Everybody talks – but not always in the same way. There is the traditional face-to-face and the telephone conversation. Individuals with hearing loss use sign language to help facillitate communication. The use of text, email, chat as a first line communication method continues to grow by leaps and bounds.
What do people talk about? There is a plethora of non-controversial small talk topics like the weather, food, sports and personal interests. Then of course there are topics that are best avoided such as politics and religion to avoid less a conversation turn into an argument. Lastly, there are topics that people generally do not want to talk about, top among these is death.
There are so many reasons for not talking about the one certainty of life. Not everyone would embrace the feelings of the rose, in Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s book The Little Prince, who says:
“‘Are you afraid of death,’ the little prince asked the rose. ‘But of course not,’ she answered. I’ve had my life , I have flowered and used my vigor to the best of my ability. And love, given freely a thousandfold, returns to the one who gave it. So I will wait for a new life and die without fear or despondency.’”
Personal beliefs about death will shape the difficult conversations that inevitably will occur. Like the conversation, the medical treatment provided or not provided at the end of life should reflect each individual’s perspective on death.
This Weekend Reading Series begins with News Break, with current news on Covid-19 and diabetes risk, out-of-pocket costs for insulin and other timely topics. In Put It all on the Line you will find articles on informed kidney dialysis, palliative care and personal perspectives on death. Next explore the articles in Playing With Fire covering the impacts of alcohol abuse, vaping, staff shortages and more. Finally, do not miss Simply Amazing and my personal favorite – The internet’s funniest doctor is in on the joke!
I hope you enjoy the following:
1. News Break
- Associated Press: Experts worry about how US will see next COVID surge coming
- Reuters: Costs of going unvaccinated in America are mounting for workers and companies
- Medscape: ‘Profound Implications’: COVID Ups Diabetes Risk 40% a Year Later
- Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker: Out-of-pocket spending on insulin among people with private insurance
2. Put It All on the Line
- Futurity: ‘Deciding not to decide’ allows for more informed kidney dialysis choices
- STAT: Palliative care works, so why is it rarely used? Follow the money
- The NewYorker: What My Grandmother Knew About Dying. As a physician, I trained in the delicate art of preparing people for death. Losing Harriet made me see the work differently.
3. Playing with Fire
- University of Michigan: E-cigarettes reverse decades of decline in percentage of US youth struggling to quit nicotine
- HealthDay: Problem Drinking to Blame for 232 Million Missed Workdays in U.S. Annually
- Healthcare Dive: Staffing shortages lead ECRI’s annual list of patient safety concerns
- Futurity: How to recognize intimate partner violence
4. Simply Amazing
- STAT: The internet’s funniest doctor is in on the joke See some examples here and here
- Smithsonian Magazine: Italian Scientists Create Rising Pizza Dough Without Yeast
- Associated Press: Circus solidarity – Ukrainian performers find home in Hungary
- MIT News: A fabric that “hears” your heart’s sounds Inspired by the human ear, a new acoustic fabric converts audible sounds into electrical signals.
Enjoy your weekend!
Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 1416
Birmingham, MI 48012
Office: (248) 792-2187
Email: [email protected]