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

PERIPLUS: A Review of Passage to Nirvana by Lee Carlson

I was compelled to begin this review having not yet finished the last page. Perhaps it’s that while the “end” is important in some way, no less – or perhaps even more significant and relevant – is the inspiration at any moment in Passage to Nirvana.

An unconventional autobiography, we come to know Carlson as he comes to know himself again after an ironically-charged event leaves him to live a life transformed irreparably by Traumatic Brain Injury. It is the story of a writer, now struggling with writing, writing to heal, writing to learn, writing to share the specific and the universal of our human condition. Carlson’s observations and narrations undulate, integrating the realms of life – inspiration, challenge, spirituality, reality, cause+effect, expanding one’s experience of mind, body and soul. It is in his authenticity, his meeting and telling of truths, in this unselfconsciousness that one finds one’s own comfort in being, in one’s own (auto)biography and condition.

I knew Lee prior to this book. But, I did not know him well. And wish I had had the opportunity. Our paths crossed through the familial lines, sometimes leading to light conversations, but as I recall, mostly short and simple pleasantries or greetings. I was not aware of the depth of his Zenness, the richness [...] continue the story

Detoxing: An Intimate Exorcism

By Andrea Shewchuk

I began the process of rebalancing my intestinal flora, cleaning and rebuilding my liver tissue and nourishing my body with cocktails of antioxidants, freshly-pressed juice and a variety of fibres almost 2 months ago, addressing rapidly spreading and debilitating eczema from a systemic perspective. Until now, the process had expressed itself very logically and linearly as not only the eczema cleared before my eyes, but the many other side effects of candida pollution, emergency pharmaceuticals, passive exposure to chemicals, my emotional toxins, elusive unhealthy dynamics etc. gracefully disappeared. Only very once in awhile did I want to think that it couldn’t be this simple. And then I would swiftly abandon the thought.

It has been a week since I returned from a re-visit to the ocean and re-connection to a place of profound development. The week seemed uneventful except for many new stories and memories of laughter.

I had felt drained and the all-too familiar pain in my chest as I feared a return of pneumonia. This ended after less than 2 days when I was woken up one night by the consciousness of thick mucous in my throat. I was confused since my recent history with mucous was lung-related.

My throat burned. Viral, bacterial, a cold, new or retracing. Energy or [...] continue the story

My Story of Anne

By Andrea Shewchuk

I went into my stationery and boxes to find wrapping for the trinkets I would take to Susan tomorrow.

I had wondered late last week, before, where the calendar had gone, through our recent move and other clearings, what had made the “filter” process, my mind drifted momentarily into the bigger concept of change, impermanence, importance…

I rooted around in the envelopes and cards, and there at the back, peeking out, was Anne’s 2011. She had given it to me and said that hopefully it would be marked with many more times getting together in the future.

Anne had sent Susan to buy a gift each for me and my mother when we had lunch late in 2010 – mine was the 2011 calendar, The Twelve Muses.

Mitch Albom’s have a little faith is ironically, by accident, deliberately, by the hands of coincidence, well-placed next to me as I write.

Anne, her husband and my parents were mostly, almost, lifelong friends, intertwining business and pleasure and the cottage and boats and families and travel, sharing party sandwiches, deli food and everything else that presented itself on the path. This is how I came to know one of the best friends in the world, Susan, the daughter of Anne.

Anne was [...] continue the story