Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Grand Rounds Vol. 5 No. 29

Lucy: Do you think anybody ever really changes?
Linus: I’ve changed a lot in the last year.
Lucy: I mean for the better.”

- Charles Schulz**

As I suggested in the call for submissions, the theme for this week’s Grand Rounds was loosely reflections on the way life used to be. For me, this theme was prompted by the fact that I have been a patient blogger for almost a year now, was diagnosed with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis almost a year ago to the day, and am finishing my second year of graduate school in a few weeks.

When I think about the way life used to be, I automatically think about change, and the myriad ways in which my life has changed over the past few years. Based on all of the submissions I received, this theme seemed to strike a chord.

Here is what medical bloggers (you!) had to say… Happy reading!

(Posts with a “*” were my personal favorites. They made me laugh and/or cry, and/or fit really well with the theme…)


Out With The Old…

Learning To Accept The Unexpected

These bloggers suggest various ways of coping that all involve a little bit of “old-fashioned” acceptance for the things we cannot change…

* Marie, of the blog Nourish, poignantly reflects on what her life was like “Before and After” being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

How To Cope With Pain gives us the post, A Journey From Being Lost To Acceptance, which looks at the stages people go through when facing obstacles, and provides suggestions for moving towards the acceptance of life challenges, specifically for those dealing with chronic pain.

Amy at Diabetes Mine adds a little humor to the situation in Diabetes April Fools, where she asks patients to submit their stories and laugh in the face of chronic illness, proving that sometimes, laughter is the best medicine…

Maybe The Old Ways Aren’t The Best…

These bloggers explore how the old ways of operating around a variety of medical issues just aren’t working the way they should…

* The Samurai Radiologist over at Not Totally Rad warns (in a somewhat comical way) that powerful and dangerous bacteria can grow on stethoscopes and that like radiologists, who don’t carry them, other physicians should “Just Say No To Stethoscopes” in order to protect patients.

Walter at Highlight HEALTH questions the health benefits of the traditional “meat and potatoes” diet in the post “Meat Consumption And Mortality Risk,” which explores research showing that a diet high in red and/or processed meat isn’t necessarily good for you, and can actually increase your risk of death.

Jeffrey from Nuts For Healthcare addresses the impact that the country’s economic crisis is having on the government and private insurance industry, suggesting that the old ways of operating aren’t working, in the post “striking middle ground in a public health plan?

Reality Rounds looks at what the job description of a nurse was in 1887, in the post “We’ve Come A Long Way, Baby”.

In the post “Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama, and the Amish Bus Driver”, Dr. Rich at The Covert Rationing Blog looks at the issue of medical professionals refusing to conduct certain medical procedures because of their own personal beliefs. Assuaging to collective rather than individual interests, Dr. Rich argues that the “traditional” doctor-patient relationship has become obsolete.

Am Ang Zhang, The Cockroach Catcher, laments the current state of the medical profession, in favor of a more paternalistic approach, in the post “House M.D.: 95% vs 5%”.

The More Things Change… The More They Stay The Same

* Maria, from My Life Works Today!, talks about the songs that have impacted her life and continue to comfort her on her journey of living life with lupus in the post “Music, Mileage, and Memories”.

* Laurie from A Chronic Dose feels fragmented. In her post, she laments the difficulties of balancing daily life and illness that occur, even when one has dealt with being ill for a long time.

In the post “Is Marriage Good or Bad for Your health?” Barbara from In Sickness and In Health suggests that while life with illness is about uncertainty, so was life before (or even without) illness, and that all situations can be complex and contradictory. She writes about one of them…marriage.

David from the Health Business Blog provides part one of a podcast of an interview with Bob Stone, the co-founder of Healthways, a disease management company founded in 1981. The podcast explores the reasoning behind why there hasn’t been widespread healthcare reform in the United States. You can listen to the interview here.

* Barbara from Florence dot com gives us the story of a Swedish ship that sank several hundred years ago. She connects this story with the epidemic of adverse events in medical practice occurring today, suggesting that like the ship, there is no regulatory mechanism in place to prevent such events, in the post “Lessons from a Sunken Ship”.

* In a post entitled “A Sordid Experience,” Dr. Cheah, a physician in Malaysia, paints a shocking picture of the conditions in local medical wards.

Everything Health vents about conservatives challenging healthcare reform that hasn’t even happened yet, in the post “Foxy Richard Scott Wants to Protect Us”.

Inside Surgery looks at the Carla Nash case and explains the general treatment strategies that are used in all critical medical cases.

In With The New…

Snake Oil And Other Fancy Things

These bloggers talk about change, and new and different experiences, some which are good, and some which aren’t…

* Kerri from Six Until Me writes about the kindness and compassion of a stranger who bails her out of a very tricky diabetes situation in her post, “Employee of the Month”.

Buyer beware! If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is… It’s sad but true, Paper Mask warns us against fraudulent health scams.

Duncan Cross expresses frustration over the public relations campaign of the pharmaceutical lobbying group PhRMA, in his post “Sharing Miracles?

