February 13, 2015 by 16 Comments
January 19, 2015 by 12 Comments
“I (Dr. Bob Flaherty) was involved with starting the medical clinic about 15 years ago to provide health care for Bozeman’s low-income individuals and families. It keeps a lot of people out of the ER and the hospital. Angels work there…
It is already below zero outside the converted machinery-rental shop that serves as Bozeman’s Warming Center for the homeless. A local nonprofit…opened the center a few years ago after a homeless man froze to death in a U-Haul truck…
I come to the center Wednesday evenings after seeing my last office patient. It is the practice of medicine at a basic level: I’m here to clean ears, trim toenails, drain abscesses, listen to worries and give advice; to fix small but important problems that will allow the people here to survive on the edge of society for another day or week. I bring a large toolbox with basic medical instruments and several over-the-counter medications…
Jerry thinks he’s going deaf; my otoscope reveals both ears packed with wax. Tiffany and I irrigate his ears with my portable kit. Success and gratitude…
…I don’t ask, but with familiarity and trust bits of their history bubble up. Divorce, lost jobs, disappearing husbands or wives, alcohol, drugs, mental illness. These homeless are often different from the homeless you read about in the New Yorker or hear about on NPR. Certainly, many have hit hard times, but just as many prefer to live off the grid. They want most of all to be left alone. They are not poster children for political assumptions.
My assistant, Tiffany, will soon enter the world of 21st-century medicine: electronic health records, quality metrics, diagnostic and treatment codes, performance-based reimbursement, insurance exchanges. Medicine as process where the patient can easily get lost. But on this cold evening she has seen a doctor helping one patient at a time, doing small things that can make a big difference. In perhaps one of the few places left in America to practice simple care and simple caring.’
Read the entire opinion piece by Dr. Flaherty here: Diagnosing the Many Routes to Homelessness
Image Credit: Oakridgenow.com
May 11, 2014 by 20 Comments
Susan, Rachel and Eric asked that I post this clip for you. Happy Mother’s Day!
December 11, 2013 by 10 Comments
July 14, 2013 by 30 Comments
“How do we hold presence for others? How do we hold love for others, with no agenda? I can’t help but wonder what the world would be like if we all gave unconditionally and held presence for others, even strangers. Squeeze in beside someone so you are arm-to-arm. Stop moving away. Be fully present; listen to their story without being tempted to respond by recounting your own. be there, with words or not. Don’t check email, withdraw, or cook dinner as you listen. Recognize and own how your presence ‘changes the experiment,’ changes others. Show them that you truly care whether you see them or not. Lend them your strong, warm arm. Let them relax into you.”
~ Patti Digh
Patti Digh is a writer, a speaker, a teacher – – and she describes her most significant job being a mother to her two daughters. She was born in a small Southern town in North Carolina. She went to a small Quaker college (Guilford College) and then to graduate school in English and Art History at the University of Virginia. She landed a job in Washington, DC, as a receptionist for a nonprofit organization–and worked in nonprofit organizations for years. She’s written six books including her best seller “Life is a Verb.” She describes her work as opening space for people to say a big “YES” to their lives–before it’s too late. “I’m about living like you’re dying–because you are. Each moment is precious, and magic. It’s hard to remember that when the laundry piles up and the dishes need washing, I know. My job is to remind you that those “ordinary” things are your life–and to see what is extraordinary in them. To help you tell a story with your life that you’ll love and be proud of at the end of it.” She turned 50 and got a tattoo to mark that passage and to remind me always of three core questions from Buddha that guide her:
- How well did you love?
- How fully did you live?
- How deeply did you let go?
- Did you make a difference?
Source: Patti Digh Website: 37days.com