Author Archives: Dr. Judy

About Dr. Judy

Family Physician since 1987

Take Politics out of COVID

I write with a heavy heart today as I watch the pandemic surging in many countries around the world. Sending good wishes and thoughts your way is not enough. I wish it were.

Until recently, I never involved myself in politics (to my shame). But now I find I need to talk about politics. Or rather implore you to leave politics out of COVID. Please ignore politicians when it comes to matters of your health and COVID in particular.

Dr. Fauci has been a true leader in the face of terrific odds. He stands firm and strong despite enormous outside pressure. He has no ulterior motives. Please follow Dr. Fauci’s advice and the advice of medical professionals.

Keep your distance from people. If you are living in a hot zone, or even a warm zone, stay away from the elderly, diabetics, and other immunocompromised individuals. Wear a mask if you are inside, or even outside if you are close to other people. The virus can jump 8 foot. Wash your hands for 20seconds and use sanitizer.

Countries like Norway and New Zealand have shown the way. BC in Canada has also done well. But more and more places are opening up and we need to be careful.

We are in the midst of a war, but it is more like a civil war, or a guerrilla war. We can fight the virus, no problem, if people were to rise as one. Recognize that we are social beings and that we depend on each other. I have seen Canadians reaching out to help each other. Shop for immunocompromised people. Use masks. Keep their distance. Stay at home. I have seen true community spirit. In the North of British Columbia, we have had a total of 65 cases and no new cases for ages.

But there are still individuals who feel entitled. They believe this virus that is killing hundreds of thousands of people is a hoax. I think it is fear too. Fear makes us deny reality. The reality that we are one and that we depend on each other.

Please take care of yourselves and each other. Listen to Dr. Fauci. The WHO are also trying their best to navigate the swamp that is made up of politicians, many of whom are only interested in enriching themselves and gaining more power.

Take care.

Judy

Why Shame? Why guilt?

Why do we feel that we are not enough? Not good enough parents? Not a good enough doctor? Not a good enough daughter? Not a good enough cook? Not doing enough in this world? Not a good enough spouse? Maybe even feeling sometimes useless. Feeling as if you can’t do anything.

I wonder if sometimes this doesn’t come when we are growing up and we feel as very small children that we don’t please our parents. Maybe our parents are having their own problems – relationship problems – they become angry or distant or don’t pay enough attention, and we see that WE are the problem, not them.

As children, we are weak and vulnerable. Our parents are necessary for survival. We have to fit in. We have to see them as strong. And capable. And even if they are failing, we can’t afford to notice that – it affects our feeling of safety. So we turn on ourselves and see ourselves as not good enough.

This feeling turns into shame and guilt because it’s a a confused thought. There’s no rational basis. Later in life, we love our parents, we don’t want to see that they haven’t done enough – and so we keep those feelings of guilt and shame and transfer them to other areas of our life.

Just some thoughts for today. Check out Complex PTSD and Shame videos.

Have a great day.

Judy

COVID Chronic pain and Adolscents or Children with Stress

Hi Bloggers

I have been catching up on my reading. Eeeek – so many journals that stacked up – but I came across a great article about the harm of early or inopportune withdrawal of opioids for chronic pain. https://www.bmj.com/content/368/bmj.m283

I started this website because of the difficulty my patients experienced with the opioid crisis and my attempts to decrease their medication. I feel we have established a balance, but that is only because my patients helped me with their treatment. Setting goals and listening to patients, understanding that they know their bodies better than a doctor does, is very important.

On to Children and Teenagers – I have some great links that I hope parents may find useful. Please let me know if you have any questions with the links or share links of your own that are helpful.

Crisis Line

Addictions information

Kelty Mental Health

Kid’s Care This one looks particularly great.

I hope you are all staying safe.

All the best Judy

COVID-19 – as restrictions lift

Dear Reader

As states and countries open more services, and people are becoming increasingly fed up with being stuck at home, the risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 is increased. Scientists and doctors around the world are desperately trying to unravel the puzzle that is COVID before another hundred thousand people die, and we too need to do our part.

It’s easy to feel scared. I know I do. I will show my age by saying that there are times I feel like the punk at the open end of Clint Eastwood’s ’45 Magnum. This virus should make us scared. Scared enough to take precautions that can save lives.

Each day that passes brings a new nasty surprise. This virus attacks blood vessels, which means it can attack every organ of your body. Lungs, kidneys, brain, gut, right down to COVID toes. Patients are now presenting with diarrhoea and vomiting, to only collapse a day later with lack of oxygen. Blood clots and other inflammatory complications can cause sudden death.

What can you do other than worry? Until there is a proven and tested vaccine, the only treatment for the moment is social distancing. That is becoming very difficult as workers are being forced to return to work because they have no income, or because they will lose their jobs if they don’t come to work.

In a time of fear, respect is the most important ingredient for success. Respect space. Respect it if someone wears a mask. Respect the need to limit your socializing and shopping. No matter how tempting it may seem to travel, respect the need to limit your risk and therefore your risk to others by limiting your travel. Do only the necessary shopping and plan so you only visit the store once a week or less. Travel only to work and home. 

