SMOKING in PUBLIC–NOT a RIGHT!

Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s it was not only common, but cultural, that people smoked. The Movies of that period along with the Black and White TV’s showed everyone from Actors to Newscasters with a cigarette in their mouth and an ashtray in front of them.

I always knew at a very young age that cigarette smoke bothered me and would not date teen boys who smoked. As an adult going to parties, events, movies, the grocery store & even hospitals involved smelling someone’s cigarette smoke.  People just tolerated it as it was considered “‘rude” to make remarks, although at times, I could not help myself and did say I could not stand the smoke– much to the embarrassment of my friends and husband.  My Father-in-law and I went round and round about this so called “right”.

Slowly the tolerance for smokers and breathing their polluted air has become a much less. However my question is:  Why is it still allowed in most casinos, and so many feet from the doors of establishments–meaning you walk through it anyway.  WHY does the minority have this right to make other people sick.

We were recently on a cruise and I do enjoy gambling, but hate having to tolerate the smoke smell. This ship did not allow smoking anywhere but the Casino and one glassed in room with white/gray air from the smoke.  Some smokers did not gamble, but made the casino their own private smoking area.  The theory is if someone is a gambler –they are also a drinker and smoker–WRONG!  When the “No Smoking in Casinos Law” was passed in the State of Colorado by the vote of the people, the Casinos wrung their hands in woe thinking the revenue was going to drop.  Granted it dropped temporarily, but within two-three revenue periods it picked up and was better than previously.

I really resent going in to enjoy a day of gambling and then having a smoker sit next to me and light up, so I am the one that must leave. Also on the Ship I noticed that some of the dealers and hosts were coughing and one had a towel over her nose to avoid the smoke around her. Why should the majority non-smokers give up gambling or going to a place they enjoy, because of  Smokers?

WHEN are we going to wake up and let the majority have the Rights and tell the Smokers this is something, like sex, that must be done in private?  We know what 2nd hand smoke does.  It IS getting better, but we a long way to go!  SAY SOMETHING, WRITE LETTERS!

Reporting a Doctor–PART TWO

 Reporting a Doctor–Part Two

One person CAN make a difference!

ABSOLUTELY with a bit of work and a lot of patience!

Last year I wrote a detailed Blog on “How to” and “Where to” report a Doctor   with which you have had issues that you feel need to be addressed.  Feel that it is your human duty to report a Doctor that you feel has problems worse than “poor bedside manner”.  Everyone can have a bad day, so I usually do not evaluate a Medical person until I have a couple of visits with him/her. Just complaining about your experience to others gives, you a very limited audience.

After One Year this is the outcome:

In my particular case we felt the Dr. had such egregious behavior on two different occasions with degrading remarks, criticizing the diagnoses of previous Medical professionals.  With arrogance he said “the other Doctors were all wrong”.

When my husband and I both wrote individual letters about this Doctor in 2014, who we felt should not be practicing because of an arrogant, condescending and rude attitude, we had expected more feedback.  However after 1 yr. we have found that by doing what we did, the word spread throughout a large portion of the Medical facility where we go. Possibly other patients began reporting the same Doctor to their referring physician.  The outcome of this has been that his particular physician is no longer referred by several medical facilities that had previously used him.  He is however “still practicing”.  Saying that–if you feel strongly about something you experienced with a doctor that is unprofessional or harming, you should make a report to the proper entities.  It is very difficult to just make a complaint and have something instantly happen. In our case the MD’s reports differed from what he had said to me, as a patient, so there was no way to prove how we had been treated.  However it puts Medical personnel on alert and they may have paid more attention to other patient complaints on the same physician. If you know what you are doing is right–then do it, following the proper protocol as outlined in the previous Blog.

Again you may want to visit the following websites to see how others have rated your physician or a potential referred Physician.  I now, do the surveys for almost every Medical person on both www.vitals.com   and www.healthgrades.com  that I visit and it helps others who may need to see that Physician or Medical Professional.  I am happy to say that most of the reports I have done are complimentary to the medical person and profession.   The short surveys that you do on a Medical person may greatly help someone else.  Be sure to compliment and do a good survey on the great Medical personnel who serve you!  That really helps future patients.

One person CAN make a difference as it starts the ball rolling.

 

Knee Replacement –New Info.

There seems to be more Total knee replacements these days, or maybe it is just our age.   I have noticed recently a trend that is happening regarding the CPM machine.  This is Very disturbing to me as I had two knee replacements –the first surgery in 2004 and the 2nd in 2006.  Both are still doing well with me having full flexion.  BUT—on the RT knee replacement the Dr. ordered the CPM machine to be used the 3 days, post-surgery –in the hospital.  However, it seemed the staff was too busy, the PT came at a time that was too far out from my last pain meds, etc. The surgeon was not happy and she sent me home with a CPM ordered and a home PT visiting every other day.  With the CPM used about 6 hrs. per day and 2 during the night, I was able to get to 65 degrees by day 8.  It took me 2 wks. to get to 90 degrees. LEFT Knee Replacement–I was on CPM coming out of surgery and was at 90 degrees upon release from the hospital.

