Whatcom: Chronic & Acute

  October-November 2018

Is It Really You Your Doctor Is Treating? Or Is It a Surrogate?

Is it the biologically unique you your doctor is treating and counseling during an office visit? Yes, to the extent your history, gender and age matter. Mainly, though, she is providing preventive care recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task … Continue reading

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  September 2018

Confounding Health Care

Humor Man goes into Doctor’s office. “Doc, I have pain in my right shoulder.” Doc consults, examines and orders ultrasound and X-rays. Man gives X-ray order to imaging Reception and follows Tech to X-ray machine. “Why are you here?” Tech … Continue reading

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  August 2018

Back Door Open to Guided Health Care System Tour

Enter and Look Around — Free and Easy The front entrance to the doctor’s office is typically a patients’-only view of the health care system, but Whatcom offers a back door with a welcome mat inviting you to tour what … Continue reading

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  July 2018

When Preparation to Die Is Too Good to Be True

Whatcom County, WA vs. La Crosse County, WI Because 96 percent of people who die in La Crosse, WI. are claimed to have an advance directive (AD), Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement (WAHA) publicized La Crosse’s achievement as its own … Continue reading

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  June 2018

Ten Tips For Device Surgery

1. Learn the name or brand of the device to be implanted so you can search for its success rate and its recall history. I discovered devices similar to my fusion spacers were available from Taiwan packed in bulk for … Continue reading

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  June 2018

Ask Questions Before Device Or Implant Surgery

Don’t expect to be told everything you need to know when electing surgery. Despite the length and thoroughness of pre-surgery preparations, you’ll discover most information is for the surgeon, not the patient. First, the surgeon is in charge and is … Continue reading

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  May 2018

Who Will Be There For You When You’re Dying?

When I heard specialist physicians, titled hospitalists, were hired to care for hospital inpatients, I asked the hospital for a job description so I might judge their impact on patients, especially at the end of life. PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical … Continue reading

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  May 2018

Open Letter to Peacehealth St. Joseph Cancer Center

Greetings, Cancer Center Board of Directors: Is there a sadder comment on cancer care than “I wish someone had told me?” That was my wish in 2009 about my wife’s glioblastoma treatment and was the despairing 2018 wish of a … Continue reading

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  April 2018

Your Life-Sustaining Medical Treatment – Sign Up Now

  Its title alone demands your attention, but this form may also impact your death one day: Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)! The orders are your orders to an unknown physician(s) suddenly confronted with life or death treatment when … Continue reading

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  March 2018

Realities of End-of-life Issues Confronted

Healthcare Providers and Public in Landmark Meeting on End-of-Life Issues “Rumors and Realities” was an apt title for the Jan. 17, 2018, standing-room-only public meeting about dying in Whatcom County. Community rumors were rife that PeaceHealth’s St. Joseph Medical Center’s … Continue reading

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