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April 17, 2017

    

I’ve watched athletes begin their game with the sign of the cross to bless themselves and ask for God’s protection on their game. I do that, too. I boot up the computer of my mind, body, and spirit with sound bytes, whispered prayers from all the wisdom traditions, invoking protection, abundance, and freedom. Freedom from the pain.

Then comes the cascade of thought forms—mental formations, the Buddhists call them, all the negative thoughts associated with the pain. “I can’t move”, “I won’t be able to go to work”, “How will I manage the shopping?” Let the mind games begin.

Ratcheting the feelings up a notch, the breathing changes. Stuck in the chest, panic, anxiety, shortness of breath. Catastrophizing, the psychologists call it.  “I will never be able to show my face again, everyone will know I am crippled”, “I will never get better”, “My life is over”. The sympathetic nervous system is in high gear, the feeling tone of the body is fueling the thoughts and you...

June 6, 2017

BY LIZ SEEGERT | JUNE 1, 2017

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College in New York City, and co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

View all posts by Liz Seegert →

PHOTO: FRANKIELEON VIA FLICKR

Too many physicians are prescribing opioid medications for hospitalized older adults who may not need them. A new study found that one-third of 10,000 older patients were prescribed opioid pain medications, including Percocet and OxyContin, while hospitalized for non-surgical conditions.

These patients had a longer length of stay (six days vs. four) and were more often readmitted within 30 days. They were also more likely to be restrained or have bladder catheters while hospitalized, according to the retrospective analysis.

Opioid use is particularly common in el...

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