Stories

Spend Less. Live Better.

Posted by on Jan 26, 2015 in Blog, Stories | 1 comment

Spend Less.  Live Better.

By Diane Scheb  RN, MSN Spend less.  Live better.  Except, she didn’t have that long to live.  Maybe 10 days. . . probably not. Thirty-three years old, an illegal Mexican migrant worker, she was diagnosed in an emergency room with an aggressive stomach cancer two years ago and she had been fighting for her life ever since.  Multiple rounds of chemo administered through our Community Medical Clinic had not worked. And now, here she was in my ICU, valiantly clutching to life after yet another horrifying gastrointestinal bleed.  Horrifying to her four children ages 3 to 14, who...

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Give Lungs a Chance

Posted by on Jan 19, 2015 in Blog, Stories | 0 comments

Give Lungs a Chance

By Danielle Moriates, RN When babies are born prematurely, they often lack surfactant – a soapy substance produced in the lungs that helps to keep the air sacs open. Without surfactant, these tiny babies fight to breathe, a condition known as infant respiratory distress syndrome. Within the past 50 years, the delivery of artificial surfactant therapy has revolutionized neonatal care, saving many lives that previously would have had no chance at survival. As a neonatal intensive care nurse, I have seen firsthand how much relief and satisfaction it can bring patients when, within seconds of...

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Not as Simple as We Think

Posted by on Jan 12, 2015 in Blog, Stories | 1 comment

Not as Simple as We Think

By Kristin Morin, MSN RN I wish lowering healthcare costs was as easy as “cost awareness”, but as one patient put it, “I never pay the first few bills, because the amount changes every time a new bill is sent.”  The payment system is so fragmented that it’s hard to know what will become an expense with any given illness.  Even the savviest of consumers of healthcare have difficulty with hospital payment systems.  Most consumers of healthcare are not savvy consumers.  Comparing the cost of apples and oranges in one grocery store to another is not like comparing a hip replacement...

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A Second-Rate Life

Posted by on Jan 5, 2015 in Blog, Stories | 1 comment

A Second-Rate Life

By Kunal Arya Last year, I underwent a colectomy, a surgery that removed my entire colon. Afterwards, I had to wear a temporary waste-collecting pouch attached to my abdomen known as an ostomy. Until my next surgery, I was now an “ostomate.” One of the early side-effects of the surgery was that I was prone to bouts of severe dehydration that left me hospitalized for a few days. During one of my dehydration-related hospitalizations, the nursing staff wheeled in my new roommate, Randy, an elderly man who had emergency surgery to remove his colon. Without knowing it, Randy had joined the...

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Because I Can

Posted by on Dec 29, 2014 in Blog, Stories | 2 comments

Because I Can

By Christen McCurdy Sometime while I was still in high school, my mom began to have trouble breathing. She had never had asthma before; an Albuterol inhaler helped for a while. Still, cold season was a nightmare, and later, so was allergy season, and every year seemed to get worse. After college, I moved back in with my parents. She fought her way through the cold season, dutifully driving 20 miles (and later 40, after being asked to teach at a different campus) to a community college near our town, where she taught as an adjunct. One night the following spring, she told me she could feel her...

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