Healthcare – Are You Addicted to Your Story?

Posted April 15, 2012 by Healing in Healthcare
Categories: Healthcare Service, Self Improvement

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woman-low-self-esteemAha – when you feel like everything around you is crumbling – let it go.Your first reaction is to hold on even tighter. And the truth is, you’re probably better off without it. Could there be something bigger and better waiting around the corner for you? Gather yourself up and rise above. That is one of your greatest life lessons.

We are so conditioned to hold on to what is most familiar to us. And that may not  be your greatest self. Iyanla Vanzant pointed this out so well with a recovering drug addict named Steve. He was clean and sober 10 yrs and wonder what was the point, life wasn’t so great. She explained that he had become addicted to his ‘story’ of addiction and failure. It was all he knew and what he did best. So holding onto the story was easier than stepping out and imagining and creating a better life. Because that can be very scary. Where does he start? What if he fails? What if he looks stupid? Can he really do it without ever having been validated in his life? He already knew how to be an addict and that was bad enough. But the thought of possibly failing at one more thing can freeze you in your tracks.

The trick is to imagine what do you have to lose vs what do you have to gain, and to realize that you are more than that ‘old story’. Your image of who you are can be cemented by what people did or didn’t tell you. Whether you are coasting along on cruise control or hanging by a thread, not living up to your potential leaves you feeling not enough. You have the power to change that! Your potential may be  showing up every day for your family, a neighbor or even the stranger you see at your job. It doesn’t have to be any great big success story, simply being of service the best you know how. Remember that it really does take a village and that people really do need people. Show up and give of yourself. Affirm other people. Show them that they are lovable and that you have got their back.  We share the same stories in one way or another. We ALL matter.

This link allows you to see Steve the addict tell his story and transform. Make sure to watch the last video where you can see how powerful it can be to support another person in their life. You can see and feel the energy in the audience as they too, even as observers can see the miracle behind this transformation for each and every one of us. Bravo to Iyanla!

Iyanla Vanzant on Oprah LifeClass: Healing the Pain

Insight Zone: Life Coaching


Healthcare – When is Protocol Appropriate?

Posted March 13, 2012 by Healing in Healthcare
Categories: Healthcare Service

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hippocratic oath - do no harmIn the healthcare arena we have learned to develop protocols as to what is appropriate treatment and care to develop efficiencies and standardizations to save lives. It has been very successful, fairly predictable and saved millions of lives. And yet I would like to challenge our dependence on these protocols. Has anyone considered the possibility or measured the amount of harm this has done when followed blindly?

For instance; when someone shows up with inflammation, is it appropriate to automatically give them an IV? This might make it easier to give multiple medications, but does it confuse or muddy the reaction and analysis of the inflammation? Could extra fluids worsen the condition?

Another example; when someone shows up with an infection that is not life threatening, why don’t we take the time to culture or analyze what it is? Are we playing the odds and throwing our best guess? Wouldn’t it be more productive and  healthier for the patient to determine if it is a virus, bacteria or fungus first? If we are treating the wrong thing based on a guess, I propose that we could be losing precious time that could also save a life if the correct diagnosis was made. You could start with your best guess while waiting for the culture to come back. Traditionally we guess, and then if we’re wrong and the condition worsens then we move up to a broader spectrum  approach, and after that might consider a culture. People have lost their lives from this approach. It may not be cost effective, yet was the patient even given the option?

I am grateful for and can certainly understand the importance and need to follow protocols under life threatening conditions. But when we do have the luxury of even a couple days to examine the situation, we may actually prevent further harm, expense and complications. Inflammation is the body’s response to injury and we seem to want to take it totally out of the equation. Perhaps a few days to a week of monitoring may show that the body is resolving things on it’s own.

This is obviously not a complete analysis, just food for thought. I have been in this situation myself and weighing the pros and cons. What do you think?

Healthcare – Food Addiction and Ethics

Posted February 26, 2012 by Healing in Healthcare
Categories: Healthcare Service, Self Improvement

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Eating Between The LinesHow often do we seriously consider the ethics behind food production and delivery? Robert H. Lustig presents an excellent argument in his article, The Most Unhappy of Pleasures: This is Your Brain on Sugar. First he explains what constitutes addiction, and then how sugar meets those guidelines. He follows up with how the food industry is manufacturing and marketing food as a means to happiness and how it does just the exact opposite.

Dr. Mark Hyman has a new book, The Blood Sugar Solution: The UltraHealthy Program for Losing Weight, Preventing Disease, and Feeling Great Now!  He reviews holistically how important blood sugar control is to our health and wellness. The book provides a detailed guide on how to decrease the incidence of diabetes and obesity, as well as many other diseases and conditions that are related to blood sugar control.

