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I’m just taking a guess. I never met him. But Robert Thornton is probably one of those guys that you meet every so often because, as it turns out, he is a humanitarian. Sharon, his girlfriend, had a stroke on April 4, 2012, and as a result of the stroke, developed, among other things, a subluxed shoulder, common in stroke survivors. She had severe pain that was caused by the misaligned shoulder. First, a little history on subluxation so you can understand what Robert did.
Taking all the medical mumbo-jumbo out of the picture, the shoulder joint, a ball and socket formation, is the most flexible of any joint in the body. It also makes the shoulder the most unstable joint. In a subluxed shoulder, popular wisdom, in plain English, explains that the shoulder joint’s failure of the socket to completely cover the ball of the upper arm bone makes the shoulder reliant on soft tissue instead to hold it in position. When the upper arm comes substantially out of the shoulder socket, it allows for less mobility, and subluxation results.
With a shoulder subluxing, the patients sometimes feel a popping sound as the ball joint moves out of the socket then returns. Read more…
This is a brain. It is also the unfortunate outcome of a baby whose mother experimented with cocaine, resulting in a premature birth and a bleed in the baby’s brain. A bleed in the brain means the baby had a stroke. Hey! Wait a minute! Babies and strokes don’t go together, or do they?
Note: for all you baby-makers out there, I’m not trying to scare you from having kids. This post is just a dose of reality.
You probably don’t know the name Duncan Guthrie. He started a charity in 1952 for his daughter, Janet, who had polio, and he was determined to find a cure for the disabling disease. With money funded by the charity, research, in time, led to the first oral polio vaccine which wiped out new cases of polio in the UK. Now called Action Medical Research, the charity encompasses so many other afflictions, and that leads us to babies and strokes.
In 2009, Action Medical Research estimated at least one baby out of 2,300 in the UK born full-term were victimized by a stroke. These strokes often were unexpected at the time of birth or before, i.e. some developing babies had strokes in utero. The researchers didn’t know if the babies, who are now barely three years old, had trouble using language because they hadn’t matured to the point where anybody could tell the difference between a three year old saying gibberish or not. Read more…
Recent testing of mercury concentrations in three national brands of canned tuna found that:
“55% of all tuna examined was above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s safety level for human consumption.”
And the problem appears to be getting worse. Previous studies on canned tuna, in 1993 and 2004, showed concerning levels of mercury contamination, but not as bad as it is now. See my profile of the paper in my 2-min. video Which brand of tuna has the most mercury?
Given the average level of mercury pollution found in canned tuna, researchers suggest that your average 9 year old would exceed the EPA limit even if they only ate a can of tuna every 6 weeks! They conclude: “These results indicate that stricter regulation of the canned tuna industry is necessary to ensure the safety of sensitive populations such as pregnant women, infants, and children.”
Some question whether the federal safety limits are even sufficiently protective. A recent review from researchers at Harvard and elsewhere on the adverse effects of mercury in fish proposed that the exposure limits set in the United States should be cut in half. Already, current regulations in the United States allow up to 10 times as much mercury in fish as the EPA limit allows, and so our fish is allowed to have 20 times more mercury than may be considered safe. Read more…
By now, so many months later, I’ve heard mostly everything that has been said about strokes, including upsetting rumors, dreadful untruths, and uplifting myths. Let’s take these issues one at a time. The comments in parentheses are mine. I’ll give you examples, too, even though it’s sort of painful to do so. But, hey. I’m here to teach you about strokes, so I’m obligated. But it’s so hard to hear that stuff, from people who just don’t know.
When I was at Rehab X, I overheard (yes, I was eavesdropping) two stroke patients conversing.
“Could I get worse than this?”
“Sure. I heard from a nurse that sometimes, a stroke can turn into measles.” (Measles come from a virus. The nurse doesn’t know jack! The scary thing is, why doesn’t she know?)
Or this one, heard from a CNA:
“If you don’t brush your hair regularly, you’ll lose most of it.” (Hair loss comes about for many different reasons, and one of them is trauma. If you’re “out of the woods” as far as strokes are concerned, most likely your hair will grow back).
Untruth: A stroke survivor who was giving a talk said, “Stroke patients die more often than not.”
Truth: Nope. Read more…
This week Casey and Shayne take an emergency call from a listener named Ginger. Ginger has a—shall we say—”burning” question and some important advice for our listeners who might just be inclined to do what she did! We’re pretty sure Ginger is not the only one who has ever done this…but we know she won’t do it again! Check it out. Thanks Ginger.
And from the Patient Advocate Desk—our friend and frequent guest RN and healthcare activist DeAnn McEwen talks about life-saving RN-Patient Ratios and what you need to know when you go to a hospital.
It seems the California Hospital Association and United Healthcare West are pushing a proposal to allow all California hospitals to suspend compliance with the life-saving 2004 RN Patient Ratio law. Their excuse—California’s budget problems—even though the proposal would apply to private hospitals as well as public facilities, and despite the fact that California hospitals are making record profits—$4,463,827,667 in 2010 alone. Yes, that’s TRILLION. Learn more at nationalnursesunited.org.
