Interesting Development in a Friend’s Shoulder Injury

Normally these articles are a little more clinical, but today I want to share something with you that recently happened to a friend of mine.

My friend is an attorney, sharp as a tack and is currently battling Parkinson’s Disease and takes a few medications to slow the progression of the disease for which there is still no cure. Unfortunately some of the medications come with unwanted side effects, one of these side effects happened to be seizures.

Several weeks ago, she was walking up the hall, looking forward to going to bed after a long day of work, kids, life and suddenly out of the blue she was hit with a small seizure that sent her to the ground and in the position she hit the hard wood floor, her left shoulder tore a ligament resulting in severe pain. I kept our communications brief during this time except for a regular, “Hello and how are you doing” type of e-mails and phone calls as I feel rest is paramount to a faster recovery for any injury of this type.

She left me a very frustrated message that she was tired of being given pain killers and more pain killers which made her feel horrible along with not killing the pain and she felt she was being goaded into having shoulder surgery rather than exploring other options but she couldn’t get a straight answer from anyone as to what her other options might be. She had a long time relationship with her physician and didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but she felt it was time she should shop around for another road to travel to end the nearly constant and agonizing level of pain she was feeling. And this is a woman that has been through natural childbirth and gone through the rigors of chemotherapy and beaten ovarian cancer and she shuns painkillers of any type – she has a very high threshold for pain. She told me to just leave a message on her voice mail as it hurt too much to sit at her computer and type an email or talk on the phone.

I called her back and I told her it wasn’t my usual way to toss my two cents in on anyone’s health issues because it is impossible to know the full scope of someone’s condition, no matter how good of a friend they are, but I told her I had to ask – had she tried cold therapy on her shoulder and I directed her to look at the shoulder wraps and make her own decision on whether or not it would work.

I didn’t hear a thing for a week and out of the blue I got an email, not just a short one either and it was very funny to boot.
Here it is in part:

“…Ok, so why is it that these brilliant surgeons did not mention anything about cold therapy? I figured what the heck I’ll give it a try and it actually did very well!

When one of the nurses called me to see how I was doing and such, I said, “Please just relay the message I won’t be paying the bill”.
She asked if I wanted to come in or have one of the doctors call me. and I said, “No, just relay the message that I will not be paying the bill”.
Complete and absolute dead silence.

I said “hello”? and she kind of sputtered and said, “Well okay, but is there any particular reason?”
I said,”Yes of course there is a particular reason…all they have done is cause pain, then give me drugs that I don’t really want but was forced to try because of the level of pain!”

Still nothing really comprehensible was coming from her end, but I could tell she put me on speaker phone so I told her that I had consulted a faith healer and they told me to try cold therapy and it worked! Oh how I wish I was able to do that in person, I can’t begin to imagine what the expressions were around the office! So, I continued, since the doctors had caused pain I was going to send my money to the faith healer that actually did something for me.

My daughter walked in during some of this conversation and after a little while I noticed recognition on her face and she started to grin…I gave her that look that says “if you cannot keep from laughing out loud get out now”…she actually had to leave. The nurse said she would relay the message but that the doctor would probably want to speak with me anyway.

I said,”Just tell them there is no need to call, that my mind was made up”.

She stuttered a little more and then said,”Okay, well bye”.

You know I couldn’t let it go, I said,”Wait, wait…how about if I just split the payment between those worthless doctors and my personal faith healer?”
Dead silence. Phone hangs up.

I called them back but one nurse said she was sorry there was no one else there I could talk to about it. I swear I finally had to tell them the truth that yes I really was still coming in for my visit, I really am nearly pain free and yes I am paying that confarned doctor bill for my previous treatments of this shoulder up until now; and you could pretty much hear a collective audible sigh!

So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for pointing me in a direction for making it feel better and for the chance to harass the medical profession.

I just had to share that one, once again it proves, explore your options – your doctor is very knowledgeable but still only human just like you. If you’re not making progress after several weeks – start exploring other roads of recovery – everyone’s body responds differently and what works fabulous for one person may not work as well for you – but you never know until you try.

Minimizing Sports Injuries in Kids Part II

We talked yesterday about the most common reasons that injuries occur in children that are participating in sports. Along with their inexperience, the lack of supervision among the adults is unfortunately another reason.

Lack of adult monitoring for the upkeep and the appropriateness of the game playing surface or field is another reason kids get injured playing sports. Coaches or parents should volunteer to check the playing fields for any rifts, holes or ruts that could cause a child to trip and fall. The most common injury from playing on this type of field are sprained ankles. Basketball and running sports should be done on tracks and wooden basketball courts as those surfaces are made for the sports instead of an unforgiving concrete surface for either of those competitive sports. ces like concrete.

Along with an adult overseeing the sports playing area is safe, actualy adult supervision is needed. When you’re searching for a team for your child to join, talk to the coach and make sure that your child, especially if he or she is a first-timer for playing sports, will be adequately supervised during play. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask if the coach is well versed in CPR, first aid and ask directly what their philosophy about the sport is. It should be something along the lines of promoting the individual player while teaching them to work as a team, good sportsmanship and each member doing their best. A “win at any cost” kind of philosophy will probably end with the injury of at least one member on the team and that member could very well be your own child.

