One Medical Professional’s Apple is Another’s Broccoli…

A friend recently related a story that was of great concern as we all seek to use medical services appropriately and to be less dependent upon emergency rooms. The friend, a doctor (MD), had seen patients all day and felt vaguely dizzy at the end of the work day. He had his blood pressure checked and found it to be extremely high in the context of a personal history of low blood pressure. With family history of strokes and heart problems and with his primary care physician away on vacation, he went to an urgent care center.

He was screened by a health care professional who, even knowing that my friend was a doctor, failed to ask any questions about my friend’s personal or family history. When presented with the history upon my friend’s insistence, and even with the high numbers observed, the professional arrogantly admonished my friend saying, “This is not a reason to come to an urgent care center! You are getting old and you should just lose weight!” He then left my friend sitting in a room. My friend, (I repeat, a doctor who, by the way, is within 7 pounds of his ideal weight) shocked by the statement and the professional’s lack of “bedside manner”, went to the door and sought the attention of another professional.

The new health care professional, having read the screening notes and having done a thorough interview and physical evaluation, prescribed medication and referred my friend to a specialist for a neurological evaluation based upon additional symptoms noted. He asked that my friend closely monitor specific symptoms.

So, what should you do when confronted with this type of situation? First, despite the, at least rude and at worst medically negligent interface, try to remain calm. And…wherever possible, seek another opinion. Do not second guess yourself, after all, if you know your family history (and this is your best armor in such a setting), you know when a situation may be an urgent one.

Unfortunately, I have had similar experiences and know of many others who have also.

Have you ever had a similar experience?

What have you done about it?

Do you know your family’s health history?

Share your experiences and please leave a comment below. red20arrow20pointing20down

Until next time…                                                                            ..

~Dr. Pam Straker~

Confronting Your Six Hundred Pound Elephant…

What Is Your 600 Pound Elephant?

In a meeting with a wonderful group of women in Brooklyn, New York named “The Divine Divas”, I shared the IAAM (It’s All About Me) activity/experience I had with appropriately discharging more than 30 years of educational, professional, and personal records. I had records ranging from courses I took in the 80s…to courses I taught in the 90s…to records filed for taxes 20 years ago…to “special” cards that were 15 years old and on and on. Paper files were overtaking my home and my office, weighing them down and blocking me from being as creative and productive as I could be with clearer spaces. One of my challenges is the management of paper. This is primarily because I really like it…no…love it…even in the context of the current “texting, emailing, flash drive, cloud, e-book, etc.” environment. Though I am an engaged and active participant in the current modes of communication, I still love receiving a paper book. You’ll even notice blue lines associated with note pads peeking out on the sides of today’s message in honor of my frequent paper preoccupation! Despite my “love” of paper, I had to face the fact that the object of my “love” was taking over space that was needed for new projects. It had become “The Elephant in the Room”. I deserved the space for my creative pursuits and had to take it back! I called a shredding company and arranged for onsite shredding. I worked with an assistant who helped me to discard what needed to go and who transported all of the industrial size trash bags filled with paper, to the garage. I watched as 2 bins, each of which held 300 pounds of paper, were filled to the top, and were rolled to and emptied into the shredding truck. Beforemy eyes, the contents of the bins, 600 pounds worth, were shredded and then taken away.

My “600 pound Elephant” was the paper overtaking my space and my IAAM activity was taking my space back by giving myself the time and the assistance to get rid of the paper. What is your “600 Pound Elephant”? Is it clutter of space like mine was? Is it clutter of time such that you are so busy with activities there is no room for personal and free time? Is it body weight holding you back from freedom of movement? Is it clutter of other people’s concerns such that you have no opportunity to address your concerns?

Identify your “Elephant in the Room”, write it down and write down how you’d like the situation to be. Also, write the steps needed to create the situation you’d like. Guess what, you’ve given yourself time to think about it and to design a potential plan of action. Now, commit to your vision and your plan. Then follow through on implementing your IAAM activity now…one step at a time!