Why are they NOT using CPM machines?  That is a good question.

Reasons given:  Some Surgeons say–*the patient and Physical therapist can do the work without it.  That is certainly possible–BUT it is much easier to increase the rate of a machine moving your leg, than it is to have someone physically moving your leg on an irregular basis.  * Patients just leave them at the end of their bed and don’t use them.  * Some insurances have stopped paying for them.

RESULTS:  Knee Replacement patients are now returning to surgery several months or more to have manipulation surgery and scar removal.

Talk with your Surgeon prior to your knee replacement about getting a CPM machine right after your surgery and to have one at home within a day of release for 14-21 days and USE it!  You will be grateful that you ahd this helpful device to get you back on the move.

If you are planning a knee replacement in the near future you might want to know what to get for the post surgery recovery.

PLEASE COMMENT ON YOUR EXPERIENCES!

 

Reporting a Doctor

 Did you have a bad experience with a Doctor?

Was your Dr. dismissive, rude, arrogant and seemed to ignore your complaint ?

Did you have future health issues because of an error or misdiagnose by a Doctor?

YOU are not alone!  I am hoping that this information will help YOU, as a patient, be able to find where to report these types of behaviors of a Medical person.

My personal experience:  In late Nov. 2013,  I had to seek medical attention at an Urgent Care Facility while we were on vacation.  I had severe bacterial Sinusitis and laryngitis.  I was put on an antibiotic.  Upon returning home I went to ER and again was told I had severe Sinusitis and another medication was added with instructions to see my Primary Care MD and an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (ENT) .  I then went to my Primary Care physician who referred me to an ENT. I had then been on about 18 days of antibiotics.  I found the ENT to be arrogant, condescending and rude.  I followed his protocol and had a CT done on the Sinuses.  Upon returning to him, with the ordered CT, my husband and I found this Dr. to have such unprofessional, egregious behavior;  including discounting the findings of ALL other medical personnel from my past, regarding sinusitis.  I will not go into detail here, but leave it at– he had totally unacceptable, unprofessional behavior on 2 occasions within a couple of weeks.  Upon leaving his office, very upset, we decided that we would take further steps by reporting him.  We hope this experience will help others when they know they have been treated poorly or have had a truly unprofessional encounter or at worst, a missed diagnoses, with a Health Care Professional.

 WHAT to DO!

1. THERE are websites where you can grade your experience or write a review.  www.Healthgrades.com  and www.Vitals.com   are two of the best known.  ( I have also done good reviews on excellent MD’s on these websites) 

2. Write a well written letter documenting your experience. Both my husband and I wrote separate letters describing the details as we each saw them. (I do this type of letter with an opening sentence and then bullet points, with chronological events.  This keeps it  easily readable and less wordy than writing it all out)  

3. Send any medical documents with your letter(s) to:

 * Your State Medical Board
 * Your Medical Insurance carrier
 * Primary Care Physician
* Medicare eligible patients can send to HSAG  (Health Services Advisory Group)   They review your information and do an independent investigation.    BEST RESPONSE!  (see below)
* Check out other entities in your State or area that may have places to make a report or complaint.
* You can mention your experience to others, and to your other Doctors and to your family and friends.  Word travels fast. 

BE PROACTIVE—you may save someone else the experience of being ill and undergoing  embarrassment or misdiagnose.  That is my goal.  If people are NOT proactive with their personal medical experiences, whether good or bad, the few bad Doctors who are practicing will continue to treat other patients in this manner.

MY RESULTS: * BEST RESPONSE   Personally, I received the most response from HSAG. The staff kept in touch throughout the process.  They also said that the letters from my husband and me and the included Drs. reports were very helpful.  Upon getting my report from Medical Records, I did find the Dr. had written much different information then he had given to my husband and me.

So far, I have very disappointing results from the Arizona Medical Board, which is probably overwhelmed with other things and the investigator appeared to have little interest in my complaint.

You must keep up with this and even if the results are not what you would like, it still has alerted the Doctor that he is being investigated and may change his behaviors with his future patients.  Also if you use one of the Review Websites mentioned above, future patients have a chance to see what has been said about a Doctor.

PLEASE WRITE A COMMENT ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE!

 

 

STOP Night-time LEG CRAMPS

If you have suffered unbearable leg and foot cramps during the night, you will appreciate this very simple, inexpensive solution that has helped many.  It is something that we ALL have in our home–A BAR of SOAP!

