Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Plan for this blog

Hi Everyone, 

I wanted to let you know that I'm going to start sharing content in my blog consistently, and wanted to let you know how it's going to be structured.

  • Monday - Blog entries on this day will all deal with mindset, and how we think.
  • Tuesday - Taking control of your health - discuss overall health and prevention
  • Wednesday - Wellness through advocacy -
  • Thursday - Tenacity articles or quotes - Inspiration for dealing with life's challenges
  • Friday - Free Resources related to advocacy

I would encourage you to comment on anything I post.  It would be great to hear your thoughts on the various issues I'll present.  Thank you for visiting.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Why is Advocacy Important?

The need for advocacy in our medical care is something that each of  us should be acutely interested in pursuing.  Why?  When big decisions come along in your life do you leave these options to chance or take them seriously, so you can achieve the best outcome?  If that is how we behave with other important decisions then we need to give the same diligence to an important topic that can affect whether you live or die?  That may seem dramatic, but I'll explain why this hits so close to home.

Recently I came across some information concerning some friends in another part of the country that have had to endure a loss in their family because of the lack of advocacy.  The person involved was experiencing pain in a part of their body, and went to their provider to check in to see if anything was wrong.  At that time of the appointment an exam was completed, but no testing was done to rule out the suspected issue.  As this person returned home their systems continued to exacerbate to the point of being incapacitated which eventually resulted in their death.  When there was a discussion following this tragedy it was apparent to me this person's family members didn't understand the complexity of the issues, or presume their had been any neglect in the care given.  I'm not a litigious person by any means, but if I could explain the situation in greater detail you would see the glaring oversight in care that occurred that could have prevented this tragedy.

That is why it's so important to advocate for yourself and others that you love.  Here are 4 points in your care where advocacy is vital to a successful outcome:

  • Understanding the issue - I don't know about you, but I take my car to a mechanic when things go wrong because I don't possess the knowledge to keep it running.  Unless your a medical professional, you should follow the same process when facing a new diagnosis.  It's imperative that you fully understand the challenge, and what that means to you and those who love you.  If you're sitting in the appointment and the medical jargon is overwhelming then it's important to reach out for professional help.
  • Considering the Options - Once the diagnosis or treatment has been discussed you'll need to consider your options.  This is when many people fall into trouble because they don't see the importance of advocacy.  How many times have you taken what your provider has said at face value?  I'm not saying to not trust the medical professionals involved in your car, but do the same research you would if you were buying a car.  Just like consumer reports is to buying a car, a second opinion should be required when considering any major medical decision.  An advocate can help conduct the research because they understand what information may be necessary, and where it is located.  They also know how to speak with other medical professionals to get the information or coordination necessary to facilitate your care.
  • Making the decision - Making an important medical decision can be challenging when you don't feel prepared or confident.  In this case you can find an independent advocate that has experience with using the shared decision making process.  "An approach where clinicians and patients communicate together using the best available evidence when faced with the task of making decisions, where patients are supported to deliberate about the possible attributes and consequences of options, to arrive at informed preferences in making a determination about the best action and which respects patient autonomy, where this is desired, ethical and legal." (  This process ensures that an objective review is completed, and it's focused on your best interest in the situation which significantly increases the possibility of a positive outcome for you.
  • Ongoing support and coordination - Some of the greatest challenges in healthcare these days occur when each of us are dealing with multiple entities to coordinate our care.  The truth is that you're not the only patient for very busy people with the best intentions, and because there's so many competing priorities the ball can get dropped.  Also, as changes continue to occur in the coverage we require for our care there is a need to understand the expenditures we may have to pay.  Having someone that can sift through these intricacies to help with ensuring you receive both timely and appropriate services can be very valuable to your health and pocket book.
I don't want  you to think that I'm negative about our health system by any means, but I've worked professionally for many years supporting others and my own family.  Therefore, I wanted to provide a realistic insight on how I believe you can advocate for yourself.  Through personal advocacy you can ensure you're the recipient of quality care as you navigate the maze we call "healthcare".  Please feel free to reach out to me or comment on this blog.  Take care.  Dave

Monday, October 6, 2014

Dancing in the Storm - Maintaining a Positive Perspective in the Midst of Challenges

On the eve of my wife's brain surgery I needed to share some thoughts to provide a release for my soul.  I hope you find these thoughts as encouraging as I have tonight.

"Life isn't about surviving in the storm, but learning to dance in the rain"

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”
– Henry Ford

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”– Thich Nhat Hanh
“Tough times never last, but tough people do.”– Robert H Schuller

“Every adversity, every failure and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit.”– Napoleon Hill

"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty". Psalm 91:1

"But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint".  Isaiah 40:31

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Struggles - 5 Steps to getting back on track in your life

Good Evening,

Does it ever seem like the black cloud has a target on you, and is just following you everywhere you go?  That's sadly how life can seem at times, and those challenges can throw us off our pathway to success if we don't stay vigilant.  How do I know?  Well I've veered myself, and I'm on my own journey to get back on track to living the way that brings me the most health and happiness.

What is the secret to getting back on track?  Obviously I'm not the expert, but I know that how we deal with our struggles in life can make us or break us.  Here are a couple of things I'm trying in my own life right know to get back on track because it's worked before, and I know it will work this time. Here it goes:

Realize you took a wrong turn - Often we make decisions that don't materialize the way we thought they would, or we've allowed issues in our life control our actions by adopting unhealthy coping strategies.  The only way to get back on track is to realize we've made a wrong turn.  Sometimes it takes a while for some of us of to admit to failure or simply recognize that we're lost.  In my life I looked around, and finally was able to say "Oh crap I'm lost".  We all veer of course, but keeping our eye on the map while admitting we're lost if the first step to getting back on track.

Asking for Directions - After you've come to the realization that you're lost, you must wave your hand at the next car to ask for directions.  This can be a humbling feeling, but you won't be able to find your way back to the right path without that guidance.  I'm doing this myself this Friday with someone I consider a mentor.  Sometimes you realize that your vision is so blurry that you can't see the map, and need someone with a clear vision to guide the way.

Take the Wheel -  I know that Carrie Underwood did a wonderful job at coining this phrase, so I thought I'd follow suit.  Once we receive that guidance we need to "Take the Wheel", and start steering our car back toward a healthy destination.  In order to do this we have to have the mindset that leads to success.

Don't Veer - In order to stay on the path we need a mindset that supports our success.  That means we need to give ourselves permission to succeed, believe that we have the ability to persevere even when our road becomes extremely bumpy, and ensure we don't get distracted by other roads that will get us off track.

Cross the Finish Line - The final step in achieving a successful journey is to "Cross the Finish Line" or to reach your destination.  Creating success in our lives is all about the ability to follow through, and see our goals and dreams to their completion.  By using this brief blueprint, believing in the process, understanding we need help, and following our heart with new resolve we'll reach the destination of our choosing.

I'm hopping in the "figurative" car this Friday for my new journey, and I encourage you to join me. We don't have anything to lose, but everything to gain by getting on the road to new goals in our lives. Take care, and happy travels to you on your journey.