Archives
  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A “bucket list” could be a roadmap for your doctor.A new study in the Journal of Palliative Medicine proposes that your bucket list, a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying, can become a shorthand for the goals-of-care conversation that everybody tiptoes around but one that is especially important as you age or develop chronic medical conditions.This study states that a Google search for “bucket list” turned up nearly 84 million results compared to the mere 4.5 million results for the term “advance directives” -- that is, a written statement of people's wishes about end-of-life care.Thus, the concept of a "bucket list" might be a more approachable way to engage patients about their health behaviors and health-related decisionmaking, the study's authors suggest.Researchers from the Stanford Unversity School of Medicine conducted an online survey of 3,056 participants across the United States found that about 91 percent of respondents had a bucket list.Six common themes emerged on the respondents’ bucket list: travel, accomplishing a personal goal, hitting specific life milestones (see kids get married, become a grandmother), spending quality time with friends and family, getting financial stability, and doing a daring activity (go deep-sea fishing).The desire to travel was the most prevalent item followed by the desire to accomplish a personal goal. The desire to spend quality time with friends and family was also a popular theme, but mainly among participants greater than 63 years of age.In a press release about the study, one of the authors reported that she had a patient with gallbladder cancer who was really stressed because he wanted to take his family to Hawaii but had treatment for the cancer scheduled.After an informed discussion about his options and side effects of cancer treatment, they were able to make a decision that aligned with his goals. He went to Hawaii, then came back for treatment.“Patients don’t see the relevance of an advance directive,” said VJ Periyakoil, M.D., in the press release. “They do see the relevance of a bucket list as a way to help them plan ahead for what matters most in their lives.”The study concludes by suggesting that clinicians use patients' bucket lists as a "starting point" to crafting personal care plans. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
    Read more...
  • iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- When Zeus ran away from his California home over a year ago, David Guindon thought his husky was gone for good. Thanks to a microchip, however, Zeus has been found. But, Guindon says, the woman who has him is refusing to give him back.Guindon bought Zeus in 2014 as a service dog after he suffered a stroke and heart attack that left him unable to walk, he told ABC Los Angeles station KABC-TV.Zeus helped him get around his San Bernardino home in his motorized wheelchair, Guindon told the station."If I want to go outside I just tell him, ‘Open the door.’ He'd flip it open for me," Guindon said. "[He would] hold it open long enough so I could get towards it and get out."  In May 2016, Guindon said, Zeus escaped through the front door. He searched everywhere for the missing dog, posting signs and even hiring a pet detective but Zeus had disappeared.Then, a year and a half later, he received a phone call from the microchip company. The lost dog had popped up in another woman’s possession and she was trying to re-register the dog in her name."I said, ‘Oh no! I want my dog back,’” Guindon told KABC.He said neither the microchip company nor animal control would release the woman’s information. The only details they would provide were her name, “Shawnee,” and that she lives about an hour away in Lake Elsinore, California.
    Read more...
  • Courtesy Samantha Clark(NEW YORK) -- A little over a year ago, Mickey and Samantha Clark were moving across Oregon. The couple, who had been undergoing fertility treatments, needed to bring their frozen embryos along to another clinic closer to their new home.So they decided to have a little fun with the embryos along the way by taking some fun pictures.Samantha told "Good Morning America" that the photos only "took all of 10 minutes" to take and, now, they've been seen around the world. "We were cracking up the whole time," she said. Three of those embryos have been born and, today, they turn 6 months old. It's a sweet celebration for a couple who never knew if they would have a family. "I had endometriosis and PCOS [polycystic ovary syndrome]," Samantha said. "We knew before we got married that it would be difficult to have children, so we decided to forgo a wedding to save our money to pursue having kids through adoption, foster care or infertility treatments." The couple didn't have any luck with adoption or foster care. They intended to try a medicated intrauterine insemination (IUI), she said, but she produced so many eggs because of her PCOS that it wasn't possible. So the couple had to come up with $12,000 for an in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure, which they ultimately ended up getting the money from an aunt. From the IVF procedure came their six embryos which needed to be frozen. So when it came time for the couple to move, they couldn't leave those embryos behind and decided to take them on a bit of an adventure. The couple was assured by their doctor it was fine to take a few photos and they were very gentle, she said. "I didn't actually go down that slide," she said. "And the swing wasn't really moving." The embryos also met their great-grandparents, she said, and they were amazed by the science that allowed them to meet their great-grandchildren before they were born. The fraternal triplets were named Shepherd, Eleni, and Ayla Clark. Samantha said she hopes their family's story brings hope to other couples struggling with infertility.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
    Read more...
