Through blogs and comments, patients and experts explore what it takes to find good health care and make the most of it.

Patient Perspectives: Dogs, Seeing a New GP, D-Blog Day and Mechanics v. Docs


Dana Jennings, who has chronicled his diagnosis and treatment for prostate cancer in the New York Times, recently reflected on the emotional impact dogs have had on his life.'  In All the Good Dogs You've Loved Before, Dana recalls his very first memory: "'laughing and being licked in the face by Midnight, our black Lab puppy'What a wonderful place for consciousness to begin, with a giddy and wriggling puppy anointing me for the sometimes rocky voyage ahead."'  For Dana, his pets also help him reflect on existential questions people often face when dealing with a serious diagnosis.'  "As I write, our creaky and cranky Bijou is still hanging in there'grimacing up and down the back steps, still yipping and yapping in the neighborhood bark club ' teaching all of us how to be game, even on our last legs."

When Kelly Young's usual doctor was out on extended leave, she made a one-time appointment with a general practitioner she'd never met before.'  In one of her latest blogs, she recounts just how little this doctor knew about Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and how his comments could have been potentially devastating to a less-experienced RA sufferer.'  She says, "Imagine if I had been newly diagnosed and fearful of treatment like many patients I meet.'  I would have been pretty discouraged by the time I left."'  She goes on to explain the two biggest dangers posed by doctors' and the public's the lack of RA knowledge.

November 9th, 2010 was the 6th Annual Diabetes-Blog day.'  This year's topic was "6 Things I Want People to Know About Diabetes."'  On D-Mom blog, Leighann Calentine asks her 6-year-old daughter with type-1 diabetes to answer the question.'  The video is adorable and moving at the same time.'  Also check out her related blog on the one-year anniversary of her daughter's use of the insulin pump.'  As she says, "It's all about the cake!"

On the Patient Empowerment Blog, Trisha Torrey asks us if there's a difference between an auto mechanic being supported by a parts manufacturer and a doctor being supported by a pharmaceutical company.'  Trisha's close friend, a drug representative, has an interesting take on the practice, including speaking to doctors about off-label uses for drugs.'  Adding to the debate is a recent report from Medicare showing that ' in the case of hormone therapy for prostate cancer ' when financial incentives are removed, prescribing rates drop.'  What do you think?'  Cast your vote here.

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