Other Things Amanzi provides us with a sardonic (and admittedly bizarre) tale, suggesting that no matter what, “all bleeding stops”… eventually…

Nancy at Teen Health 411 emphasizes the importance and ritual of food preparation in her post on “The Culture of Food”.

Paul from Medicine for the Outdoors examines new research that suggests “changes in leisure time physical activity,” specifically spending more time being active, significantly reduces mortality risk. Now that it’s (finally) spring, what are you waiting for? Head outside!

Thought exercising was good for you, right? Well, it can be unhealthy if done the incorrect way. The Fitness Fixer provides tips on how to use fitness equipment the healthy way in order to avoid injury and pain.

Louise from Colorado Health Insurance Insider talks about the potential benefits of a program offering “free health care for some laid off workers”.

Allergy Notes informs readers that “mold and mothers smoking during infancy are the strongest risk factors for pediatric asthma”.

Technology: Friend Or Foe?

These days, you’d be hard-pressed to talk about change without looking at the way technology has revolutionized our lives. In an age when you can be-“friend” your doctor or patient at the click of the button, one has to wonder when it all becomes too much…

* Adina at Heal Spiel gives us the post, “Should Medical Students Make Fools of Themselves on the Internet?”, which looks at the potential positive impact that broadcasting their lives on social networking sites, such as Facebook, can have on medical students.

Dr. Shock investigates the pros and cons, and the various ways in which hospitals are using “social media”, such as twitter, in a post entitled “Twitter, Doctors, Hospitals and Medical Education.”

Clinical Cases and Images explores the reasons why electronic medical records may not be that helpful when medical professionals use a “copy and paste” method.

* On the flipside, in Getting Away From It All, Nurse Ausmed at Nursing Handover explores what it would be like for a medical professional to go to a developing country and practice medicine without the technology one is accustomed to using.


Don’t miss an edition of Grand Rounds ever again! You can subscribe to the Grand Rounds RSS feed or an aggregated RSS feed that includes Grand Rounds, Change of Shift, and Surge Xperiences.

Thanks to all who submitted posts for this week (and everyone’s encouragement in hosting my first Grand Rounds)!!!

Next week’s edition of Grand Rounds will be hosted by Pharmamotion.
**(Schulz, Charles. “2,522.” The 2,548 Best Things Anybody Ever Said. Comp. Robert Byrne. New York: Fireside, 2002.)


  1. Nice work, Leslie! I really like the theme and look forward to reading these posts. Thanks so much!

  2. Very nice, well done! Thanks for including Nursing Handover :)

  3. Great round-up! Thanks for including my post!

  4. Thanks for hosting and I hope those that made decisions on health read about what we missed and that new may not always be better, just different. And cost more. Some doctors now forget what is meant by clinical judgment!

    The Cockroach Catcher

  5. A great grand rounds! It looks like lots of great reading to keep us occupied for a week. Thanks.

  6. Ditto to all the above, Leslie~ you've outdone yourself (yet again ...)!

  7. Great job! Thanks for including my post.

  8. Thanks for such a great compilation, Leslie! Your hard work paid off. Your analysis here made me think more about ships, Swedes, and safety so I'm going to continue on with that line of thought this week.

  9. Wow! Very well done Leslie. You did a great job putting this all together. Good work!

  10. Leslie, this is an amazing compilation!! What hard work this must have taken. I am honored to be included and I am touched by your comments.

    Stay well. :)

  11. Dear Leslie....my comment is not about your blog although it is great! My post is more about you and your journey with RA. My name is Barb and I am 51 years old; I was diagnosed with juvenille RA at 19 but actually was afflicted with the disease at about 11. It was a mystery back then! My journey has been a long and painful one as well, with many medications and gold shots during my 20's and 30's. I struggled to have two children (who by the way are perfect in every way and are 25 and 15 now and my joy). I guess my message to you is one of hope and strength. Being at the the other end of the journey, and it is not over by any means, I just want you to know that through the dark fog of disease there is hope. Fight every day because it will make you strong beyond belief and you will accomplish so much. Do not ever think 'what's the use, this disease will get me anyway (I did that a few times)...I can tell you have everything you need for this journey because you are already blogging and reaching out to people to try and help them even as you struggle - which is where your strength and love will come from which is the fuel you need to fight the battle. I'm not going to tell you it is not a tough journey because it is, but I have come to know that in all the pain, lies a special gift. Self awareness is a key I have found to help me along my journey. Get in touch with yourself and how all this makes you feel and deal with the emotions along the way...it will help. Connect mind, body and spirit for strength. God Bless you and know you can live with the disease and find your bliss. Don't ever give up the battle...you are loved. Barb

  12. I am so grateful to find your work today. You'll never know. Sometimes I cannot overcome anxiety by myself. I am so glad HowToCopeWithPain highlighted you this week!
    Thanks so much,

  13. Thanks to all for your comments! And thanks again to everyone who submitted posts for this week!

  14. Thanks Barb and EstherGrace!

  15. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
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    Keep Posting:)