UPDATE:  Have used small soap bars for 4 months and still works.  SOAP must be shaved or REPLACED about every 2-3 wks or as soon as it stops working!  10/13

My Experience:

I have had severe leg cramps, starting with RLS (restless leg syndrome)which then develop into in painful cramps in legs and feet for a several years. I have tried the usual remedies like magnesium, magnesium gel, potassium, quinine (tonic) water and  several prescription drugs, with no lasting  effect on the leg and foot cramps.  On a recent trip to Spokane, WA ,a client of  my daughter’s Pilates class told me to place a bar of soap–unwrapped–between  the mattress pad and the sheet between my knees and feet. I thought it was a bit
odd, but thought “hey it costs nothing and I am not putting medication into my body” and have tried everything else suggested. So I tried it! I have used the method for a month and my cramps have completely  subsided. It is really quite unbelievable. I am not one that gets placebo  effects on anything, so know it is a WINNER–at least for many! Wish that more people knew about  this, it might save many from taking medications that do NOT work.

There are many Testimonials out there regarding the great results using this method. Learn More about leg Cramps and Soap!  Some recommend not using Dial or Dove Soap.  There are many theories as to why this works but no Scientific evidence why, but the number of people that have had great results, is indisputable.

Hoping this information helps you if you are suffering from night-time Leg Cramps.  If you find relief, PLEASE share your experience by making a comment on this website.

HAVE a PEACEFUL NIGHT!

 

 

 

WHAT IS SCOLIOSIS?

This was first published in 2011, but I felt it was worth republishing for those who may be suffering from scoliosis.  In addition to the other helpful blogs that I have done on scoliosis, I am planning to include our daughter’s 1980 scoliosis experience.

This series starts with the Diagnosis of Scoliosis, then to my personal story from 1958.  There will be many links to click on regarding “scoliosis” information, videos and resources.  

We would greatly appreciate your input and personal experience and hope that you find this and the links and video helpful in learning more about scoliosis.

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PART 1

This is the first of a Series of Blogs on Scoliosis.

“What is Scoliosis?”  Scoliosis is a medical condition in which the spine is curved to one side. The thoracic (chest) or lumbar ( lower back) regions are the most commonly affected.  Viewed on an X-Ray it may be a curvature which appears as an “S” curve or a “C” curve.  Scoliosis is typically classified as congenital (abnormality at birth) or idiopathic (unknown cause).  Scoliosis can be diagnosed by a physical exam of the spine, hips and legs along with X-Rays of the spine. It is very often diagnosed at about age 10-15 and the progressive type seems to be more prevalent in females.  There are also Neuromuscular and Degenerative types.  There is more information on these different types of scoliosis on  WebMed.

Scoliosis is often discovered through school screenings at 5th or 6th grade or through a routine Pediatric Appointment, which then  will often require X-Rays of the spine. One indicator is one shoulder lower than another with opposite hip slightly raised.   If the curvature is minor it may just need to be watched and may not requre any agressive treatment.

Sometimes excercise, Pilates or other Therapies will help keep the curvature from increasing and may help with actually treating the curvature and/or pain involved.

Another great reference is MayoClinic

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You may wish to read my personal story of having severe scoliosis at age 13 and what was then called “a complete spinal fusion” in 1958 and the protocol used at that time.  Methods have dramatically changed.

VERTIGO & DIZZINESS

MY VERTIGO EXPERIENCE

Last week, while out of town with friends, I experienced extreme vertigo, a very scary feeling.  I got up in the middle of the night to go the bathroom and upon lying back down the room began to swirl.  In trying to right myself I fell over onto the bed like a rag doll.  I yelled out and my husband rushed to my side and said later” Your arms were flaying in the air in an attempt to right yourself.”  I spent the rest of the night propped up on pillows and trying to fall back to sleep.  We were in a Casino and the next day, I felt a bit off center all day and any quick movement would bring on a case of dizziness.  It was very unsettling.  Upon returning home, I had another bad episode at bedtime and we went to ER.

They did all of the usual tests, CT scan, Chest X-Ray and blood tests.  Everything was negative. On day 10, I visited my PCP (Primary Care Physician) and asked for an antibiotic as I had a very strange headache which had occurred previous to my Vertigo episode.  My PCP said that she thought it was BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo), so I researched it and it sounded like what I might have.  I did find some exercises, which I found online and have continued for two days and remarkably, for the most part, my vertigo has subsided to a mere slight dizziness upon quick motions.  Now the questions is: Is the cure the 3 days of a strong antibiotic or is it BPPV?  I don’t know, but I will continue to do the exercises as I do not want to go back to the severe vertigo.