And healthy without health insurance? Protect yourself says Dr. Mathew Edlund. A countdown to healthcare as we know it. Some would say it is a real stretch to claim that if you just use the amazing and innovative technology of the human body and its incredible regenerative powers you can be healthy. Read more…
The three top killers in the United States are no longer heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Stroke just moved down to number four. Number three is now COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, meaning respiratory disorders such as emphysema. We know we can prevent and even help treat the other top killers with diet (see, for example, Heart Disease: There Is a Cure and my 4-min. video Cancer Reversal Through Diet?), but what about COPD?
Though most COPD is caused by tobacco, up to a third of COPD sufferers never smoked. The title of an editorial in this month’s issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition describes where some of the remainder of risk is coming from: “More Evidence for the Importance of Nutritional Factors in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.”
As I explore in my 2-min. video Preventing COPD with Diet, data dating back 50 years found that high intake of fruits and vegetables was positively associated with lung function in general, but does that mean it could prevent COPD? There’s been a burst of new research over the last ten years to answer just that question.
This is a post about healthcare in America and the people who mis-practice it, and not about insurance benefits or the costs of healthcare or even about recipients who qualify. I’ll leave that discussion to the political pundits and Michael Moore who know so much more about it than I do.
I’ve seen more than my share of doctors, nurses, therapists, and pharmacists making huge mistakes, enough to kill somebody. And oftentimes, they do.
The practice of medicine is just a random art. My son coined that phrase when he was a college freshman and developed Lupus Anti-Coagulant, a clotting disorder. He almost double-dosed on Coumadin, the drug that is intended to keep blood clots from forming, when the IV was handling the dose of Coumadin and some nurse brought the same Coumadin in pill form. He had the wherewithal to refuse the pill.
But what if he were groggy and didn’t? What if it were some elderly persons who would do exactly what they were told to do and swallow the pill? I don’t know, but my son and I weren’t patients back then and didn’t really care.
What does the practice of medicine as a random art mean? As I see it, these healthcare professionals just take an educated guess that makes them like the weather people. Read more…
The biggest problem I had was with my body not functioning like it used to. I wasn’t walking independently, and sitting on a regular chair was a challenge. But that’s what the wheelchair was for. I didn’t need to walk–yet, and the wheelchair forced me to sit upright, even if the staff had to strap me in. But all systems were “go,” if you got my drift, and that was one less thing to worry about.
It was in the beginning of the fourth week at Rehab X that I had a problem that I couldn’t surmount. It involved a CNA (no surprise there) and getting up in the middle of the night. Your first question would probably be, “What was I doing up in the middle of the night?”
But if you really thought about it for a nanosecond, you will probably come with the answer: I had to go to the bathroom, and that was because I kept hydrated all day, so afraid my “peeing” would stop working again. That was MY idea, but the doctor assured me that wasn’t the case. I didn’t wholeheartedly believe him and I was incurring another problem: skepticism.
I awakened at 3am, even with my headset, to the sound of snoring. Read more…
I always wonder about people who do odd, compulsive things. Take voyeurism, for example. Voyeurism is French meaning “one who looks.” In popular wisdom, voyeurism occurs when somebody views or photographs or films others without their awareness. In common vernacular, voyeurism can be defined as “a peeping Tom.”
Now for some trivia on a non-trivial topic: In England, voyeurism became a criminal offense in 2004, if the subject didn’t know he or she was being viewed. In Canada, voyeurism became a sexual offense in 2005 by the same guidelines as England. In the United States, voyeurism can be both a criminal and sexual offense, and may have the guilty party register on the Sex Offenders List.
And there’s more. In Saudi Arabia, the sale of camera phones was banned for about a year because of non-consensual pics but reversed in 2005 only because cellular companies wouldn’t be able to offer complete 3G services if camera phones weren’t included. In South Korea, the government requires that all camera phones elicit an audible noise whenever someone snaps a picture. In places like Afghanistan and Iran, voyeurism can lead to, well, who knows. The point is, voyeurism is annoying, to say the least.
Sorry to say, I had my own experience with a voyeur at the nursing home. Read more…
The Top Ten Things You Should Never Say or Do to a Stroke Patient | The Tales of a Stroke Patient | Joyce Hoffman
People are funny, and I don’t mean in a ha-ha sort of way. They could be neurotic, bi-polar, obsessive-compulsive, anxious, or agoraphobic, just to name a few types. Some of the ones who came to visit me had their own type: dysfunctional-when-meeting-a-stroke-patient.
Even though they had good intentions, in all fairness to me, some of them said and did things that were downright insulting, if I took the comments and body language personally. But I didn’t ever, for those people who took the time and came to visit me.
In all fairness to them, how could they know the right responses from the wrong. What it really comes down to is this: How do you speak to a stroke patient whose had her life turned around in a 180-degree spin?
I made a list of the top ten things you should never say or do to a stroke patient, and I, too, have been guilty of most of them before having my stroke when I visited stroke patients. So having set the record straight, here goes.
1. Saying good girl, good boy, good job
Those are phrases you should say to your pets when they are being rewarded with a “Pup-Peroni” or Doritos’ chips. Read more…