The C2S blog draws on the arts, the social and biological sciences to explore the many meanings of health and "dis-ease." Designed to be a locus where patients, their families and professionals can meet on a level playing field, it is the natural off-shoot of the Cell 2 Soul Online Journal. We encourage the submission of ideas, essays, poems, stories, humor, and timely reviews relating to the humanities and health care.
"In the Navajo Nation, Caroline Antone, 50, an advocate for the reservation’s victims of sexual violence who has herself been raped, said sexual assault was virtually routine in her community. “I know only a couple of people who have not been raped,” she said. “Out of hundreds.”
It is well documented that "Adverse Childhood Experiences" have lasting life-long effects on phycical and emotional health. Persons who experience these die younger from all causes of mortality. The article, "The Poverty Clinic: Can a stressful childhood make you a sick adult" by Paul Tough in the March 21, 2011 New Yorker is an excellent companion piece to this riveting and important NY Times article documenting sexual violence in Native Americans.
Paul Tough's article is a "must read" for all care givers and other sentient beings. You can find a pdf online (too large to upload here) or read an abstract.
From my experience in clinical practice, I see patients every day whose physical and psychiatric health have been forged by ACEs -- Sexual Violence may be the most serious form of abuse and its aftershocks are devastating.
Lisa O'Brien, of Williamstown, alerted us to an NPR piece which reports on how getting people with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia to tell stories can be therapeutic.
"Storytelling is one of the most ancient forms of communication — it's how we learn about the world. It turns out that for people with dementia, storytelling can be therapeutic. It gives people who don't communicate well a chance to communicate. And you don't need any training to run a session."
"The population of Cuba is only slightly larger than that of New York City. In the three decades of the global AIDS epidemic, 78,763 New Yorkers have died of AIDS. Only 2,364 Cubans have." To find out the particulars, see the NY Times article: A Regime's Tight Grip on AIDS.
Cuba, an impoverished country with few resounces, indicates that throwing money at health care is not the answer.
This Times article is enlightening and worth the time to read. Our Public Health service could learn a lot from studying Cuba -- but we choose to demonize that country instead.
A few years back, I visited an AIDS hospital in Cuba. It was in a rural setting, the staff were humane, and the few patients who lived there were there by choice. "Institutional" was not a word that came to mind.
This post was inspired by, and is dedicated to, Dileep G. Bal, M.D., Kauai District Health Officer, State of Hawaii and previous Chief of the Cancer Control Branch in the Department of Health Services in the State of California. Mahalo!
The work Dr. Breslow will be most remembered for is the Alameda County California study that [is purported to have] rocked the public health world, because it proved with numbers that behavior indisputably affects longevity. Its seven recommendations are: do not smoke; drink in moderation; sleep seven to eight hours; exercise at least moderately; eat regular meals; maintain a moderate weight; eat breakfast. Full "Lester Breslow Obituary."
Strangely, this is very similar to what William Osler espoused in the 19th century: "‘the desire to take medicine is perhaps the greatest feature which distinguishes man from animals... Of one thing I [am certain] that that a little more exercise, a little less food, and a little less tobacco and alcohol, may possibly meet the indications of the case."
Of course, our grandmothers told us the same thing. Yet, it took men of of science many years to corroborate their proscriptions.
"In December 1955, 7-year-old Johanna Nightingale had become very ill with a Streptococcus pyogenes throat infection, which soon affected her kidneys, causing acute glomerulonephritis and then chronic kidney disease. Dialysis did not yet exist, and the next 5 years of Johanna's childhood revolved around the hospital. Johanna was extremely small, weak, and prone to sickness. She spent at least 3 weeks of every month in the hospital, receiving supportive care. In 1960, one of Johanna's doctors in Winnipeg read that Boston's Dr. Joseph Murray was performing kidney transplantations and immediately wrote to him about Johanna's case. Murray responded, saying that as a patient with renal failure who happened to have a healthy identical twin, Johanna sounded like a perfect candidate for transplantation.
In May of 2011, the 63-year-old identical twins made the trip from Alberta, Canada to Boston to meet with the Nobel-honored surgeon who pioneered the field of human organ transplantation. The twins were 12 years old at the time that Lana donated her kidney to Johanna. Today, Johanna is the longest surviving kidney-transplant recipient.'
On January 6th, 2011, I was sentenced to 364 days in the Santa Rosa County Jail in Milton, Florida. To many, this probably seems like a punishment, but to me, jail saved my life. I spent most of my teenage years getting in and out of trouble. I was always involved with the court system. I wasn’t a horrible kid. I was just raised in the rough part of the city growing up with parents who could hardly afford to pay bills.