Hurting

An excerpt from Dr. Rob’s post full of tips for When Someone Around You Hurts:

1. Be There – I was in the mountains of California a few weeks back.  I was there at a meeting and was there with another person from my office.  We took some time on the last day to drive through the mountains and enjoy the scenery.  As I enjoyed a particularly beautiful view, I remarked to him about how different it is to enjoy that kind of thing with someone else there.  There is something about beauty that makes you want to share it.  It validates your emotion.  It doesn’t make the mountain more beautiful, it is better simply because the person is there.  The closer you are to the person, the more the enjoyment.  I kept thinking to myself: “I sure wish my wife was here.”The same thing is true for people going through difficult times.  Dealing with hardship is much easier when you have people alongside you.  I do that for many people on a professional basis – much of what I do is not to cure or diagnose, it is to live through the difficult times with my patients.  But the closer the companion, the more meaningful the companionship.  You don’t make the pain any less when you are with someone who suffers, but somehow your being there makes it different.  Could my coworker have done something to make the mountains more beautiful?  He didn’t need to.  In the same way, your job is not to make the pain any less, it is simply to be there.

It’s an excellent article, well worth reading the entire post.

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Radiation Risks

With all the talk about the accumulation of medical radiation being a cancer risk, I sometimes wonder about all the x-rays taken to assess RA progression.  An initial appointment with a rheumatologist usually includes base-line x-rays.  Additional x-rays are taken routinely every couple years, plus extras whenever something concerning occurs.

Someone commented to me the other day that I should be worried that all those x-rays I’ve gotten might cause cancer.  My response was that if the people with medical training aren’t worried about it, why should I be?!

I wondered how much risk there really is, and discovered a great way to find out.  There’s a website with a radiation risk calculator.  Compile a list of all the x-rays, CT scans, fluoroscopy (barium swallows), nuclear medicine studies, and angiograms that you’ve had over the years, enter all the exams into the risk calculator, and your results will easily display.

Cool tool!