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hospice, hospice myths, medical tiktok, learn on tiktok

Hospice nurse Julie on TikTok.

Watching a loved one die is difficult, confusing, terrifying and heartbreaking. They transform before our eyes, unrecognizably. In turn, our faces are no longer familiar to them. The entire experience can leave us feeling powerless to help.

Hospice workers provide an incredible service to humanity by making this process less painful. And they do it with great kindness and compassion.

Julie is a hospice nurse in California. In her five years doing this, she has helped a lot of patients maintain a quality life in their final weeks and months before having a peaceful death. She's also educated a lot of families about what to expect during the transition, in an attempt to make it a little less daunting. According to Julie, that's the best part of the job.

Julie decided to share her expertise on TikTok, where her insights could reach a wider audience.


"I knew I had a lot of interesting information about death and dying that most people don't know about. I want to normalize death by educating people about it. I went home to visit my family, and my tween nieces were on TikTok making dance videos. I later went on TikTok to see their dances. This gave me the idea of starting my own TikTok about death and dying," she told The Sun.

The idea caught on quickly. Julie soon racked up more than 400,000 followers, with millions of views for multiple videos. Clearly she had some valuable knowledge.

In one of her videos, she explains how many of the death processes we find morbid, are actually quite normal. Changes in breathing, skin color, fevers … all normal. Messy, but normal. Even the "death rattle," despite its scary name, is very natural, as the brain is no longer able to tell the throat to swallow saliva. "Terminal secretions," she calls it.

@hospicenursejulie#hospicenursejulie#nurse#learnontiktok#ForzaHorizon5GO#nursesoftiktok♬ original sound - 💕 Hospice nurse Julie 💕

Julie also discusses the "rallying" phenomenon, where a terminal person seems to make a swift recovery—even regaining an appetite and bouncing back to a personality—before ultimately passing within a few days, or sooner. She explains that, where no one knows exactly why this happens, she always informs her patients and families so they're not caught off guard. I cannot imagine the anguish people go through who do not know this.

@hospicenursejulie#hospicenursejulie#nurse#learnontiktok#nursesoftiktok♬ original sound - 💕 Hospice nurse Julie 💕

One person asked, "Does knowing all of this in depth make death less scary for you?" To which Julie simply replied "Yes–I'm not scared at all."

Natural death, Julie says, is not uncomfortable. Because many people die from accidents or diseases, we tend to equate death with suffering, but that does not have to be the case. In fact, Julie shares about people seeing angels, even loved ones who have passed. Often they manage to say "I love you" right before death.

@hospicenursejulie Reply to @spymylittleye #greenscreen#hospicenursejulie#angel#LevisMusicProject#nurse#learnontikrok♬ original sound - 💕 Hospice nurse Julie 💕

Hospice care is undervalued, at best. And at worst, it can be demonized, as many buy into the myth that hospice companies make money off of killing patients (another notion Julie politely debunks). This is what makes her channel truly special. Julie makes death—the ultimate unknown—a little less frightening with the power of education and empathy. It's something she does on a day-to-day basis. But now we all can benefit.


You can check out even more of Julie's videos on TikTok, under her handle @hospicenursejuile

Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

The mesmerizing lost art of darning knit fabric.

For most of human history, people had to make their own clothing by hand, and sewing skills were subsequently passed down from generation to generation. Because clothing was so time-consuming and labor-intensive to make, people also had to know how to repair clothing items that got torn or damaged in some way.

The invention of sewing and knitting machines changed the way we acquire clothing, and the skills people used to possess have largely gone by the wayside. If we get a hole in a sock nowadays, we toss it and replace it. Most of us have no idea how to darn a sock or fix a hole in any knit fabric. It's far easier for us to replace than to repair.

But there are still some among us who do have the skills to repair clothing in a way that makes it look like the rip, tear or hole never happened, and to watch them do it is mesmerizing.

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Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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