Dealing with the 'perfect storm'By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress/SR00058
- With Mayo Clinic oncologist
Edward T. Creagan, M.D.read biographyclose window
Edward T. Creagan, M.D.Edward Creagan, M.D.
"The magic of the electronic village is transforming health information. The mouse and keyboard have extended the stethoscope to the 500 million people now online." — Dr. Edward Creagan
The power of the medium inspires Dr. Edward Creagan as he searches for ways to share Mayo Clinic's vast resources with the general public.
Dr. Creagan, a Newark, N.J., native, is board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hospice medicine and palliative care. He has been with Mayo Clinic since 1973 and in 1999 was president of the staff of Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Creagan, a professor of medical oncology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, was honored in 1995 with the John and Roma Rouse Professor of Humanism in Medicine Award and in 1992 with the Distinguished Mayo Clinician Award, Mayo's highest recognition. He has been recognized with the American Cancer Society Professorship of Clinical Oncology.
He describes his areas of special interest as "wellness as a bio-psycho-social-spiritual-financial model" and fitness, mind-body connection, aging and burnout.
Dr. Creagan has been an associate medical editor with Mayo Clinic's health information websites and has edited publications and CD-ROMs and reviewed articles.
"We the team of (the website) provide reliable, easy-to-understand health and wellness information so that each of us can have productive, meaningful lives," he says.
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Dealing with the 'perfect storm'
By Edward T. Creagan, M.D.
The thoughtful and probing comments from members of our community address the issue of self-care in times of crisis and adversity. How about this situation — the "perfect storm" for stress and why we need to marshal resources for our own survival.
You are a middle-aged professional/homemaker with your own health issues in the midst of orchestrating the bewildering healthcare options for two elderly parents who have moved back to your home community. The situation is complicated by your own two teenagers.
This scenario portrays in vivid detail the challenges and opportunities for the "sandwich generation." These are the individuals ensnared between the needs of their aging parents, their own needs, and the needs of their emerging family.
First, the needs of the elderly. Even for those of us who are relatively fit and savvy, navigating the bewildering health care system can be daunting. The task is insurmountable for the elderly if they do not have an advocate to act on their behalf.
Second, the needs and challenges of teenagers are well known to most of us and that in and of itself is a full-time job. So, then, who takes care of us and how do we stay durable in dealing with these issues?
One wise woman in this predicament shared with me the importance of friends with whom she can share some of these challenges, the importance of a massage every several weeks to reduce the tension, and the importance of a spiritual dimension providing consolation and strength in time of chaos and adversity.
A year ago April, the Dalai Lama visited our institution and spoke to the issue of human suffering. I was particularly struck by a paraphrase of his comments: "How can we be expected to care for others if we do not care for ourselves."
His words certainly apply to each of us during our times of challenge and especially to those struggling and caught between the needs of parents, their own families and their own needs.
I would certainly appreciate the input of our survivors out there who are heroically dealing with this kind of "perfect storm."blog index