Medicine

Find Yourself a Real Doctor

November 26, 2013 Addiction

Written in June, 2010. Here’s the thing: Asking me for medical advice is like asking Charles Manson how to be a pacifist. Mood music:  Somebody Get Me A DoctorVan HalenVan Halen II In the months since I started this blog, I’ve noticed something expected but weird nonetheless: People are coming to me for medical advice. […]

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A Night in the Sleep Lab

August 12, 2013 Medicine

I’m a chronic snorer. Hardly a week goes by where I’m not banished to the living room couch at least once for making a racket. My oldest son gleefully tells his buddies that I sound like a “busted chainsaw” at night. Erin has also observed that I sometimes stop breathing for short spurts. It’s an […]

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Why Do Americans Die Sooner?

January 11, 2013 Medicine

CNN reports that despite spending more per person on healthcare than any other country, Americans are getting sicker and dying younger than our international peers. Why is this? Because Americans are too high strung and overworked. You could say the stress is killing us. Mood music, ironically sung by a couple of Brits:  Under PressureDavid […]

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All You Wanted Was a Pepsi. Instead You Got Drugs

September 19, 2012 Medicine

A friend of mine likes to refer to antidepressants as “brain candy.” I hate when he does, because it oversimplifies the very complicated science of mental medication. It’s not about seeing flowers and sunshine where neither exist. Mood music:  InstitutionalizedSuicidal TendenciesSuicidal Tendencies There is this notion that taking antidepressants is a sign of weakness. I […]

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Exeter Hospital: Stop Making Excuses and Test Employees for Hepatitis C

August 17, 2012 Medicine

An open letter to New Hampshire’s Exeter Hospital. To Whom It May Concern: You may find the outrage I’m about to unleash unfair. But the Hepatitis C scare caused by your lax security has threatened someone I love and thousands of others. I spent my childhood in and out of the hospital, getting stuck with […]

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Exeter Hospital’s Hepatitis C Scare Hits Close to Home

August 15, 2012 Medicine

David Kwiatkowski made national news for spreading Hepatitis C to patients at Exeter Hospital in N.H. He worked his way across the country, getting fired from several hospitals but escaping arrest until officials at Exeter blew the whistle. The story hits too close to home, as a relative was potentially exposed during an ER visit […]

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How to Stop Screwing Your Patients in Four Simple Steps

June 15, 2012 Medicine

A colonoscopy I was supposed to have today was abruptly canceled over missing paperwork. Normally I wouldn’t complain about something like this because life happens. But I’m hearing a lot lately about medical offices screwing up and making the patient feel stupid instead of taking responsibility. Mood music:  Somebody Get Me A DoctorVan HalenVan Halen II I […]

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The Monkey Will ALWAYS Be On Your Back

April 25, 2012 Addiction

I’m standing at a bar in Boston with my wife and stepmom. They order wine and I order coffee. My stepmom beams and says something about how awesome it is that I beat my demons. I appreciate the pride and the sentiment. But it’s also dangerous when someone tells a recovering addict that they’ve pulled […]

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Depression Takes Another Life: Ronnie Montrose

April 11, 2012 Addiction

Depression has claimed another victim. Published reports confirm that legendary guitarist Ronnie Montrose’s March 3 death was a suicide. Many of you are unfamiliar with him, but his playing left a lasting mark on a lot of mega-star musicians, including Eddie Van Halen, who recorded four studio albums with original Montrose singer Sammy Hagar. Mood […]

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I Bet Health Insurers Would Gladly Cover Suicide Pills

February 13, 2012 Depression

The Catholic Church is bringing out its heavy artillery to fight a Massachusetts ballot initiative that, if passed, would allow doctors to prescribe lethal pills to terminally-ill patients that want to be put out of their misery. I’m with the church on this one. Mood music: Boston Globe columnist Scot Lehigh describes this quite nicely: An […]

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