  • Julian Simmonds - Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Prince William cautioned young women about body images they see online in surprise remarks to students about the challenges they face growing up in the internet era. “I worry for you girls,” William, 35, told students at Burlington Danes Academy in West London, where he surprised the students at an assembly. “The touched-up pictures are not real,” William said. “Don’t try to recreate them or think that’s what you’ve got to aim for. There’s a lot of fakeness online so don’t worry about that.” William cautioned young teenage girls, who are often subjected to body image issues that can result in anorexia, bulimia and other mental health issues, to ignore airbrushed photos that often distort females bodies. While not addressing any celebrities by name, he told the students he wanted them to understand they shouldn’t hold themselves to unrealistic expectations. He also addressed boys at the assembly, encouraging them to share their feelings even if they feel reluctant to do so. “It’s really important for boys. We’re not very good at talking about our emotions and how we feel," he said. "Girls have got a little bit better and, boys, we’ve really got to work hard on being able to talk to friends, family and trusted people about how we feel.” William, the father of Princess Charlotte, 2, and Prince George, 4, is expecting his third child with Princess Kate in April.  The second in line to the throne has shared that cyberbullying and children’s mental health are issues he cares about deeply since becoming a father.William released a first-of-its-kind online cyberbullying code last November, called "Stop, Speak, Support." William released the code after convening a yearlong task force, the Royal Foundation’s Taskforce on Cyberbullying, comprised of officials from leading social media and technology firms including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Google.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
    Read more...
  • ABC(NEW YORK) -- Those with family members struggling with addiction or who have lost loved ones to an overdose have formed a judgment-free haven online where they can openly discuss their issues, creating a vitally important community of support in the midst of a raging national crisis."When my active heroin-addicted son finally admitted he had a problem, I didn’t know where to turn, where to educate myself," Dawn Campbell told ABC News. "So I turned to Facebook."Campbell is one of the over 60,000 members -- including addicts and their loved ones -- in a private Facebook support group called "Affected By Addiction.""I found a strength in numbers," member Tracey Mae said of the group, which she described as "a kinship, a fellowship."Member Kelly Wicklund added that when it comes to addiction, "it's not just the addict" but "the whole family" that is impacted.At a time when nearly half of Americans report having a family member or close friend who has suffered from addiction, according to a Pew Research Center survey released late last year, the online community has become a vital gathering place for both addicts and their loved ones to find support."We can come together get ideas, find out information, vent if we need to -- and nobody is going to judge us," member Amy Valandingham said.Jennifer Dulski, the head of community and groups at Facebook, added that many may feel more comfortable openly discussing addiction online because of how it still carries a stigma."Addiction is really somewhat a taboo topic that people don’t talk about much," Dulski said. "So being able to find that community online allows people to open up."'I should be dead'One member, Jackie, who wished to only be identified by her first name, told ABC News that she turned to the community as her daughter, Kaitlyn, struggled with addiction.Jackie described Kaitlyn as "the person that everybody wanted to be friends with -- until she got mixed up with the wrong ones."At 13, Kaitlyn started drinking and using drugs, and at 18, she moved out of the family home, Jackie said.Kaitlyn told ABC News she began using "Xanax, Percocets and molly." She added, "Then, you know, went to heroin.""I was living with the person that was giving me the heroin," Kaitlyn said. "I was getting high."After finding a friend dead from an overdose, Kaitlyn said she knew she had to turn her life around.At 20, she is now 15 months clean and sober, but said she has spent almost a third of her young life dealing with addiction and recovery."I've been through a lot, especially for my age," Kaitlyn said. "I should be dead."Jackie said the Facebook group has supported her and Kaitlyn through their entire journey, celebrating each milestone of Kaitlyn's recovery as a group.'I don’t want to see any more families have to live with losing their child to addiction'Matt Mendoza, administrator of the Facebook group, told ABC News that they have also "had hundreds, if not thousands, get placed into rehab from people in the group." The Facebook group grew out of a website, AddictionUnscripted.com, also run by Mendoza.Jackie said she now checks in on the group several times a day to support other mothers and members impacted by a loved one's addiction."I tell other addicts who are struggling or new to recovery to keep fighting the fight and stay strong," she said. "Even if it's just for one day, one hour, one minute, one second at a time, just for today."Member Wendy Werbiskis told ABC News that she lost her son, Daniel, to an overdose and now is active in the Facebook group to make sure no other mother has to suffer the same loss."I don’t want to see any more families have to live with losing their child to addiction," Werbiskis said. "This is my main reason for staying in this group, if I can reach even one."
    Read more...