Sunday, October 5, 2014

IT TAKES A SOCIETY TO HEAL A PATIENT

You have heard the old saying that it takes a village to raise a child. why? Because in order to protect a child and provide the best opportunities for safe development and growth of a child, we need the coordination of all elements of the child's society. The same analogy would apply to the healing of a patients.
A patient's healing depends of many elements. From personal general health, to family support and societies readiness to provide supports and services, many elements have to come together to achieve healing. A person's healing cannot happen in isolation. Society needs to have a better understanding of patient's challenges and needs in the path to recovery. A patient may need a lot of supports from society to improve health and a doctor can't do magic alone. All elements of society should coordinate in a harmonious design for better health of all. It takes a lot of planning to achieve this, but everything starts from a proper understanding. We should all come to the same page and understand that: IT TAKES A SOCIETY TO HEAL A PATIENT

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I AM HURTING, ALTHOUGH I LOOK OK

Pain patients have a major issue with the gap between how they look and how they feel. Of all the frustrations that I have witnessed patients go through, being judged by their looks is the worst of all.
It is hard enough to fight the pain day and night, having sharp or burning pain which makes sleeping impossible and ruins all day functions. It is hard enough to keep sanity while facing insane pain which no one can cure. It drains all energy and does not leave anything left for explaining to others. It is simply TOO MUCH when we hear: Oh you seem to be OK, how can your pain be as bad as you claim? A diabetic patient does not have to go through life fighting to prove their disease. Why would a patient with chronic diabetic neuropathic pain need to put up this fight for life to be believed?
A patient needing heart surgery would never need to prove to others how their impaired heart circulation is impacting their life. Every body would sympathies with a heart patient needing surgery. Why would the same patient who develops post surgical neuropathic pain after heart surgery need to beg for being believed. I don't think the society at large is aware of the level of damage they are causing every time they doubt the level of suffering of a chronic pain patient, just because of how well they look.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

GETTING USED TO SIDE EFFECTS! IS IT SAFE?

All pain medications have side effects. Many may make you sleepy, constipated, itchy, nauseous, dizzy or confused, among other possible side effects. Some can give you abnormal heart rhythms or skin blisters. Looking at these side effects one would realize that some are more important than others. Some would gradually get better and resolve, some may get worse over time and cause dangers to your health. For example most of Narcotic medications can cause nausea, somnolence, itchiness or constipation. Most of people would develop tolerance to these side effects over time. Some side effects may take long time to go away, for example constipation can take a long time and it may not go away in all patients. Sever constipation can lead into bowel obstruction which can be very dangerous if not treated. Some anti-epileptic medications may cause skin rashes or blood production problems that can be very dangerous if not properly dealt with, one cannot wait on these side effects to go away, they may only get worse with time. The message is this: ALTHOUGH SOME SIDE EFFECTS MAY GO AWAY WITH TIME, ONE SHOULD ALWAYS CHECK WITH THE DOCTOR ABOUT EVERY SINGLE SIDE EFFECT. DON'T WAIT, IT MAY TURN OUT TO BE A DANGEROUS SIDE EFFECT.  

Saturday, August 23, 2014

THE DANGER OF MIXING DRUGS

It is known that any drug, be it prescribed or not can have potential side effects. Doctors often mix different medications to get the best therapeutic effects of their combination. In many cases medications can have adding effects on each other or increasing each others effects. This is the synergistic effect that many doctors are looking for when they prescribe a combination of medications. However, the side effects of medications can combine as well. Some medications may have side effects that adds to other side effects from other medications, or they may increase each other's side effects. 
One of the major side effects of many medications is the suppressing effects on respiration. Pain medications and sleep medication are often taken together and their accidental or intentional increased doses can become a deadly combination. 
Marijuana is being widely used for medicinal purposes in patients with pain who have failed to improve by other medications. Most of these patients are on a combination of other medications as well. Marijuana can have cognitive side effects such as slowing down the reaction times or creating hallucinations or paranoid ideas. A patient who could perfectly drive or safely work at their work place, by mixing their current medications with Marijuana my become impaired driver or unsafe at work. It is very critical to try the effects and side effects first for a while to be clear about their risks before engaging in activities like work or driving.
MIXING MEDICATIONS, MARIJUANA, ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS CAN BE DEADLY.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

INFLAMMATORY ARTHRITIS

When we suffer from Arthritis it is important to know what is the exact diagnosis of our condition. There are some medical terms that have turned into UMBRELLA DIAGNOSIS, meaning that we try to explain everything with just one word. In most instances this would lead into using medical terms for what they don't mean, or naming medical conditions with a wrong term. Many joint pain conditions are simply called Arthritis. Arthritis has many forms and the clinical history of each type is different from others. One way of looking at arthritis can be dividing most types of it into two main groups of OSTEOARTHRITIS and INFLAMMATORY ARTHRITIS. Osteoarthritis is the result of wear and tear over time. Some people may be more susceptible to this type of arthritis than others. Inflammatory arthritis on the other hand is the result of inflammations in joints that start to damage and deform the joints over time. In most cases it is because of autoimmune diseases, meaning the body starts to attack its joints and damaging them in the process. In order to treat the inflammatory arthritis one must use medications that reduce joint inflammation, or reduce the over activity of immune system which is attacking the joints. Without these proper treatments, the process of inflammation continues and damages to joints increase to the levels of joint destruction. So it is very important to have the proper diagnosis for arthritis. Special blood tests, X-Rays and scans can help doctors to properly diagnose the inflammatory arthritis. If your joints are hurting and they continues to hurt despite the usual treatments, ask your doctor to do more investigations to rule out inflammatory arthritis.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

PATIENT SELF MANAGEMENT, WHY?

We all go to doctors to get better but there is an old saying that says: If doctor is trying harder than the patient, there is a problem. Doctors are trained to diagnose conditions and formulate the best course of treatment. But who does actually go through the treatment? It is the patient who has to follow the instructions, take the medications or undergo different procedures and rehabilitation to get better. But the reality is that patients spend a small portion of their times with doctors or therapists. The rest of their time they have to deal with all their issues. Even the time they spend with their doctors are well spent only if they are collaborating with the treating team. So its the patient who is at the center of healing and this cannot happen in a passive way. Patients can learn about their diseases and how to prevent them from getting worse. How to keep a proper diet, exercise, meditate and prevent chronic conditions by keeping a healthy life style. It is the patient who would benefit from getting the best treatment so it is in their best interest to become the masters of PATIENT SELF MANAGEMENT