Finding out about wisdom teeth the hard way

In my 23 years of life, I’ve had health insurance for only 2 of them. Growing up, my Dad made just enough money so that I didn’t qualify for medicaid, but not enough to be able to purchase insurance. Despite this, my parents never denied me needed healthcare, charging everything to our version of health insurance: the credit card. But now, as a young adult watching my parents try to unbury themselves from a mountain of strangling medical debt, I’ve resolved to not let the same fate befall me. My version of health insurance? Do not go to the doctor until I am 99.9% sure I am dying.

This was working fairly well for me until last year. I was relatively healthy most of the time, and was astounded to learn how many things would go away on their own with no antibiotics.

Then, in the fall, a few months after moving to a new town for school, a bad flu knocked me to my feet. And since I had been off my asthma medications for over 4 years due to the prohibitive cost (not of the drugs themselves, which I had been on since I was 6, but of the doctor [...] continue the story

Seeing Light And Shadow

By Judith Leitner

It all begins with light and shadow: opulent daylight softly slipping through a window and illuminating a lovely face, deep shadows stretching across wide valleys and cavernous crevices, dazzling light glistening on ice or crafting strange forms along sand dunes, elongated shadows within dawn’s emergent light and dusk’s fading glow, dense light within grey fog, mellow open shade on a bright summer day, harsh and calculating flash light in a dark room: these and an infinite array of other expressions of light and shadow are the primary shapers of meaning in a photograph. Indeed, the word ‘photography’ literally means ‘writing (graphy) with light (photo)’.

The first time I taught children to ‘write with light’ I quickly understood that all they needed – after a very basic intro to the camera and film – was a few lessons in exploring light and shadow. Outdoors, we wandered and observed how time of day, weather, open air and rooftop canopies informed qualities of natural light and shadow, and we played with the flash in daylight. The children were amazed when they perceived the ways their hats blocked light and cast dark shadows on their faces. Indoors, we looked at diffused window light, [...] continue the story

The Waiting Room: Breathing Lessons

 

7-year-old Nia Walker is treated for her asthma problems. After the doc checks her out, Nia sips on a carton of milk while her parents discuss healthcare costs, universal healthcare, and the high asthma rates of African Americans. More  video from The Waiting Room.

The Waiting Room: Serenade

 

CNA Cynthia Johnson gets serenaded in the waiting room.

More  video from The Waiting Room.

The Waiting Room: Lucy’s Patients

Highland Hospital Volunteer Lucy Ogbu talks about her desire to help communities in need and her dream of becoming a doctor.

More  video from The Waiting Room.

About the Storytelling Project

The Waiting Room Storytelling Project is a location-based social media and community engagement initiative that aims to improve the patient experience through the collection and sharing of digital content. This cultural data – video, data visualizations, photographs and text – is collected in the waiting room by creating frameworks for sharing that range from anonymous expressions of feeling to deeper storytelling.

The primary aim of the platform is to uncover the needs of underserved patients at a moment when the role of the “Safety Net” is being debated both in America and abroad. We also aim to develop tools for patients that allow them to take a more active role in their health care experience. To this end, we aim to expand and foster the organizational capacity for storytelling at Highland Hospital by creating a robust, scalable platform that can amplify the voices and needs of the most underserved communities in our country.

As America’s health care system sits poised to undergo its greatest transformation in generations, we will capture history unfolding and make sure that the story is told from the bottom up, not just the top down, using a unique combination of social media platforms and traditional documentary film. We [...] continue the story

Britt J. Moody – Blogging and Participatory Medicine

Medicine X films is a project that aims to shine a light on the thought leaders and innovators in emerging technology and medicine.

This film profiles ePatient Britt J. Johnson. She talks about blogging and Participatory Medicine.

The House of Gort

The House of Gort is the story of a family with two special needs daughters following a medical accident that would forever change their family dynamic.

This piece is lovingly dedicated to my father, Manfred Tatzmann, on his birthday (2012), who has been an advocate for those with special needs and their families my entire life.

Connect with the Gort family here:

Facebook – facebook.com/timgortadadsview Twitter – twitter.com/adadsview

 

Dad, We Need to Talk

During the Holidays last year I had the chance to speak to a high school student who was asking me about my book. I was surprised to see how much they knew and how many great questions they had about Prostate Cancer. I went home and came up with the idea to use this incredible group to further the work on stressing the need for early detection. I took the idea to the great folks at Lighthouse Media and they worked closely with me to make this vision a reality. The video will be presented to all the high schools in Lunenburg and Queens County during the month of November and with a partnership with the Best Western Plus in Bridgewater each school will receive copies of my book as a leave behind and future reference. Sanofi, a major Canadian pharmaceutical company provided a grant which made the project possible. The cast consists of my teenage niece, Micaela Sabean and HANK FM personality Eric Whynot along with one of the best Urologist in Canada, Dr Greg Bailly. The essence of the project is awareness and this is how the video will achieve this.

Our youth today is a powerful [...] continue the story

No Hockey? No Problem!

By Dave N.

Imagine that you have to tell your young son that he cannot play hockey with his friends. This son may be around nine or ten years old, and his friends have told him that the hockey they play is non-contact. Imagine how hard it would be to tell your son that he cannot play organized hockey, our national past time, because of a medical condition where an awkward fall into the boards or a fall on a shift could be life-threatening.

I have a bleeding disorder known as hemophilia. My blood lacks a certain protein in the clotting process, Factor VIII, and I need to take this replacement factor intravenously whenever I experience internal bleeding. My medical condition does not allow me to play any intensely physical sports like hockey or football.

When I was around ten, one of my good friends told me about the non-contact hockey league he played in, and I tried to convince my parents to enroll me in the coming fall. Both of my parents told me that they did not think it would be a good idea, but, being a ten year old, I pleaded with them to enroll me. “But it’s non-contact!” I [...] continue the story