Mind-blowing #MedX

Sounds like a different title if you read it real fast! Ha!

Well, here we are, almost a month out from #MedX. What a trip of a lifetime, holy moly! Going into it, I didn’t realize how much it would change my life for the better. My brain feels like it is overflowing with information, and I don’t know how to get it all out on this virtual paper. So I’ll start here…

Tonight, I presented to my hospital/clinic advisory committee my top 3 things from MedX that impacted me the most. I will talk about one now.

“Playing doctor” in the simulation lab.
I had to tell an actress/patient that she had the made-up fatal disease called Syndrome X, and the only way to treat it was with the super expensive drug called Medicine X. I skimmed through her medical exam, ignored her telling me her husband had recently died, and jumped to her diagnosis, treatment, and waved her goodbye in an often too real situation.

Then we debriefed! I don’t know if it is an honor or not to be told by Tessa Richards, senior editor from the BMJ, that you(me) were rude to a patient! (I sat across the table from Tessa Richards from the BMJ…holy exciting, nerding out moment, I have a journalism major and health minor!!!)
After a heated debate of what it’s really like as a patient and/or doctor…I had to drop the truth bomb! I was THAT patient who had those doctors skim over MY emotional hurt.

In the spring of 2009, my best friend went missing under suspicious circumstances, was found a month later in the Mississippi River, his autopsies showed more suspicious evidence, the police swept it all under the rug, it was in the news a ton, lots of traumatic things happened, my name was in the news a lot…and then it was all too real.
I was young and depressed, had chronic disease(s), and my doctors skimmed right over the fact that I wanted AND needed help. I was THAT patient. The very people that were supposed to help me…skimmed right over.

The time in the simulation lab made us all real people. Suddenly, we were all on the same, level-playing field, because they saw how we see them and vice versa. I think we all could have sat in that room and talked for hours, because we all had a new connection with one another. We had better understandings and wanted to make communication in the healthcare world better.

The whole conference felt like one big happy family! Let’s be honest, some doctors and researchers can be intimidating! But at MedX, I felt like we could all look one another in the eye and just be people. I have never felt that anywhere else in my life. It made me so damn happy to be there and learn from providers, researchers, med students, patients, and other people that had a connection to the healthcare world.

After MedX, I had an appointment with my rheumatologist and neurologist. I wished I could have bundled you all up and brought you with to my appointments. You people make me whole!

I love all of you!


What #MedX means to me and other ramblings

Hi worldly-people,

My name is Britta, if you haven’t already figured that one out. I have blogged in the past at blog names I can’t remember, because they didn’t go anywhere, and on Chronically Young, which many of you chronic illness friends may recall. After a couple year hiatus, I am back! With a new page, a new address, a new host, and a blog name that will probably confuse many.

Coming up with a blog name is harrrrd. Someone either thought of it or stupidity pops into your head. What have I done since I closed up shop at CY? Well, I just looked and my last post was in March 2013. I’m not sure I did anything remarkable looking back! There are the bizarre things, like getting harassed at a job. And great things like falling in love with a man, buying a house together, moving in together, loving the hell out of two cats together(I used to hate cats), and thinking about what the future holds for us as well. Then there are all the health things in there as well. Starting a biologic medication, seeing a new rheumatologist, being referred to a neurologist, having a brain MRI with lesions, and neurologist no idea why. Back on the wagon of, “what the hell is wrong with me!”

Exciting things that lay ahead include attending #MedX! #MedX is a medical conference at Stanford in California, for patients, caregivers, doctors, researchers, and lots of other smart people. I was awarded a partial scholarship, and have since realized how poor I really am. If you feel so inclined to help me pay for my hotel room, which I cannot afford(hotels are EXPENSIVE in big cities/towns/areas), make a donation here at my GoFundMe page. I’ll love you and even send you a hand-written thank-you note after my experience there. Seriously!

I am on the Engagement/Producer Track as an ePatient delegate, which requires I tweet/blog/Facebook/social media the hell out of my adventure! No problem there…I’ve tweeted like 18-thousand times and counting, I post things I love and care for on Facebook, and I work jobs that employ the usage of social media into their day-to-day operations. Also, I love #livetweeting during events, even if no one else is paying attention or if they are, they are probably annoyed.

I am thrilled to meet my roommate in real life as well! She and I have talked for years about health challenges, grief, and snowy weather to name a few. #MedX will be like meeting the celebrities you have always wanted to meet but possibly better?! Although, I can compare it to meeting Woody Harrelson and VP Joe Biden. You #MedX’ers have a lot to live up to!

I am really excited to see the medical world from other perspectives. From the bigger, bolder ways than small-town Minnesota. Although I have seen the Mayo Clinic, U of MN, and Gillette Children’s hospitals and clinics, I haven’t seen how it works other places. I also look forward to seeing and hearing the professionals perspectives on the medical world. I hope to use all this information to better my community, improve my health, and possibly go back to school to further my education in another healthcare area. Right now, I have a journalism major and health minor, but I want to do more in the health world, I just don’t know what, where, when, and how yet. I want to make a bigger impact in Northern Minnesota, and help people be the healthiest they can be.

Then there are the willy-nilly-silly things that I don’t look forward to. Driving 3.5 hours from my house to my friend’s house to get a ride to the airport from him. Checking in at the airport(I once misplaced my drivers license when flying to NYC in 2008. Somehow I was able to get through security with my expired fishing license! I have a little PTSD from that stress.). Then once in San Jose, the whole getting on the train slightly nerve-wracks me. I did practice a bit this summer in Chicago though! I am just terrible at reading maps, so that is wrecking my nerves! Then wash, rinse, repeat when I have to get back to the airport to fly back to MN some days later and drive the 3.5 hours back home. Oh an paying for my hotel. In the end, I know it will all be okay! Deep breaths, positive thoughts, yay!

It is only three weeks away, holy shit! It doesn’t feel real enough yet, but it will be right around the corner before we know it. Cheers!