With these sources you learn that food can be your darkest addiction that creates illness or be treated as medicine to prevent and heal most conditions that plague you today.  Our experts in the food industry are well aware of this also and have used it to lure you in with savvy marketing. They also know what ingredients will encourage you to eat a whole container versus a healthy serving because it’s more profitable. It’s well understood that you will eat more fast food if eaten unconsciously in the car or in front of the tv so they promote and produce it as such.  The industry also understands how to fudge the rules  of ingredient disclosure and create new ingredient names to disguise the ones that we decide to boycott. The more that I learn about these practices and what it’s doing to our country’s wellness, the more disappointed and empowered I become.

I propose that there are many practices in the food industry today which I would consider unethical in the pursuit of profitability and greed. And since we live in a country that is proud of protecting our freedom to choose, I am choosing to do better. We are at a point in history right now where we are struggling with the freedom to produce and deceptively market whatever can be sold with the responsibility and morality of doing what is right for the consumer. Will there come a day that we look back at our use of sugar, sugar substitutes and many other ingredients the same way that we look at tobacco and other drugs today?

You will note that I have had a lapse in blogs for the last 8 weeks. It is because at my house we were taking back control of our health and eating habits. We removed all products with sugar, fake sugars, and most ingredients that you can’t pronounce, and began preparing food from scratch. Learning how to read labels, researching recipes and making the time to cook a priority takes time and commitment.

Wrapping your head around the idea of choosing to do better and be empowered rather than succumbing to the feeling of victimization and deprivation of food addiction is a struggle to say the least. Some people will shrug and say “moderation” is the answer that allows them to eat what they like. And I respond with how do you define moderation? Since I don’t know the answer to that, I am trying to be more safe than sorry. There is a strong movement going on to demand better food choices that is wrestling with those profiting from doing otherwise.

How do you feel about these issues?

More Resources:

Michael Polan is the author of four New York Times bestsellers:Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (2010); In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto (2008); The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (2006) and The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World (2001)

Natural Flavors and other food labels are Deceptive Marketing

Eating Between the Lines

Healthcare – Are You Promoting Reckless Behavior?

Posted January 21, 2012 by Healing in Healthcare
Categories: Healthcare Service

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Jamie Oliver Processed FoodsEvery day, quietly undercover there is a cowardly evil slithering into your life. It’s disguise falls under ‘Things That Make You Happy!’. Family events, love, nurturing, friendship, and celebrations all cloak this demon, so that it can do it’s dastardly work slowly destroying your most precious resources seamlessly without detection.

You know this evil as frankenfoods, preservatives, dyes, processed foods and sugars. They are all extremely profitable and powerful. So much so that they have bought their way into our daily lives with the very best marketing available today. Profitability has trumped what we used to hold near and dear to our hearts – our health. It only took a couple generations to convert the majority of the population into addicts looking for their next fix via junk food.

Corporations used our spending dollars to learn how to market to us, and train us to look for and even crave the fastest food available. And in each evil sweet or savory morsel are the ingredients that are slowly killing us. Our most basic biology does not recognize and therefore cannot properly assimilate and fully utilize these ingredients for accurate cell replication and function.  Our bodies are certainly adaptable. In fact it is very creative in finding ways to adapt, work around, beg steal and borrow resources to support your most critical life functions. And in that process what do you think is happening? The cells are changing, morphing, adapting in a manner other than was originally intended in our primary design. According to Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, in some cases, to metastasize (spread).

This process occurs repeatedly until it can no  longer sustain itself. And then Ta-Da you have cancer, heart disease, or any other surprising malady that you had no clue was brewing within your very being. It is time to use your common sense and connect the dots. You work your whole life looking forward to the reward of less responsibility in retirement, only to have sabotaged your own selves with your lifestyle choices. I propose that you simply start by reading the ingredient list of anything that you put in your mouth. Then ask yourself if that is helping or hurting you today and in your future. Do you seriously want to feed that to your children, family and friends?

You don’t have to ‘feel’ sick in order to ‘be sick’! Wake up and use your common sense. Just because it is produced and marketed, and everyone else is eating it – does not mean it’s safe. That is basic finance – not nutrition or health. Our healthcare system has the ability and opportunity to make tremendous strides in this area by teaching awareness. Your purchasing dollars speak volumes. These foods will disable, bankrupt and kill. What can you do to make a difference?

Healthcare – Deciding to Fight or Not?

Posted January 14, 2012 by Healing in Healthcare
Categories: Healthcare Service

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Rocky trainingLife is funny sometimes. We are in the midst of so much fabulous technology. Around every corner there are new theories about how nutrition and lifestyle affect our health and longevity. The news and the internet share healing miracles of those that won the war. And yet, when faced with our own mortality, what will our own personal choice be?

