APPENDICITIS I + II: Monday August 25, 2014

I experienced appendicitis twice – which is physically impossible anatomically except in the case of attempting 2 routes of healing. My first choice was to be treated by an intravenous deluge of antibiotics, as it was presented? sold? to me as an effective alternative to an appendectomy, appealed to my greatest fear (the profound invasion and alteration of my body) and, I knew how to repair my constitution following this therapy. Upon recovery, I became consumed with the creation of a document dedicated to the improvement of the patient experience in the area of abdominal conditions and surgeries. Based on my letter, I was invited to present my exhaustive holistic document of RECOMMENDATIONS to select management of the 14th Floor.

Approximately 6 weeks later, I sat in a play and began to experience familiar pain. 19 hours later, I was surrounded by lights and stainless steel, counting down from 10.

There is, in fact, a 3rd route of healing in the facing, and living through, of one’s greatest fear.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Mr. Joseph LebovicMount Sinai HospitalJoseph and Wolf Lebovic Health Complex600 University AvenueToronto, ONM5G 1X5August 19, 2011

 

Dear Mr. Lebovic,

I wanted to tell you about my recent experience at Mount Sinai, having landed in an ambulance [...] continue the story

Canadian Women Changing Healthcare

I happened to catch an episode of the CNN series “The Sixties” which featured the rise of the feminist movement. It caught my immediate attention as we here at Patient Commando were hard at work preparing our 2nd Annual Canadian Women Changing Healthcare. It had escaped my memory that in my lifetime there was a time when there were quotas on the spaces available to women  in medical, dental and law schools. There was a time when airline stewardesses had to be single, with soft hands and were forced to retire at the age of 32. There was a time in my lifetime that women marched in the streets fighting for equality and recognition. The episode reminded me of  many women who led the way – like journalist Gloria Steinem who infiltrated Hugh Hefner’s Playboy empire, Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown (Sex and The Single Girl), author Betty Friedan (The Feminine  Mystique) and the National Organization of Women (NOW) who played such important roles in galvanizing what turned into a global movement.

I couldn’t help but think of the many parallels between that time and certain realities that exist in our healthcare system. As Patient Commando and others have pointed out before, 78% [...] continue the story

Simon Lewis: Don’t take consciousness for granted

Born in London, Simon Lewis is a film and television producer and author. After earning law degrees from Christ’s College Cambridge and Boalt Hall, Berkeley, Lewis moved to Los Angeles, where his Hollywood experience includes managing writers, directors and stars, as well as producing Look Who’s Talking, critically acclaimed films such as The Chocolate War, the Emmy-winning international co-production for HBO and ITV Central A Month of Sundays (Age Old Friends), and variety specials starring Howie Mandel.

He’s the author of Rise and Shine, a memoir that uses his personal story — of recovery from coma — to illustrate deep and universal insights about consciousness itself. An acclaimed author, speaker and commentator, Lewis uses creative visualizations that fuse cutting-edge medicine, scientific research and digital art to illustrate solutions to society’s most pressing problem: the erosion of consciousness and need for solutions to nurture and grow our minds through cognitive and other therapies.

An advocate for change in how we educate our children and ourselves, he says that we must not take our consciousness for granted, but use specific tools to screen and detect learning weaknesses and prevent academic failure. Bridge the gap from our potential mind toward our actual mind and maximize [...] continue the story

My Autism and Me

Uploaded on Jan 30, 2012

CBBC Newsround – My Autism and Me LICENCE – all rights reserved by BBC, CBBC Programmes, Newsround In this Newsround Special, 13-year-old Rosie takes viewers into her world to explain what it’s like to grow up with autism – a condition which affects how children see life, and the way they relate to others around them. With the help of beautifully crafted animation, Rosie introduces other children who have the condition: Tony, who gets totally obsessed with things but struggles to make friends, Ben, who has suffered from terrible bullying, and Rosie’s own little brother Lenny, who turns the house upside-down daily to try and make sense of things. These children tell their own stories in their own words to give a vivid and moving insight into what it’s like to be autistic. It’s a condition that affects the way you live your life and see the world around you. Our presenter Rosie was born with autism. She says even though living with it is difficult, it makes her unique and who she is. As well as telling her own story, you’ll find out how Ben, Tony and Lenny are affected by the condition.

Lots of children with autism get bullied at school and [...] continue the story

The Testing Waiting Game

By Kristen Knott

Written July 13, 2014

I am not happy. I feel it in my bones, my skin, my breath. I am rattled, unsettled and anxious. My mind races uncontrollably like a toddler taking its first steps. I want to be content and filled with all the joys and wonders of life. I have survived cancer after all and I am alive, yet I am struggling. ‘Cancer free’ does not translate to fist pumps and cheering in my mind – it does however create deep pangs of emotion.  I can’t seem to shake the shadow of cancer. Chemotherapy and surgery attacked the mutated cells, but what attacks the negative thoughts, the worry, the aches and pains?

