Thursday, June 30, 2016

LGBTQ Issues in Health Care

I am a copy editor with a medical news publisher. In a short time, I have learned a lot of new terms and style preferences, and a little bit more about medical developments.

Why am I telling you this? One of the articles I worked on really got me thinking. Although it was written for a physician and medical professional audience, it’s worth all of us non-medical folk reading.

‘Negative experiences,’ lack of research impede cancer care in LGBTQ community opened my eyes to issues that had never before occurred to me.

For example, did you know that some medical conditions can go unnoticed or untreated if a person doesn’t disclose their sexual preference or their gender identity? If a physician operates under assumptions about the patient (say, assuming the married patient is wed to someone of the opposite sex), he or she may not ask certain questions or recommend particular tests, thinking they don’t apply, when, in fact, they might be important.

Some patients may not disclose they are part of the LGBTQ community for fear of discrimination, substandard care, or other reasons. This might be of particular concern to patients being treated at religiously-affiliated hospitals. It’s unfair to add the burden of these fears to what may already be a stressful situation.

In addition, patients with same-sex partners may not feel comfortable having their partner attend doctor’s appointments or visit them in the hospital. This means the patient loses the biggest part of their support network. How lonely that must be.

Let’s raise awareness for the ways we should promote kindness, support, and open dialogue.

Read the full article here: ‘Negative experiences,’ lack of research impede cancer care in LGBTQ community

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Highly Sensitive People in an Insensitive World Book Review

Highly Sensitive People in an Insensitive World: How to Create a Happy Life
by Ilse Sand
Translated by Elisabeth Svanholmer
Jessica Kingsley Publishers

This book was first published in Denmark in 2010 and was just released in the United States last week (June 21, 2016). The author says that it is a book for highly sensitive people and delicate souls and that it may also be helpful for those who live or work with HSPs. (HSP is a term coined by Elaine Aron, another expert on the topic, to refer to highly sensitive people and, though Sand doesn’t use this term, I will for sake of ease.)

I found Highly Sensitive People in an Insensitive World to be a welcome addition to the relatively small body of work about HSPs. It is straightforward and simple to read, perhaps lacking a bit in personality, but more than making up for it with information to help the reader understand how being sensitive can affect so many areas of daily life.

Sand covers everything from how to recognize your HSP traits to how to work with them to create a life that is more comfortable in the home, at work, and while parenting. She addresses the importance of setting boundaries, of “vegetative” time, and of protecting yourself from what triggers you. She even provides conversation points to help you get the support you need from others. Some of the recommended statements may need to be practiced to be delivered in a friendly manner, but they could certainly facilitate open dialogue. She also includes throughout the book examples from HSPs of scenarios they have struggled with and succeeded with.

I recommend this book for HSPs, and the people who love them might want to flip through it as well. Some of the information you will have seen before if you have read other books on the topic, but there were plenty of new points made, especially in concrete examples of how sensitivity can present itself and how to work with it (or around it).

Please see my book review disclaimer about affiliate links and that I received this book for free.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

This is the Part Where I Start Breaking the (Blogging) Rules

When I first started blogging, I did so on a whim. I’d heard of Blogger and knew I could start a blog for free, so I did. I simply wanted to learn about it, and I learn best by trying.

Of course, once I had a blog, I figured I should actually post stuff. (That’s kind of the point, after all.) So I did. I posted about things I’d found interesting from around the Internet, in books, or in magazines. I shared a few experiences, particularly related to the online world. It was just plain fun.

Somewhere along the line, blogging became something else. All of the bloggers out there were adding advertisers and sponsored posts. People started touting the need to monetize a blog (why have one if it’s not making money or building clientele, they’d say). Blogs, like many things, became a business.

Suddenly, there were rules. Every blog should have a niche—a recognizable theme. Not just that, post titles need to be attention-getting. And you should post on a regular schedule—5 posts… no, 3… 1 is probably enough if it’s substantial (they always change their minds). And every post should have a picture. And the picture should be pin(terest)-able. Posts should lead to conversions, to get people to give you their email address. But in order to get their email address, you have to give them something—like an ebook or a piece of your soul.

It’s exhausting, honestly.

I tried some of that. I tried having a theme. I tried always having pictures. I (halfheartedly) tried to offer services.

But you know what? I just don’t care.

I mean, I care about you, friendly reader. I want you to be happy and not stressed out when you come to my blog. I also want to be happy and not stressed out when I come to my blog. If you learn something here or see something that makes you smile or calms your nerves, that is wonderful. I am happy with that. I don’t like the feeling I get when I go to blogs and feel like they are always selling their next product or course or workshop and the price doubles at midnight tonight.


I have never wanted to be that, and I don’t want to do that to you. I don’t care about “the rules.” This is not my job. I have a job--with a cubicle and everything. And you know what? I like my job. This is my playground. This is where I can toy around with stringing words together or share ideas I find interesting (in case anyone else finds them interesting, too).

I’m not going to worry about an overall theme, compelling and relevant pictures on every post, or sensational titles.

Occasionally, maybe I’ll offer some sort of product or service, if I think you might find it helpful. Or maybe I won’t.

Right now, what I need, is for this blog to be just a blog. To be a place where I can put up some thoughts without worrying about all the extra stuff I “should” be doing. So, I’m taking it back to basics. I’m going back to the days where I used to write about whatever struck my fancy. I have no schedule. I have no plan. I make no promises about how often you’ll see something new.

I’m going back to blogging for the joy of blogging.

I hope you enjoy what transpires. (However, if you don’t, it isn’t about you anyway. Nothing personal. I do this for me.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

An Important Book for Women that I Almost Didn’t Read: A review of Playing Big


I’m sad that I avoided this book for so long. I misunderstood what it was. In the barrage of coaches pushing women to start their own businesses, charge more, grow a substantial email list… well, I saw the title Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and Lead and thought here we go again. I'm not trying to be big, so I didn’t bother looking at it.

Then I stumbled across the book in the store while looking for a different title and, for whatever reason, I picked it up and read a few passages throughout.

Right in the introduction she spoke directly to me (and to you, too): "You are that fabulous, we-wish-she-was-speaking-up-more woman."

It wasn’t a business book; it was a soul book. Tara Mohr’s words were the exact words I needed.

The message isn’t about growing a business or becoming rich and famous. It’s about owning ourselves. Tara advocates getting in touch with our own wisdom, not finding mentors to pull us along through our work. She talks about dealing with fear and criticism. She talks about the language we, as women, tend to use that deflates what we are trying to say (“just,” “actually,” “I don’t know, but…”). She talks about callings: how to identify them, how to respond to them, and that they don’t actually have to be our source of income. And, just in case you’re worried your calling isn’t significant enough (for example, if you feel your calling to paint is frivolous because it’s not a calling to feed the hungry), she argued that all callings are significant (in the case of painting, you are adding beauty to the world which makes people feel good).

This book that I thought would be filled with the same old business coaching as every other book (I even found it in the business section of the bookstore), turned out to be so different. This is a book about women’s rights, owning your work, making your own decisions, and heeding your call even if you think you are unprepared.

Playing Big is an important book. I recommend it for adult women aged 25 to 100.