At some time most of us have all judged someone about their smoking, drinking, addiction, eating, … When someone has the big heart attack or the nasty “C”, we say of course that would be motivation enough to make better choices. We assume that we can wait til the finish line and try a desperate save. But not always so. In fact, I think quite frequently not.

My question is why don’t they fight? What does it take to get the strength to love yourself and change for the better? What happened to that person? Where are they coming from? And if they can’t do it for themselves, can they let someone else do it for them until they are ready? Will that work in the end? Are they too tired? Do they not have the physical or mental reserves? Are they too sick? Is the fog too thick to see or walk through? Do they think it’s too late? Are they frozen in fear?

There are many many questions. And to date I think that this is my biggest challenge. I am willing and able to help in some areas. After making an offer of help, I want to respect their decision. Yet how do we know that they are making an informed choice? Do they understand all of the resources that are available? Do they know that many people are willing to help them? Do they know that there is a good chance that they might get better if they can just get over that hurdle?

If in fact they are fully informed and can say that’s not for me or I’m just not interested and I’m ready to quit, I can live with that. Let’s be grateful for the journey and facilitate that decision. It’s the inability to communicate what they think or feel that creates the awkward in-between place. Is it fear or denial? Is it lack of awareness? Is it a mechanism within us to protect us from the pain of knowing? It seems like they are being cheated out of grace; the grace of giving it their best, or getting things in order and having closure. Perhaps that is not necessary? Perhaps continuing on in indecision, is an equally good choice? I invite your questions, answers, or theories on this. I still have questions!

Healthcare – Celebrating Accountability

Posted January 8, 2012 by Healing in Healthcare
Categories: Healthcare Service

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celebration danceI have an amazing patient story to share. This patient had a very complicated medical surgery which resulted in a surgical complication requiring a second emergency surgery. When they received the bill, it appeared that the anesthetist that was responsible for the complication, wrote off their portion of the bill. I have never heard of that happening before and thought it was amazing news. Accidents can and do happen. Someone taking or sharing in that responsibility is not so common.

In fact I think it is downright ‘happy dance’ and do a few ‘high fives’ kind of give the man/institution praise behavior. This is how we present accountability and responsibility. The surgical team brought their best and have shown empathy for the not so perfect results. There were many mistakes throughout the hospital stay, and this gesture helped to smooth it over. This will take you far! This is what prevents lawsuits! They did not pretend it did not happen. They did not weave some crazy story trying to confuse the truth. It is what it is, and we are sorry that it happened. We will continue to do the best that we can. People are all so unique and complicated and there is no way that every scenario will turn out the same. Medicine is a living breathing can ‘change on a dime’ situation that we are planning and training the very best we know how for success.

I would not say that every situation should be handled this way. Each situation lends it’s own solution given what happens. Let’s just give thanks, and praise those that try to do the right thing. We can all try to do the same in our daily lives. The bar has been raised!

Healthcare – Successful Business Planning is in the Details!

Posted January 2, 2012 by Healing in Healthcare
Categories: Healthcare Service

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2012 successIt’s 2012 and here we go! Does your business have a vision and does everyone on the team know what it is? Paint a very vivid picture for everyone to fully understand, to the point that they too can get excited about not only the goal, but also what it will mean to them, the team, the customers and the community. Dig deep and have lots of details.

Do they know what part they play? It needs to be crystal clear who is responsible for what.

Do they have the skills needed to accomplish their goals? And ask them if they feel they need extra training.

Are their positions matched to their particular talents? Studies show that people will excel when placed in positions that match their talents, interests and passions.

Do they have the resources needed to be successful?  Time, money, training, staff, direction, support, ….. will all increase your odds. Staff morale can be directly affected by having the proper ingredients needed to accomplish their tasks.

Is everyone on board with the vision? The team doesn’t have to agree with line, yet they do need to agree with the ethics, morals, and general mission. If they have any problem with the spirit of the quest, you won’t get their top performance.

Do you measure and track what’s working and what’s not? You don’t truly ‘know’ what you don’t measure. You can guess all day and that won’t help your bottom line. Put the proper monitoring systems in place and share all the info.

Do you involve your team in brainstorming? Two heads are better than one. When you give the team the opportunity for open and free input, you might be very surprised with their responses. One idea leads to another and that’s where the ‘aha’ moments shine!

Incentivize! This can come in many forms and mean different things to different people. In the end, staff need motivation above and beyond a paycheck to become wildly successful. What are their hot buttons?  Do they support a cause?

This will get you off to a great start. Getting your team on board is key to fly the friendly skies. The dictator management method is so outdated, it is not sustainable. Superior team engagement is sustainable through the good, the bad and the ugly. And chances are you’ll be flying high more than not.

Share what other key components you consider crucial for that winning edge above the rest!

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