The Mayo Clinic participates with a variety of social media, including Facebook and Instagram. Click the images to visit those pages.

Facebook

INSTAGRAM

Online Mayo Clinic Resources

 

Patient Actions Improving Doctor Relationships

How patients can enhance doctor relationships

Earlier this month, I gave a presentation to about 65 residents and other doctors on “Roles in Patient-Doctor Relationships: Seeing Both Sides.”

This is the fifth post:

In the doctor-patient relationship, what can patients do to enhance communications? After all, it is not all on the doctor to make the relationship work.

Check out the chart below, and these highlights from the chart:

Patients need to see doctors regularly. And not wait until it is too late. Early diagnosis is a big plus for continued good health.

Patients must always be truthful. Also, they always should come prepared (such as having a list of the prescriptions taken).

Patients should not ask for harmful medications.

Patients need to thoroughly understand treatment options and make informed decisions.

Patient Actions Improving Doctor Relationships
 

Doctor Actions Improving Patient Relationships

How doctors can enhance patient relationships

Earlier this month, I gave a presentation to about 65 residents and other doctors on “Roles in Patient-Doctor Relationships: Seeing Both Sides.”

This is the fourth post:

In the doctor-patient relationship, what can doctors do to enhance communications?

Check out the chart below, and these highlights from the chart:

Doctors need to show positive body language, such as not hanging in the doorway.  This shows less respect for the patient.

Studies show that the simple act of a doctor’s sitting, makes patients feel much better. They like being on the same physical level. And they tend to believe the doctor is with them longer than he/she actually is.

Doctors should allow their patients to speak uninterrupted. Studies show that, typically,  doctors interrupt patients within 11-18 seconds!!  

The doctor should always leave the patient with some hope, even when a prognosis is poor.

Doctor Actions Improving Patient Relationships
 

Doctors’ Roles and Responsibilities

See what doctors’ jobs encompass. With video.

Earlier this month, I gave a presentation to about 65 residents and other doctors at the Queens Hospital Center in Jamaica, New York. The topic? “Roles in Patient-Doctor Relationships: Seeing Both Sides”

Over the next several posts, various aspects of that talk will be highlighted:

      • Doctors’ Roles and Responsibilities (including doctor morale)
      • Patients’ Roles and Responsibilities (and what doctors wish patients knew)
      • Stages of Patient Frustration and Satisfaction
      • Doctor Actions Improving Patient Relationships
      • Patient Actions Improving Doctor Relationships
      • We’re Not There Yet on Doctor-Patient Relationships

Doctors typically have the roles and responsibilities highlighted in this image. How do YOU rate each of your doctors across these roles and responsibilities?

Doctors' Roles and Responsibilities

As patients, it is also vital for us to understand the factors that may affect our doctors’ performance. This video shows a few such factors.