Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Welcome to Palliative Care Grand Rounds, the monthly review of the best of palliative care related blogs. Welcome to Pallimed: Arts and Humanities if you have not been here before. Take a look around this sister blog to Pallimed for some great commentary from Amber Wollesen and Amy Clarkson.
This month I am handing out awards because I am so glad to see so many bloggers talking about palliative care issues and I think some of them need to be recognized. If you need to pick up your award, feel free to come visit me in Kansas City.
The Court Jester Award
Geripal's Dan Matlock post about the scourge of Some Other Disease (S.O.D.) as the leading killer of elderly patients was a well executed use of the old maxim: "Many a true word is spoke in jest." I am hoping they do a post soon on The Methuselah Foundation. (And if you get a second fill out GeriPal's quick survey)
The Flower Pot Award
Angela Morrow from About.com's Palliative Care Blog discusses some of the impact of the Obama administrations relaxing of enforcement and investigation of medical marijuana users. The education for palliative care professionals about the pros, cons, and legal risks about prescribing medical marijuana may soon need to be part of a palliative care curriculum nationwide given that Maine this week became the 5th state to approve dispensing of marijuana for medical use. (Can you name the other 3 states, besides California and Maine? - The answer is in the comments)
The World Citizen Award
Tam Royse from the Alive Hospice Blog reflected on her and her Agency's work with Hospice in the West in South Africa. Seeing palliative care practices in other countries is a valuable exercise in understanding the luxuries and challenges we face ourselves in daily practice. It is wonderful to see hospice programs partnering to bring together shared experiences.
The Meta Post Award
Jerry from Death Club for Cuties (next months' host of Palliative Care Grand Rounds) posted his abstract summary for his submission to the first Educational Exchange for the upcoming AAHPM Annual Assembly in Boston. The submission is about learning about end of life issues via blogging. Now the submission has not been accepted yet, But I heartily applaud Jerry for his openness in letting us read his abstract. Even if it is not selected we can learn from this. I think I might start publishing all my submissions as well. What a great learning experience for those who want to present at conferences!
The Good Question Award
Maurice Bernstein from the Bioethics Discussion Blog asks the essential palliative care question "What is a good death?" Sadly there are no comments from readers to this post, so if you have any opinions go leave them there. If you don't have any opinions, then why are you reading this post? :-)
The Poetic Tragedy Award
Cancer Doc, a 'budding oncologist trying to make sense of the world' blogs about the death of one of his patients in 'Goodbye, Mr. B.' This patient meant a lot to him. You need to read it. If there is one link you click on today this should be it.
The Extroverted Introspection Award
David Tribble from the Alive Hospice Blog tells a brief but powerful story about the impact of professional caregiving for the dying. Reading about his reflection and remembrance of a patient came at a time when I was feeling a bit calloused about the day to day work. It was a nice refresher to remember the human side of what we do.
The Hard to Pick Just One Award
Leigh from Confessions of a Young (Looking) Social Worker was on fire with several great posts this month. From storytelling to remarks on the administrative and bureaucratic hurdles of the hospice world, I could only pick one to highlight (but you should read more of her posts too) and that would be the one where she recounts the last time she talked with her grandmother.
The Does This Kern Make My Font Look Fat? Award
Walter van den Broek from the blog Dr. Shock has a ton of intriguing posts every month, but one I think everyone should take a look at is his review of the new PubMed redesign. We need more blog posts like this because there really is no other forum to talk about such matters which can have a huge impact on the gathering of medical information. Maybe I'll write about it too.
The Speaking From Experience Award
Supa Dupa Fresh at the blog Fresh Widow makes a statement with her blog post, 'My Testimony: Reforming End of Life Care.' A sample:
Don’t wait until there’s no “undo.” It’s the process, the conversation, that matters. Perhaps after diagnosis is too late to begin the discussion. Maybe when we hit 50 we should all talk about death. Or 40. It certainly should be part of every pre cana. Maybe it could be included in a rite of passage, if our modern lives would allow such things.Read her post and give her a few words of support in her mission.
The Obligatory Halloween Award
We are reviewing October posts and since Halloween is one of my favorite times of year, I wanted to feature Keith Johnson from the Hospice Foundation of America blog, who reposted a 2008 article about Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead. Great overview of how a entire culture can embrace end of life issues through public remembrance. I hope that more people can share this unique event so that we may take some of the positive growth from it and spread it among those we care for.
The Kleenex Award
Thaddeus Pope from the blog Medical Futility did not need to write any commentary after posting the YouTube video about Baxter the Therapy Dog at San Diego Hospice who recently died October 16, 2009.
Thanks for reading this month's Palliative Care Grand Rounds. Get ready for December which will be hosted by Jerry at Death Club for Cuties. If you are a palliative care related blogger and are interested in hosting an upcoming session, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org Also, PCGR now has subscription options; you can follow by email or RSS feed. An aggregated feed of credible, rotating health and medicine blog carnivals is also available.