And please, limit your contact with anyone with an immune problem. As lonely and isolating as this time is, the alternative could mean death to your loved one. The risk for death rises as the age of the person rises. If someone you love is over the age of 55, has diabetes, or lung or heart disease, or any chronic medical condition, then visit carefully.

I advise my patients to visit outside, bring a deckchair, and your food, stay 6 feet apart, and take everything you came with, home with you. 

Please take care. We will learn in the next few weeks what the rest of summer holds for us. In the meantime, err on the side of caution. 

All the best       Judy

COVID-19 and Stress

Hi Readers

Nothing like a pandemic to make us pay attention to our stress! If you are like most of us, you are struggling in this time of enormous stress. I have taken to not watching the news, not even the comedy shows I used to enjoy, like the Daily Show and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. I find Jeopardy about all I can manage in terms of brain exercise.

I think probably most of us are getting restless and eager to go back to business as usual. I cannot imagine how hard it must be for so many of you to be struggling financially. I hope that you are managing. Please stay safe. Keeping safe distances and using masks and hand hygiene are the only treatments we have for this horrible disease.

Exercise helps you feel better. Hubby and I had a lovely walk – although it’s 9 degrees Celsius and overcast in central B.C. The lake is STILL frozen – aaahhhh. We were stopped – at a safe distance – by neighbours who commented on his T-shirt – he is in serious denial about our lack of Spring and refusing to wear even a sweater. But we’re alive and well, and that’s really all that matters.

After the walk, I worked on Week 2 of my group visits. I’m planning my first Zoom group visit next week, and I added some material to Videos on Complex PTSD. Feel free to check them out if you are feeling emotionally dysregulated.

I find You Tube videos great and I love seeing families creating original and screamingly funnily videos. Laughter truly is the best medicine.

Stay safe. All the best.   Judy

Emotions can be Overwhelming

Dear Readers

I hope you are well in this very difficult time.

I have been working on another page on complex PTSD as people with a history of difficult childhoods, or traumas that have happened when they were growing up and in early adulthood, are at high risk of emotional dysregulation.

Check out my new page Videos on Complex PTSD if you are interested.

Stay strong

stay safe.

Judy

The Dangers of Trauma

I read a post this morning that upset me and I shared it on my Facebook page. I’ll share my response below.

Trauma, physical and mental, leads to maladaptive coping. Childhood trauma leads to children adopting tools of survival that may work when they’re small, and they often do, but when we’re older, these tools can cause damage. One survival tool is to grow up believing you are superior. Reality will come at you to show you that you have failings, but a narcissist will deny reality. They will twist and turn and back away and attack and do anything to prove to themselves and others that they are superior. This is called narcissism.

A narcissist is very toxic and they are often found in positions of power. People who are traumatized, can often not think clearly and traumatized individuals will follow a narcissist because they spread messages of empowerment. They make people feel safe and powerful even as they spread havoc.

While the rest of the world seeks unity, fighting a common cause, a narcissist will seek to blame others. Anything to detract from the damage he has done ignoring the warnings of WHO, forcing their hand, and then blaming them, while all the time he spreads medical disinformation that risks the lives of hundreds of thousands. This is a time for us to see past old stereotypes, to see past old prejudices, to see past indoctrinations and hate. How sad that the fate of so many people lie in the hands of a severely damaged man and that people who are damaged themselves by years of false teaching, false reasoning, are following him. It is now a time to awake to past untruths. Fear not the differences in culture, the colour of our skins, fear not our different orientations, the different ways we love and live, fear only ignorance.

Fear the person who spreads hate and unkindness. Fear the person who seeks to blame others. When you feel bad about yourself in the presence of another person, consider whether that person has narcissist tendencies. If you are in the presence of a person who tries to make you feel bad about others, consider if that person is a narcissist. 

Spread love and compassion and please consider words. 

Regards   Judy

Support in this time of Crisis

Hello Readers

I have been remiss in my blogging, mainly because I usually only blog when I feel I have something urgent or important to share. I can’t say I have much to talk about today, my mind being occupied with the difficulties happening all over the world.

But I did want to send you my support. To tell you that reaching out to even one person can make a difference. COVID-19 has shown us that it is your health, human connection, and food on the table that matters, not the kind of work you have, or the car you drive, or the size of your apartment. And yes, we can even do without toilet paper. LOL.

Thank you to all the frontline workers and to those generous angels who go about helping others without expecting recognition or gratitude. It is not COVID that will beat us, only ourselves if we forget our humanity.

Stay safe

Regards Judy

Gentle Movements for Chronic Pain

Pain BC is inviting people living with chronic pain to an on-line gentle movements program.  Link. We can expect You Tube videos to follow.

If you aren’t lucky enough to be living in BC Canada (sorry – I am biassed – LOL ) then try Step 6 or the morning and evening exercises on the Daily Program.

Good Luck and keep moving. Judy