Patient-Centered Care

Optimism has been my key ingredient. It is authentic, but it’s also born of hard work. With all that’s off kilter in this world we need to be very deliberate to find the healthiest standpoint.

My message is it’s not only doable, it’s our job.

The Challenge

I am just as aware as you of the head spinning challenges to modern existence.

  • Whether it be micro-plastics in the oceans or traces of pharmaceutical drugs in the drinking water…
  • whether it be mitochondrial damage from the ever increasing EMFs coursing through our bodies from WiFi, smart meters, cell phones or traces of glycophosphates in our GMO food…
  • whether it be satellites filling our orbit or the constant news cycle and social media thought distortion…

…we have to be on our game.

This scratches the surface of what modern life is to us but it is a fair representation of our challenges. It’s clear that life demands a lot from us.

We will lose vital energy if our approach is not constantly checked, if our standpoint is not constantly honed.

The Task

An isosceles triangle is a symbol that represents order- three spots in harmonious relationship to each other.

What I want to talk to you about is the human task of taking the disorder the world gives us and through our work giving order to it.

That’s the noble path: in the daily happenings of our own sphere spreading sanity and sowing order, through our care and support for one another. That’s the task at hand. Thats how chaos is integrated. That’s earth.

You’ll notice in this philosophy that discord and struggle are the necessary starting points. They are our field of initial action. What’s your move?

The Steps

Important foundational stepping stones come to mind:

  1. Having reverence, awe, wonder in our approach to the world . There’s more to be said, but we need to develop these as a habit. They form the important launch pad to learning.
  2. Having positivity and equanimity: don’t waste energy on judging any one. The world is weighed down enough without us adding to the polarity field. Disapproval is not our greatest move. It doesn’t help much. Pay attention, be discerning, but don’t judge.
  3. Good habits. Having a routine where you have a reminder of the things you want to incorporate. Revisiting regularly. And in the same way limiting the things that hinder your efforts.

In Medicine: Patient centered care 

If you think about it, the whole point of the medical system is the patient. So why is it that the patient often feels like they are on some sort of conveyer belt?

I picture a pyramid with the patient at the top point. The whole system is below the patient and is there to serve the patient.

The hospitals, the medication, the manufacturers, the machinery, the specialists: they make up the foundation of the triangle.

The nurses, the therapists and the relationship-based providers, like the primary care doctors, make up the middle. Anyone with heart-centered approach is just below the patient.

And by the way, all modalities and traditions and view points are welcome in this pyramid of care.

Utilizing these principles is the first step to creating the ideal medicine, which is in service of the essential, timeless aspects of our existence.

Unfortunately, this may not only seem somewhat rare in our health system but it often isn’t even the goal. I have experienced many clinics where the doctor appears at the top of the pyramid. Whether the whole project appears to center around the doctor or the protocol or profit or whatever agenda other that the patient, it sorely misses the point. The patients find themselves in a mass at the base of the triangle, with technology being the intermediary to the profit center at the pinnacle.

The inverted pyramid is a fact of life, in medicine and beyond, in modern existence. Everything is reversed, as a starting point. The backwards order will predominate unless we are active. Life demands our work. It’s common knowledge that advocacy is crucial when we enter the medical world. The advocate who knows their job actually holds the system accountable to provide care that is centered on the patient. We advocate for ourselves when we can, and get help when we are sick and not able.

Patient centered care leaves room for true healing, however it may arise. It’s worth our efforts. I invite you to hold this image as ideal for your care and for the care of those you love. This example from the field of medicine demonstrates how we must carve our space for ourselves in the world. The world needs our efforts and conscious striving. The brokenness gives us a place to weave our loving kindness.

COVID headlines and round up

News from the week:

  • In Mass the 7 day average continues to drop, now well below 1000 cases per day in the entire state. Closer to 500 cases.
  • Berkshires cases and hospitalizations continue to drop; we are reporting 25 cases per day or so.
  • US as a whole continues its denouement (in case numbers).
  • Government officials estimate that a majority of children in the US have had COVID. Cases far outnumber reported tallies in children and adults.
  • Natural immunity is getting more acknowledgement nationally. The booster is not recommended if you’ve had COVID per vaccine leaders as described here in the Washington post; risks of booster outweighs benefits in that case, they say.
  • Policies that require three doses do not make sense, per developing opinion, especially at universities were there are young men who are at highest risk for myocarditis.
  • Mask mandates and vaccine entry requirements are lifting all over the globe, in response to this moment’s respite.

And as I said last week: the future is uncertain but needs our activity, the present feels precious, the past is our precedent. And so another day dawns in the Berkshires and on the planet earth, our home. We should work hard together to create the world we want to live in. It’s pretty much the point, isn’t it?