As one might expect, navigating life with an invisible illness is one challenge followed by another. Beat one. Greet one. Every. Day. Nothing prepares you for the...
An NIH study points to autoimmunity as the underlying cause of more than a hundred life-altering, chronic illnesses and that 75% of those with autoimmune disorders are women. ...
Patient engagement is a trendy topic for healthcare providers – the latest spin terminology for “patient compliance” – as in how do I get patients to follow...
Zebra Retreat. No, it is not a new safari resort in Africa. It is not a ride at Disney. Not a new game rivaling Angry Birds. And...
Susannah Cahalan, a journalist for the New York Post, was afflicted with a very rare autoimmune disease called anti-NMDA-receptor autoimmune encephalitis. Where my type of autoimmune disease...
“Living with a chronic illness is hard. Some days, navigating the healthcare system is harder. I am a nurse, looking at healthcare from the other end of the stethoscope. Join me on my journey for answers and a cure – and definitely a few laughs, too!” As a young nurse in 2011, Sarah Beth Cowherd, RN began blogging about her experience in healthcare. She wanted to explore how a new generation of nurses were changing the face of healthcare through the use of technology and social media. Soon…
Last week was a strange week. It felt a little bit like groundhog day–with a prediction of six more months of winter.
About six months ago, I started infusions of IVIG for the treatment of Autoimmune Autonomic Ganglionopathy. Better today than I have been in the past three years, I would say the treatments are working. (Speaking of three years, Saturday marked year three of my sickness). Unfortunately, my improvements come at a price: the IVIG causes me to be very sick. Sometimes the reactions aren’t so bad, but other (most) times, I have a severe inflammatory reaction of the lining of the brain and spinal cord, known as aseptic meningitis. This causes out-of-this-world headaches, neck pain, nausea, visual changes, and pretty much the inability to do anything but lay in the fetal position. I take steroids to counteract this reaction, but unfortunately, if I take them, they also counteract the benefits of the infusion itself.
Needless to say, these past six months have been some of the worst days and some of the best days I’ve had in the last three years. Pain and misery from the infusions on one hand, and on the other, I’ve been able to do more than I ever have and I’m off the majority of medications I was on (which is a ridiculous thing to say if you know how many I used to have to take).
I’m excited to head to Scottsdale, Arizona next week for the 18th Annual Greystone.net Healthcare Internet Conference, HCIC 2014, –bringing together health leaders from many different disciplines to talk digital marketing.
I will be tweeting @SarahBethRN–consider yourselves forewarned.
The keynote speaker lineup leaves little to be desired. I am perhaps most intrigued by Scott Stratten, President of UnMarketing–@unmarketing. He is “an expert in viral, social, and authentic marketing, which he calls UnMarketing.” With 174 thousand Twitter followers and 60 million views of client videos, he certainly has made his mark online. His newest book is entitled “QR Codes Kill Kittens”–need I say more? On November 4, he will present UnMarketing: Stop Marketing, Start Engaging.
If you are heading to the pre-conference events, check out Online Reputation Management facilitated by F. Brian Whitman, Partner and COO of Corrigan Partners. “What’s Important Now? And What Solutions, Tools and Techniques Work Best to Manage It?”
Here are a few break out sessions I’m excited for:
The most difficult breakout session choice is the Wednesday, November 5, 9-10am sessions where we will have to choose between:
Tough Decision. I’m still undecided.
Don’t forget to stop by Booth 28 to get your very own Corrigan Partner’s duck.
And Tweet me @SarahBethRN #hcic14
The director of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia apologized for implying that the nurse in Texas was responsible for her own infection with the deadly Ebola virus. This comes less than two weeks after hospital officials from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital and other prominent officials blamed a different nurse for releasing the patient with Ebola from the emergency department possibly causing an Ebola outbreak.
Read my post from last week explaining this controversy: Why the nurse is not to blame for the Ebola “mistake”.
The public at large is understandably concerned by the news that a nurse here in the United States contracted Ebola despite wearing full protective equipment. How is this possible? Dr.. Thomas Frieden of the CDC seemed to imply it was the nurse’s fault when he stated the infection was due to a “breach in protocol”.
There is a lot of talk about why the man diagnosed with Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital was sent home from the emergency room not having been tested for Ebola despite telling the triage nurse he had been in Liberia.
Because they let him go, he came in to contact with up to 20 people including a handful of school aged children. According to CNN, “Hospital officials have acknowledged that the patient’s travel history wasn’t “fully communicated” to doctors” (CNN article). CNN also reports that “‘A travel history was taken, but it wasn’t communicated to the people who were making the decision. … It was a mistake. They dropped the ball,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.”
“They dropped the ball”. I certainly hope Dr. Fauci is not talking about the nurse. Read More
I recently came across an article in the Health & Science section of The Washington Post: Hit by a car, an emergency doctor experiences firsthand the shortcomings in ER care.
I almost didn’t finish reading it because I was rolling my eyes and thinking, “Yep, I have a hundred of these stories.”
I think my new byline should say “Nurse. Blogger. Patient who can’t navigate the system to save her life.”