Tag: Illness


Oliver Sacks Gets Personal

When world famous neurologist Oliver Sacks, explainer of things human, writes – as he did recently about family, faith and his own impending death – it pays to pay attention. Okay, I admit, I’m biased by virtue of the fact that this amazing doctor and author was the friend and colleague of another doctor and author I respect: my late father-in-law, Dr. Harold Klawans (equally as esteemed around the world by colleagues and fans of his murder mysteries, albeit not quite as well known, as Sacks). They blurbed each other’s books, spoke......

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Time to Start Using Ecstasy?

I am a drug user, and I’m not afraid to admit it. In fact, I think if more people could get more comfortable with drug use, a great deal of needless pain and suffering could be avoided. Okay, I’m referring to my occasional use of prescription-strength naproxen for headaches and a statin to lower cholesterol – not marijuana (legal or otherwise), or whatever else you may have thought I meant. To be clear, though, I’ve used opioids, the same stuff that makes heroin all that it is, for weeks at a time......

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Devon and Leah Still's Thrilling Moment of Victory

I love this photo of NFL star Devon Still and his daughter Leah! How can you not? Both their faces are filled with love and joy, their body language projecting strength and fearlessness. It’s moving on so many levels – and that’s before you factor in their circumstances. Leah was diagnosed last year with stage 4 neuroblastoma. And now, initial testing indicates that the four-year-old has no active cancer in her body. If that isn’t cause for celebration, what is?! You can understand why I – and hundreds of thousands of others......

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The Spiritual Journey of Living with Serious Illness

Toni Bernhard’s new book, How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers was recommended to me by one of my congregants who cares for a chronically ill loved one. She described Bernhard’s book as “How to be sick well” – how to achieve emotional and spiritual wellness even when one’s body remains sick. Acclaimed Jewish-Buddhist teacher Sylvia Boorstein in her introduction to the book wrote, “This book is written for people who are ill and aren’t going to get better, and also for their caregivers, people......

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