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A New Direction. An Empowered Patient

Article posted on Monday, August, 9th, 2010 at 8:00 am

For a person who always has a plan, finding myself in a constant state of “new territory” with no clear direction in sight can be very frustrating.  So I listen.  And I wait.  I watch as doors close and windows open.

Last week there seemed to be no open windows.  It was one of those weeks when I felt completely outnumbered.  Outnumbered by stories of patients who’ve suffered because they didn’t have the knowledge and support to  fight for the answers and the treatment they needed. Outnumbered by doctors that shouldn’t be doctors.  Outnumbered by hospitals and doctors offices that don’t have systems in place to keep patients from getting lost in the shuffle.  And I couldn’t find an open window.

On Friday, I think I found one.  I received two emails from two different friends within 10 minutes of each other. Each one said “I saw this article and it reminded me of Neely’s story.”  They both included the same link to an article that was posted on CNN.  (I’ll take that as an open window.)

The article was written by Elizabeth Cohen the Senior Medical Correspondent at CNN.  (I think she was already a writer for CNN when she experienced something similar to what we experienced with our former pediatrician, Christie Pediatric Group.) She began writing a column that was focused on Empowering Patients. Which is a really great way to say what I feel like I’ve been trying to do.  Her column seems to have been a great success and she has recently published a book called the Empowered Patient that will be coming out this August. I can’t wait to read it.

I’m not sure yet where this will lead, but I have no doubt that I need to know Elizabeth Cohen.  (If you know her, I’d appreciate the introduction. ) If not….stay tuned. I’ll keep you posted on progress as I reach out to her.

I have this mission. I didn’t ask for it and I’m not sure what then end looks like. (I’m not even sure if there is an end.)  I’m grateful that 10+ years in marketing have taught me how to tell a story, create awareness, and reach people, but there are lots of days when I am at a true loss for what should be “the right” next step.  Because when you peel back the layers, I am still a hurt Mom who is angry that my child suffered and I want to keep that from happening to another family.  It is difficult to not let that hurt and anger drive my decisions (or my words.) But that’s what I know I have to do.

The point is – the article on CNN introduced me to another Mom (who no doubt is also hurt and angry that her child had to suffer.)  I’m certainly not happy for what she went through.  But I am happy at the prospect of meeting someone who has traveled the road I’m on. It sure feels a lot better to connect with people who understand where I’ve been and who share the same mission. I can’t wait to meet her – I just have to figure out how.

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1 comment

  • Hi i just wanted to send you my insight on the health problems that we all face .I am a waitress of twenty years ,i work all these years in the bussiness but i cook 7 days a week i refuse to eat out i will starv but i am not eating out .There are too many unsanitary problems that will never be address .The process in the way the meals are prepared ,the way the food is handled ,the way the dishes are washed ..There are too many corners that are cut to make a bigger profit and putting lives in danger .I find it amazing that people accept these standards especially when their health are at risk .
    I also find it unbelievable the way people eat and feed their kids ,askingkids that are 1 and do what it wants to eat ,come on .Where is the responsibility ,this is ababy the parent needs to teach the kid on how to eat .I am a very health conscious person so it makes it very hard to do my job ,you see i want so badly to ell the customers what to eat ,i also want to tell them they need to eat healthier but i might get in trouble .Now there are some customers i treat like family and i dont let them order what they want ,i tell them no its not good to eat that way and i point them in a healthier direction .
    My manager who is extremly overweight and eats very unhealthy ,he is so unhealthy his health is on the line .He sleeps with some kind of breathing mask to prevent him from dieing in his sleep .Yet he continues to eat very badly .He would run the most unhealthiest specials .He would say to me did you sell any specials and i would say no ,i am not encouraging people to eat like that .He said to me its not your job to tell people what to eat just suggest the special .My problem is i cant do it its hypocrite and its not right.
    Please we really need to put more emphasis on checking into restaurants and the way they do bussiness .Its should also be against the law to have a bussiness that house over 80 people at any given time to only have 2 restrooms .This adds to messing up your colon ,when you are rushed your muscles get thight and you can use the restroom i do know for a fact .Stress prevents you from using the bathroom ,which will cause your arteries to get blovcked up and this will creat a problem .Me and my husband did the research on our own bodies and we made changes to prevent us from getting clogged up ,it is working .

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