DANCING with the ELEPHANT in the ROOM

ARE YOU CLEAR ABOUT THE IMPACT OF YOUR FEAR AND YOUR MINDSET ON REACHING YOUR GOALS?

I was sitting in a performance of the Alvin Aileys Dance Company and heard something presented as background to the dance that really resonated with me. And so, I share with you as the wonderful, organized, caring person, who may not have developed your own life plan or met your goals, the words of Marianne Williamson from, “A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles” :

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?… Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do… It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Also, as you read this and reflect upon the possible connection to your life, consider these questions: 

Do you feel anxiety that stops your forward motion as you mount your efforts for the goals you set?anxiety

Do you have people in your life who criticize you actively or by their silence for setting a plan and goals that are outside of their level of consideration or imagination? Do you still feel limited by their judgment? woman-black-silhouette-0311-mdn



Do you let “fear of failure” limit you?

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Do you have people in your life who are jealous or envious of you and your accomplishments?

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Do these people set blocks in your path to make you limit your actions to their concerns rather than encouraging your IAAM (It’s All About Me) actions? 

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At the end of the day, actual and internalized messaging from others may affect your mindset and may keep you “playing small” with respect to your IAAM actions. It is so important to acknowledge this messaging and to do something to change it! The truth is when you show up and “play big” for yourself, you are better able to do the same for others.

Will be back with more…

~Dr. Pam Straker~

New Year…New Plan…New You

Dr. Pam here. It’s been a while. I’ve been busy creating wonderful new ways to support you so that you feel on top of your life again while enjoying your career!

I’ve been talking to many people and I want to share with you immediately, to start your New Year off right, the top 3 mistaken beliefs I’ve learned about that keep professional women feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and disconnected.

#1 Mistaken BeliefSilhouette yoga woman

 “I can focus on my health and wellness later.”

Focusing on your health and wellness later often translates…focusing on your life and your happiness later. It is so easy to focus on work, to focus on your family, and to focus on others rather than to focus on you.

  • When was the last time you really took time to “connect the dots” on your health and wellness needs?
  • Have you checked on health concerns related to your family history? Do you go to the doctor with a clear list of concerns or questions you would like to discuss?
  • Are you clear on what health concerns your doctor should be discussing with you?
  • Have you developed “IAAM” (It’s All About Me) time in your busy schedule?
  • Do you have a regular way to destress?
The list of questions you can likely answer about the well-being of others is probably long, but not having answers and actions related to these questions for yourself is just not fair to you and is even dangerous to your health.  It’s not just about “knowing your numbers” (referring to common health related measures).  Sometimes it’s about knowing “why” your numbers.  Sometimes it’s about “when” your numbers. And most of the time it’s knowing how you can change or affect your numbers.

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#2 Mistaken Belief

  “I can always depend on my business/work/professional resources to get me through. “
  • Who is your “posse”? …Or that group of friends upon whom you can rely, and for whom you care to be relied upon.
  • Do you have people you can depend on…I mean really depend on outside of your work environment… or do you assume that your work colleagues or professional acquaintances are your friends?
  •  Is there anyone “just a phone call” or just a “text” away?
  • Do you have people in your life with whom you can share deeply without fear that it will come back to haunt you?
  • Is your “Rolodex” or business card collection your only set of personal human resources?
#3 Mistaken Beliefwoman-silhouette-sun

 “I can plan for my life later.”

  • Are you spending lots of time planning at work but not planning in your own life?
  • Do you set goals for your life that are forgotten about in a short period of time? Do you recognize your work as part of your life or do you see your life as part of your work?
  •  Have you taken stock of where you are, of what life stage you are in and what you ultimately want your life to look like?

Frankly, the following statements say it all:

AND 

You’ll be hearing from me more in the New Year. Until then, be well. 

                              Wishing you health and happiness during this Holiday Season

and prosperity in the New Year.

~Dr. Pam Straker~