We like to pretend like we have some power and control over our risk of loss and pain.
We want to believe that we can strong arm our vulnerability into being predictable and preventable.
So, we try to stratify our risk of loss to compensate for the sheer terror of our inherent human vulnerability. Read More
The Remedy is a beautiful and powerful anthology sharing queer and trans voices on health and health care. Edited by the brilliant Zena Sharman, this anthology brings so much light and awareness to the experiences of queer and trans individuals and communities as they access the complex world of health care. Read More
health care is about creating a presence of support, utilizing our special training to help patients make informed decisions about their bodies, and creating a space for healing where a patient works with us on their terms to heal themselves. Read More
What I’ve learned in the short time I’ve been a nurse practitioner, is that the most effective way to gain trust, be effective and the biggest opportunity I have to help someone is when I choose to listen. Not to listen to chart, to diagnose, or to come up with my next sentence, but to sit back from my charting, to look someone in the eyes, and to actually listen to hear what they are telling me. Read More
Your passing, while I knew it was inevitable, completely caught me off guard. It came so quickly, I didn't have time to prepare myself. Although I'm learning I never really can prepare myself for these kinds of things. If only I would have known the last time I saw you would be the last time I saw you. I would have spent more of our time together looking at you to see you, not looking at you to assess you as my patient. Read More
I know you are tired. I know you work long hours and you don’t have enough time to get all the things done you need to. There is so much expected of you every day.
You are expected not only to be a brilliant scientist who knows every body system down to the cellular level but you are also expected to have highly tuned interpersonal skills and plenty of time for each patient. Read More
I recently worked with a few transgender patients and I realized how much I have to learn about providing a safe and caring health care environment and experience for the trans community.
My colleagues and I have great intentions, but sometimes good intentions are not enough. Learning and practicing safe language and creating an environment that feels inclusive is important. We must include our trans friends, clients, and patients in our considerations of inclusivity and safety for all populations. Read More
I have been working with my mentors the last few years on a new health care framework called Empathetic Partnership.
It's for all helping professionals and is meant to be a tool to help providers create safe and effective partnerships with patients or clients. It's a six element framework using women of sexual minority as the example of marginalized populations in need of safe and caring health care. It was published in the Journal for Nurse Practitioners in September 2014.
My friends at Washington State University wrote a Press Release about this framework in December. It was so well written and one of the best descriptions of my work I've ever seen or been able to articulate myself. I was so honored to have them share my work. A few days after the press release . . . Read More
Today was one of my favorite kind of clinical days because I got to connect with another human being who happened to also be my patient.
Sitting down to review tests, scans and blood levels, it's easy to get caught up in the science of medicine. Science is no doubt a wonderful part of being in the medical field. Unfortunately for many health care providers (myself included) we can sometimes get so focused on science and outcomes and care plans that we can lose sight of why we do what we do. Read More
A few years ago, I went skydiving in Oregon.Sitting on the edge of the plane at 13,000 feet just before a full 60-second free fall was completely terrifying. I knew I wanted to do it, but I didn't have any idea what it would feel like or how I would like it.
There were certainly no guarantees.
In fact, before I was allowed on the plane, I had to sign many, many documents stating that I might die. Or that the prevention of my death could not be guaranteed. Again and again, I initialed and signed. Read More
The following is a beautiful post written by my good friend Melissa M. Wilcox. She is a survivor of IPV (intimate partner violence). For too many years she was silenced. But she is now standing up and speaking out to share her story. This post is written from her perspective as a patient and client interacting with the health care and mental health system. Her story goes to show how one helping professional can make all the difference in the world. Read More
What are you busy trying to hide so that you can fit in? How would your life look different if you were willing to let that go in honor of authenticity and the true opportunity for belonging? Read More
Many of us (myself included) expect our health care providers to have our best interest at heart. Don't all doctors take the hippocratic oath? Isn't nursing founded on caring for and nurturing people? Read More
You may have noticed I've been on a bit of a hiatus. Part of my hiatus from TWBP has been because I've been working on finishing a scholarly article describing a practice framework I developed for helping professionals called Empathetic Partnership. (More on that to come soon.) Read More
Our western culture has made medicine into a very certain profession. As Dr. Kingsays, no one really wants a doctor who approaches health care or our diagnosis with uncertainty: we want our health care providers to be certain, to know what it is we need to help us return to our healthy state, and to reassure us.
I learned this behavior as a health care provider. If you aren't certain, you sure as hell better find someone who is. Read More
My nephew is at the sweet and tender age of 12.
He is at that awkward in-between phase of child and teenager. Hormones are filling his body. His voice is changing, squeaking and all over the place. He loves to stand next to me and see if he's taller yet (we are about even!). He hugs me without hesitation. He still adores me. He has crushes and friends. He loves gaming and reading. He is tender and kind. He is sensitive and complex.
He is so amazing. And in such a huge transition. Somehow he is managing it so gracefully. Read More
In Spring 2013, I had a stroke of luck when I landed front row seats to Brandi Carlile and the Oregon Symphony show. After looking forward to it for months, the day arrived last week. Read More
Here's what I've already learned from the inspiring and scientifically-based work of Kelly McGonigal, PhD: what it means to say yes to my goals, to understand that I do have the power to change things in my life, and how stress can actually work with me instead of against me. Read More
I had a hard, but good, conversation with an old friend yesterday about healing, change, courage, and fear.
I went to bed thinking about these things and early this morning I awoke with the strangest dream: I was still my 32-year old self, but living with my parents in my childhood home. Brené Brown and her family came to visit us. Those of you who have been following me for a while (or who know me personally) know I'm a huge Brené fan and would love to spend a day with her. All throughout the dream, as I interacted with her, her family ,and my family, I was trying to access my authentic self, but I just couldn't do it. I ended up behaving like some warped version of myself. Read More