In 1986, I left Toronto and moved to New York. I fell head over heels for a man in 1988. We wanted to make sure we didn’t transmit HIV to each other, so we got tested. I felt healthy as ever. However, my test came back: HIV positive.
The second installment from Canadian emergency physician and journalist Anthony Fong as he describes his experience at the Ukraine-Polish border, treating Ukrainian refugees fleeing the full-scale invasion of their country.
I have experienced the deep dark caves of depression and the sky-reaching highs of mania. I’ve even experienced life beyond the scope of reality during psychosis. Despite the overwhelming obstacles my mental illness presents, in a way I’m still grateful for my psychiatric disorder.
As a child with cystic fibrosis, I was hit with this adult issue of mortality – something no 5-year-old should be worrying about. When I was born in 1971, the median survival rate for women with CF was 20 years old. I’ve chased that median age of survival my whole life.
My illness was something that happened to me, but I was still under there. I had to come out from under that shadow to figure out who I wanted to be even if I was going to die in a few months.
My life changed significantly when I realized I was in control. I’ve decided I’m going to retire earlier than originally planned so I can scratch things off my bucket list now that it is deeper than before. I know if my cancer returns, I’m going to have a big blowout funeral party and obviously attend it myself.
My illness is not your adjective. If you are acting unhinged, you are not “psychotic.” If you’re feeling unstable, you’re not “bipolar.” In the same way, if you like things neatly arranged, you’re not “so OCD.”
Representatives of Toronto Women in Emergency Medicine, a group of emergency physicians working in hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area, were asked to reflect on their experiences of the most recent wave and what health-care systems can do to survive the next one.
Spiritual care can be a powerful therapeutic intervention. However, 80 per cent of patients reported that physicians never or rarely discuss spiritual or religious issues with them. But the role of spiritual health does not have to fall on physicians alone.
I have ADHD, but it took nearly my whole life to receive a proper diagnosis. Unfortunately, I am not alone – females with this condition often go either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, since ADHD diagnostic criteria are male-oriented.
While COVID has progressed we have had the need to wear masks to slow or prevent the spread of COVID. The good thing about this is that while wearing a mask no one expects me to show emotions so I can just sit there in silence.
When patients have strange, unidentified illnesses, physicians often focus more on finding a diagnosis than managing symptoms. When a close family member struggled with such an illness, I saw the importance of addressing patient suffering earlier on.
People joke that they don't like going to the dentist, but for some, a trip to the dentist can actually trigger past traumas. The trauma-informed dentistry movement is trying to make dentists' offices places where vulnerable patients feel safe.
Nurses hold the health-care system together, even as many are suffering from burnout and leaving the profession. In this photo-essay, nurses speak about the little things they carry with them to stay motivated and connect with patients and colleagues.
When hospitals harm patients, patient-relations departments provide insincere apologies and resort to other tactics to shield hospitals from accountability. I experienced this while coping with medical errors my late dad suffered as a cancer patient.
We're only beginning to understand the "secondary losses" of the pandemic. The immediate future of health care will likely be defined by the appearance of illnesses that flourished among the forgotten, patients who were inadvertently neglected.
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