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Showing posts from August, 2014

Why You Should Have Medical Power of Attorney

This week one of my clients who is undergoing a rather major surgery today asked me if she should write down some of her wishes in the event something went wrong.  She was thinking more along the lines of a last will and testament, but the conversation steered to documenting her wishes for lifesaving medical treatment.  This client is in her 20s, so not exactly the age where you typically think about end-of-life issues.  That's for our parents or grandparents, right?  Nope.  No matter your age, and really your health status, you should consider having a medical power of attorney.

For those of us who live with a chronic medical illness, this becomes a bit more salient.  We often undergo procedures, take regular medications that may have risky side effects, or will need surgery.  Obviously the odds of something going wrong are typically quite small, but as they say - shit happens.  Having a medical power of attorney can better guarantee that your wishes will be adhered to should so…

Through the Insurance Wormhole

I went back and forth about writing this blog entry because it teeters on being too personal, as this is our practice blog and we, as therapists, need to maintain appropriate boundaries in life.  It's good for everyone involved.  I decided to write it with the intention to show that no matter one's status in this world, chronic illness is the great leveler of the playing field - specifically when it comes to health insurance.

Side note:  The title to this entry is borrowed from Morgan Freeman's television show Through the Wormhole, a show dedicated to "understanding the deepest mysteries of existence."  So you may want to read it in his voice for added effects. I wrote a few days ago about being denied by my insurance company for a medication for Crohn's disease.  Not uncommon and certainly not something I haven't dealt with in the past.  The thing making this orders more complicated, and urgent, is my being scheduled for a repeat cesarean section on Octo…

In the Spotlight: Parkinson's Disease

When I looked at our Rare Disease of the Month schedule this morning to see what the topic was for this August, I did a double take when I saw it's Parkinson's Disease - considering the recent death of Robin Williams and his wife telling the media he was in the disease's early stages.  Robin also came up a few months ago in our post on Scleroderma, which he also lived with.  It'd be pure speculation to discuss the role of either of these conditions in his decision to end his life.  So instead, let's learn a little about the disease.

Snapshot:  Parkinson's Disease (PD) is a progressive condition that affects the brain by depleting a chemical called dopamine, which in turn leads to problems with bodily movements and cognitive function.  Typically it starts out as a simple tremor in a person's hand, then progresses to trouble controlling limbs, stiffness, and slowing of movements (bradykinesia).  The cause of PD isn't known, but genetics and environmental t…


Last week, my private health insurance carrier determined that I do not, in fact, need a medication my doctor is trying to prescribe.  I have entered the land of Denial and am currently in the appeals process.  If you live with a chronic medical condition, this may not be a foreign place for you as insurance companies deny coverage for various reasons all the time.  This certainly isn't my first experience here.  It seems like my entire tenure with Crohn's disease has been accentuated by the fact that various insurance companies, either through my own employment or my husband's, have taken a seat at the table for my medical care.
My first was when they were still trying to figure out if I did have Crohn's after a rather fast diagnosis was put into question.  My doctor at the time wanted to order the now standard-of-care capsule endoscopy to get a better look at my small intestines (where my disease is pretty much isolated to).  He couldn't get there with "the …