BPPV is dizziness or vertigo thought to be debris which is collected within a part of the inner ear.  It has been called crystals, stones, debris or ear rocks–possibly where the term “Rocks in your Head” originated.  They become dislodged and move into more sensitive inner ear locations.  People over 60 are most likely to get BPPV.  The Epley Maneuver  can easily be done at home & relocate the “crystals”.  I also did the Brandt-Daroff  Exercise.  There is a small video on this maneuver near the bottom of the page next to the discs.

There is more in information on Dizziness, Vertigo and BPPV on Mayo Clinic website.  Although BPPV may be common, it is very distressing for the individual who is experiencing this and can result in a fall.  If you are experiencing the symtoms of BPPV it is best to get your Physicians opinion, rather than to self diagnose.

 

HEART ATTACKS

HEART ATTACKS

Many people ignore the symptoms of a pending heart attack,  thinking it is indigestion or heartburn, random pain or costochondritis-rib pains. Women tend to ignore these symptoms  (American Heart Assoc.) as they are usually in the middle of childcare, working, cooking or don’t want to be embarrassed by an ambulance coming to their home.  Many times the symptoms will be repeated and may last for longer periods.

Not only should you be aware of the Heart Attack signs or Symptoms, but you should know what to do if you see someone having a heart attack.  The following video can be of help if you happen to see someone who may be having a Heart Attack.  The following video is important to watch.

 Here is a GREAT VIDEO on what to do in case you think someone may be having a Heart Attack.

The Following are the most common Heart Attack Symptoms

  • Pressure or squeezing pain in your chest
  • Pain can extend to shoulder, neck or arm adn sometimes teeth and jaw
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increasing episodes of chest pain
  • Heartburn

Forget the embarrassment or worry regarding going to the ER and maybe have nothing wrong.  In this case it is best to be SAFE rather then SORRY in this case.  CALL 911

 

 

BEST ICE PACK

THE BEST ICE PACK for post surgery or any ice pack needs.

Have you ever wondered why they say “use a bag of frozen peas” for an ice pack?  Depending on where it is placed it will probably fall off within minutes & then do you cook the peas?  I remember when my children were young and being sent home from the Drs. office with bags you fill with ice and finding that my child did not like the feeling of the ice cubes or the ice bag would not stay in place.

After my first knee replacement my P.T., who came to our home, gave me the BEST ICE pack recipe that was not only easy to make, but could be refrozen, stayed on the body part you placed it on and it was flexible for all sizes of people and body parts. I have shared it with anyone who has surgery or needs to ice any part of the body.  I have made this ICE PACK for friends and family through the years and the recipe has been given out more times that I can count.  So here goes:

BEST home-made Ice Pack. 

Take kitchen towel and place in 1 gallon Ziploc Bag.  Mix ½ Isopropyl Alcohol with 1/2  water—about ¾ cup ea.  After mixing,  Pour into Ziploc Bag , saturating the towel and mvoing the liquid around until the towel is completely wet.  if it is not all wet mix a bit more –half and half of Alcohol and water.  Zip bag, taking pusing out the air and place with Zipped end into another gallon Ziploc.  Freeze about 3 hrs., at least.  Ice pack is flexible and can be wrapped in another kitchen towel and placed over surgery or affected area.  The cold will last about 20-30 minutes and then can be refrozen—also great for children when they have injuries.  We keep 2 in our freezer at all times.  I also made one for a friend that had head surgery by using a quart bag and a wash cloth & less liquid mixture.  She could lay down and palce it where needed on her head.

The other nice thing is this cost practically nothing and are usual items around the home and it is reusable.

*This is also in another area on this website. 

10 Mental Health Tips


 10 MENTAL HEALTH TIPS 

  1. Make time for Family and Friends –Relationships need to be nurtured.  If taken for granted they will not be there to share life’s joys and sorrows.
  2.  Build Confidence-  Identify your strengths, abilities and weaknesses.  Accept them, build on them and do what is best to do with what you have.
  3.  Accept Compliments – Many of us have difficulty accepting compliments and kindness from others, or just saying “Thank You”. We need to remember the positive strokes when times are tough.
  4.  Give and Accept Support– Friends and family relationships thrive when they are “put to the test”.
  5.  Identify and Deal with Moods– We all need to find a safe and constructive ways to express our feelings of anger sadness, happiness, fear and joy.
  6.  Manage Stress– We all have stress in our lives but learning how to deal with them when they threaten to overwhelm us will maintain our mental health.
  7.  Create a Meaningful Budget– financial problems cause stress. Over spending on our “wants” rather than our “needs” is very often the problem.
  8.  Volunteer– Being involved in community gives a sense of purpose and satisfaction and creates a feeling of well-being. Find something that you enjoy doing and be a volunteer in that area.
  9. Find Strength in Numbers– sharing problems with others who have had smilar experiences may help you find a solution and will make you feel less isolated.
  10. Learn to be at Peace with Yourself– Get to know who you are, what makes you really happy, and learn to balance what you can and cannot change about yourself.