I try hard to be appreciative and experience life as it is happening but it feels a bit tainted lately. I feel like I am on borrowed time. I want these thoughts and doubts crushed like a bug.

I am playing the ‘ testing waiting game’ again. I had a bone scan of my body and images of my left hip and upper spine on July 5. The aches in my body seem to be getting worse and after sharing this update with my oncology nurse she ordered [...] continue the story

Seeing beauty for a change: Rick Guidotti at TEDxPhoenix

Feb 12, 2012

In his TEDxPhoenix 11.11.11 TEDxTalk, Rick shares the inspiring story of POSITIVE EXPOSURE, and challenges us all to see and appreciate the beauty in our differences.

Positive Exposure was founded in 1998 by award winning fashion photographer, Rick Guidotti.  Rick worked in NYC, Milan and Paris for a variety of high profile clients including Yves St Laurent, Revlon, L’Oreal, Elle, Harpers Bazaar and GQ. He took photographs of what were considered the world’s most beautiful people. But one day, on a break from a photo shoot, a chance encounter on a Manhattan street changed everything. Rick saw a stunning girl at the bus stop – a girl with pale skin and white hair, a girl with albinism. Upon returning home Rick began a process of discovery – about albinism, about people with genetic differences and about himself. What he found was startling and upsetting. The images that he saw were sad and dehumanizing. In medical textbooks children with a difference were seen as a disease, a diagnosis first, not as people.

It has always been about beauty for Rick.  “In fashion I was always frustrated because I was told who I had to photograph.  I was always told who was beautiful.”   It became [...] continue the story

Photo Greater Than 1000: Angelo Merendino at TEDxUSU

Originally Published on Nov 18, 2013 On September 1, 2007, I married the girl of my dreams. Five months later Jennifer was diagnosed with breast cancer. Over the next four years we faced constant change as Jennifer’s illness grew more serious. During this time, Jennifer allowed me to photograph our day-to-day life. Our hope was that these photographs would offer people a more realistic view of life with cancer. Since Jennifer passed in 2011 these photographs—our love story—have been vital to my accepting Jennifer’s death, embracing my own mortality, and finding peace within myself.

Angelo Merendino is a photographer whose photo-documentary, The Battle We Didn’t Choose — My Wife’s Fight With Breast Cancer, has received worldwide recognition. Intimate, honest, and moving, Angelo’s photographs offer viewers a look inside the day-to-day life of a young couple facing breast cancer together. More than a story about loss, this is a story about love and life.

Since his late wife Jennifer passed in 2011, Angelo has maintained a blog chronicling life before, during, and after his experience as a caregiver and now, as a 39-year-old widower. Much like his photographs, Angelo’s posts are open and raw. His hope is to encourage conversation about topics that are [...] continue the story

Fight the stroke

About #fightthestroke is a documentary that tells the story of a child who suffered a stroke at birth. Together with his parents, this boy wants to answer the question of what would happen if, instead of trying to fix something that is broken, we focused our attention on what already works? #fightthestroke is a project by: Familydan.org and Shoot4Change, Francesca, Mario and Roberto D’Angelo, Andrea Ruggeri – ARE YOU SERIES is a Milano Film Festival project, made thanks to the support of Banca Prossima. Find out more at www.areyouseries.com

Choosing what to wear with an ostomy.

April 12, 2014

Personally, I love fashion & clothes and always have done even before my surgery.

Before I had my surgery, I was always worried that it would restrict what I wear but I have not really had to change anything to accommodate having a stoma. I’ve found that the only thing I have had to change is to not wear really tight fitting things like skintight bodycon dresses as it doesn’t leave my stoma enough room to work and increases the chances of leaks greatly. I find that I can still wear close fitting things though, and wear a stoma waistband or a stoma vest underneath tighter fitting garments to help minimise my bag being recognisable through the garment.

Some clothing tips I find work for me having an ostomy are:

Wearing ‘stomawear’ such as a stoma waistband or a stoma vest. I wear the Comfizz waistband most days as a lot of the things I wear are quite close fit, such as skinny jeans/jeggings and tighter tops. (Just type ‘Comfizz’ into google for these). Vanilla Blush also do great stoma underwear (I love the pretty high-waisted knickers!). Also, a lot of ostomates in the UK should be able to claim a [...] continue the story

Under Our Skin – Extended Trailer

 Jan 8, 2008 In the 1970s, a mysterious and deadly illness began infecting children in a small town in Connecticut. Today it’s a global epidemic. A real-life thriller, this Academy Award semifinalist exposes the controversy surrounding the growing and hidden epidemic of Lyme disease. Information and DVD sales: http://www.underourskin.com