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

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.)