#2: Single parent struggles to comply with their treatment plan for diabetes and high blood pressure. How Social Determinants of Health can have devastating consequences.

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Meet Jo. Jo is a single mother with two, school-aged kids at home. They live in a suburban area where healthcare resources are pretty plentiful. However, Jo still has a hard time getting in to see her doctor. She works full-time during the week and also waits tables on some nights and weekends for extra cash. Finding time to go to an appointment can be challenging.

Jo’s car broke down a few weeks ago. She was able to have it towed to a repair shop but hasn’t had the money to pay for the repair and pick it up. Thankfully…

#1: Schizophrenic Husband & Agoraphobic Wife Need to Travel 100 Miles roundtrip for Prescription Maintenance — An Access to Care Crisis

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Gather ‘round, kids. Come sit around the fire and I will tell you a tale.

Once, there was a young man who dropped out of high school to become the only thing he ever wanted to be: A soldier. He joined the United States Army at the tender age of seventeen and went to off to serve in Germany during the Vietnam War. Approximately two years later, he was sent home and honorably discharged with a disability that would become a permanent part of his life.

Back in the 1970s, we knew a lot less about mental illness and how the human mind works than we do today. This young soldier was diagnosed with schizophrenia…

Is our healthcare system leaving you behind?

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I often hesitate to tell people I work in healthcare. Usually when I open that door people feel compelled to share their list of grievances with me. Americans have lots of good reasons to be frustrated with our healthcare system. It’s convoluted and confusing. They use jargon most laypeople don’t understand. We have so many providers, we get so many bills and insurance companies seem to have a million reasons to deny a claim, even after they agreed it was medically necessary and authorized treatment.

The pandemic has helped us see the flaws in our system up close. Americans have…

How we broke a generations-long practice of women running ourselves into the ground.

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I grew up in a house with an angry, bitter, stressed out, exhausted mom. I can’t remember a day of that woman’s life when she was happy. All she did was complain. And, I guess I would’ve complained, too, if I had her life. I never wanted to be like my mom. I made a lot of choices in my early years because they were the opposite of my mother’s preference, hoping they would lead me to happiness and fulfillment. Turns out, that wasn’t the worst strategy I could’ve chosen.

Happiness wasn’t something I would just stumble upon. I had…

Real talk about our mental health challenges.

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Disaster fatigue is a form of emotional exhaustion that happens when our brains are bombarded with bad news. We feel stress, anger, loss of control over our lives, helpless or hopeless. Coupled with social isolation and the low grade anxiety that has become part of our days, disaster fatigue is impacting our mental health in devastating ways.

COVID-19(and basically the whole year 2020) will forever be a touchstone. We will remember our lives as the things we did before the pandemic and how things were different after. …

And how to help kids deal with mixed messages.

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Being a step parent to two teenage daughters comes with some natural challenges, as one might expect. The pandemic has brought forth a new and unexpected struggle: one parent believes in science. The other is an antivaxxer. Drama ensues.

The question of whether or not to vaccinate the children is an easy one for me because I work in public health. I’ve been working non-stop for weeks setting up mobile vaccine clinics for the poor, unhoused and otherwise disadvantaged folks who live in my community. I’m in daily contact with doctors and nurses who are taking guidance directly from the…

The “Other Three Little Words” — And When To Use Them.

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In the spirit of full disclosure, I’m going to go ahead and tell you that I have a love/hate relationship with the phrase “hurt people hurt people”. I get that we tend to hurt others because we are in pain ourselves. It’s hard to be nice when you’re angry, stressed out or depressed. Sometimes we push people away because we’re self-destructive. We don’t feel worthy of love so we don’t let people love us. However, when we are in pain, we don’t have to hurt others to make ourselves feel better. …

How America’s trust issues are illustrated in our public health data.

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The experts agree, the way to achieve herd immunity for Coronavirus in the United States is for everyone to get vaccinated. Programs are rolling out all over the country to get the vaccine out to the public, but the reception has been surprisingly mixed.

A pharmacist was fired from a Wisconsin hospital and later arrested for destroying 500 doses of the vaccine in December. Why on earth would a hospital employee do such a thing?

It may surprise you to know that 15% of healthcare workers — doctors, nurses, EMS and others right on the frontline — are refusing to…

How to survive when the world is on fire, and keep your sanity. (mostly)

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“Before enlightenment chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment chop wood, carry water.” ~ Zen Proverb

Chop wood, carry water is a Zen Proverb that has many meanings. Zen Buddhists believe suffering is part of our human experience we must work to eliminate. As we heal our own suffering, we can heal the world. Enlightenment is the goal of the Buddhist path. It is a state of perfect peace where there is no suffering, also known as Nirvana. When one reaches Nirvana, their soul will not be reborn again into the suffering of this world. This is similar to the Christian notion of heaven. …

How to Identify the Primary Root of this Secondary Emotion.

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Fear, frustration, disappointment, anxiety, guilt, grief, pain… Anger comes along with feelings such as these. Loss of control, envy or feeling disrespected can bring out the worst in us. But, why?

It’s important to understand anger is a secondary emotion. It is a reaction to another feeling like betrayal or shame. Anger is the explosion that happens when we become overwhelmed with unpleasant emotions, stress or fear. It is our invitation to take a breath and check in with ourselves.

Anger is not bad. No emotion is bad. Emotions can be unpleasant, but they are a normal part of our…

Renee Dubeau

College educated, foul-mouthed, tattooed, employed, opinionated, nasty woman. Advocate, activist and voice for the underserved. I make people uncomfortable.

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