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Showing posts from June, 2013

Support Groups

Sup·port  [suh-pawrt, -pohrt]   verb (used with object) to bear or hold up (a load, mass, structure, part, etc.); serve as a foundation sustain (a person, the mind, spirits, courage, etc.) under trial or affliction.Group  [groop] noun any collection or assemblage of persons or things; cluster; aggregation.a number of persons or things ranged or considered together as being related in some way. Early on in my Crohn's diagnosis, I went to a support group.  I remember that it was run by a nice, older couple and the turnout was relatively small.  There were a few regulars and a few of us newbies in attendance and we shared our stories.  I remember hearing some pretty abysmal, and quite frankly scary, things about failed treatments, surgeries, and an overall pretty lousy quality of life  I left a bit disconcerted but decided I'd go back the following month to see if any new faces showed up, and if the first meeting was just a fluke in its negativity.  It was roughly the same …

Obesity as a Disease

I read in the news today that the American Medical Association has classified obesity as a disease, which has several public health ramifications.  The first being that physicians are now required to treat obesity like any other illness a patient may walk in with.  Historically, many doctors have avoided the conversation about a person's weight for a variety of reasons, including stigma toward people who are obese.

I've seen a lot of people struggling with weight issues.  While on internship at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, I helped teach the VA system's weight loss classes.  I learned quite a bit about why many people have a problem with maintaining a healthy weight by hearing the stories and seeing the struggles of the veterans I worked with.  Now, in our practice, I have clients who are considering bariatric surgery or who have gone under the knife and are now struggling with weight gain usually a few years post-op.  The themes of their stories are similar a…

We're Moving!

Wednesday I wrote about chronic illness anniversaries.  Well, Steph and I are approaching another anniversary.  On August 1st, 2012 we opened the doors of Oak Park Behavioral Medicine in a 1-room office in a historic walk-up building in Oak Park, Illinois.  Hence the name.  See how clever we are?
It's kind of hard to believe a year has gone by already.  It's even more of a surprise that we've outgrown our space need to relocate.  We've found a great new location in downtown Oak Park on a cozy brick street named Marion.  Starting August 1st, we will see clients at our new location and say farewell to our current office on Harrison street.

Other than all that is great about being located above a bakery with a view of the Chicago skyline, we're across the street from the CTA Green Line (Harlem Ave stop) and Metra Union Pacific West Line (Oak Park stop).  For those who drive, we're about 1 mile north of I-290, and a municipal parking lot is located across the stre…


Recently I passed my 11 year anniversary with Crohn's disease, which is some time around the end of May. Early on, I knew the exact date.  I want to say it's May 15th, 2002 but I can't be sure any more.  Is this a sign of my continued cognitive decline as I approach my 40s?  Or has the disease become less salient to my identity?  I'd like to think the latter since I don't feel 37, but who knows.

We follow a lot of people with chronic illness in the socialmediaverse, and I often see people posting about the anniversary of their diagnosis.  If you think about it, getting a diagnosis of something that will never go completely away for the rest of your life is kind of a big deal.  I might even venture to say on  par with a birthday or a marriage.

Side note:  just think how nice it would be if the chronic illness cure rate was as high as the divorce rate in the United States.

So how do you recognize the anniversary of your diagnosis?

For me, it's been an evolution…

Doc In the Box

I came across an April 2013 article about Walgreens drug store clinics starting to see patients with common chronic illnesses, such as diabetes or asthma.  I don't know about where you live, but around here Walgreens seem to be sprouting up everywhere, and many of them offer Take Care clinic services.  I've used the one down the street from my house to get a flu shot, but beyond that I have no personal experience with their medical practice.

Typically staffed by nurse practitioners (or advanced practice nurses), walk-in clinics - or doc-in-the-box as one of my former physician colleagues liked to call them - are becoming much more readily accessible in recent years.  There are many arguments for and against this medical paradigm, and the inclusion of chronic illness in addition to the typical acute conditions these clinics cater to opens up a whole new debate.

Is it a good idea to manage a chronic illness at Walgreens? (Or any other walk-in clinic?)

In the article, family phy…