Pushing your child into a sport he or she really isn’t capable or doesn’t wish to play in can lead to injuries. Your 7-year old may have more sports ability than your 9-year old who isn’t that interested in sports. Don’t push a child that isn’t ready or does not wish to participate.

Practice is another biggie. Practice what skills that you can with your child at home. Setting up a place to practice kicking goals for soccer, going to a batting cage or throwing a football and shooting baskets at home are all good ways to prepare your child and let them learn about the sports they want to play.

Use these tips and if your child wants to participate in sports – by all means let them. But do your own homework and make sure that you have a good coach and your child is really ready and always wear that safety equipment.

Ouch! Ankle Sprain

A sprained ankle is something that a good number of athletic people will face. Knowing what to do in the event it happens to you will mean you can get back in the action of what you love to do even quicker.

A sprain is simply the tearing or over-stretching of a ligament. The most common way that an ankle is sprained is when the ankle is weight-bearing such as in running, and turns under so the sole of the foot is facing inwards. The weight of the body is suddenly shifted and ligaments on the outside of the ankle tear or pull in response.

There are three degrees to a common ankle sprain.

1st Degree – Indicates light tearing and there is almost no joint instability. Mild pain and mild swelling will be noticed.

2nd Degree – Moderate tear and some instability of the joint will be noted. Moderate to severe pain and there will difficulty walking on the ankle. Swelling will be very noticeable.

3rd Degree – Complete rupture of the ligament, extreme instability of the joint will also be apparent. Severe pain will usually turn into no pain felt whatsoever but the swelling of the area will be severe.

A sprain, especially if it is suspected to be second or third degree should be seen by a medical professional as quickly as possible. Until you can get in to be seen, put cold on the area to minimize swelling and keep it mobilized to stop any further damage from being done. Using R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) will do wonders for relieving pain and swelling until you can get the injury diagnosed professionally.

The Most Effective Way to Use Ice as a Pain Reliever

A common question many people have when they have an injury is why the ice pack is put on and off the injury so often. It would seem that once your injured body part “got used to” the cold, to leave the pack or wrap on and let it does its job, right? Wrong!

Ice is a very, let me stress, very effective way to relieve swelling and pain in an injury; however it can also actually slow down the healing process and even damage tissue if the ice is applied for too long of a period at a time. Done correctly, ice is a marvelous part of a recovery therapy for an injury.

It works so simply. The cold constricts the blood vessels in the area that it’s applied. This in turn reduces the blood flow around the injured site. The cold also works to reduce swelling in the area of the injury too. Ice will numb the injured area and this will lower the pain factor substantially as well as prevent painful muscle spasms.

Using the cold wrap in short periods is important as the skin is sensitive to cold and really doesn’t “get used to” it. Obviously don’t apply ice directly to your skin and a wrap or cold pad is really the best choice. Applying ice directly can lead actually lead to frostbite of the area or even nerve and tissue damage. Another point to know about your body, when your skin is cooled to a temperature below 59-degrees, the body will open up the blood flow to the cold area and that’s what you don’t want to happen around your injured area.

A good icing schedule is 10-minutes on and 10-minutes off. You can repeat this cycle several times without risk of causing further damage and it will help keep pain under control along with swelling. Obviously have an injury looked at by a trusted medical professional who can ascertain the exact nature and extent of your injury, however until you can get in to be seen – this is a good way to keep your pain, swelling and spasms to a bare minimum.

Home Relief During Chemo

Chemotherapy is rough and the side effects many people feel during chemo treatment leave them feeling ill and weak – however there are a few home remedies that you can do that will help alleviate a lot of the discomfort you may be feeling. Your oncologist will be dealing with the chemical aspects of your disease and treatment, these are tried and true remedies that many cancer patients use to feel better during chemo.

Tummy trouble is a big one for many chemotherapy patients. Eating foods that don’t have a strong smell or taste will go a long ways towards helping your stomach feel better, Mashed potatoes are a paticular fav for many chemo patients, just trust me when I tell you – skip the gravy.

A natural anti-nausea cure is sitting in your kitchen cupboard, Ginger. Use a fresh root and slice a few thing slices and steep in hot water and sip as a tea. Use as much as you need for taste – store the root in the freezer when you’re not using it. Many chemo patients find it qwells their tummy’s discomfort.

Baldness is a fact that comes with chemo. Your oncologist will usually tell you to cut your hair when you begin chemo and when it starts falling out – just shave your head. Headaches are a fact for many chemo patients and also you may feel hot. Cool packs on the head will really help eliminate the irritating heat feeling and alleviate headaches. Many patients find they initially have headaches for no other reason than the lights around them seem suddenly brighter and it’s due to seeing the world without the benefit of eyelashes.

Exercise as you can. Granted chemo will knock the wind out of your sails and you won’t be up for the Boston Marathon, you will still need to get some exercise – it’s one of the necessary building blocks for your body to help heal itself. A simple walk around the block is very beneficial – don’t overdo it but do what you can.