Surviving Bone Surgeries

In the past 2 years, I have had four bone and reconstructive surgeries. In previous years I have had other types of surgeries, but from my own personal experience, I would love to share my experiences with others in hopes to help those going through the same experiences to feel more at ease and perhaps help those who have family members experiencing surgeries to understand what their loved ones are going through. The moments up to surgery are worrisome and emotional. There are ways that I will discuss on how to be reassured and keep calm. As well as before surgery, I will discuss the day of surgery, right after surgery, and recovery at home.
Let’s begin with being told you need surgery and you being ready for it. Most Doctors are more willing to help you with your issues of broken bones or pain if you yourself admit you need their help and want it. When I was diagnosed with ruptured discs in my neck, I honestly did not want surgery and wanted to find any other way possible to fix it. I went to chiropractors, therapists, home remedy therapists and to my avail, I waited too long until it was SO bad that I said, “I’m done.” I was finally ready. Our emotions about surgery sometime get the best of us and we are not willing to admit our issue is bad enough until the fact that much more damage is done. Sometimes, yes, it pays to be stubborn and wait it out, but many times over, it does not. In my case, my neck was much worse ten years after the fact than when I started. The idea of surgery and being “put out” under anesthesia frightened me, but much more, the “what if’s” that went with it. What if I died, was I ready? What if I was paralyzed, what would happen to me and my family? What if, what if, what if? I was worrying myself sick!
I am a very religious being, but the emotions did creep in. I knew I had to take a step back and trust God to help me. I started thinking of the verse in The Bible in Philippians 4:6-7 that tells us to be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which
surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Matthew 6:34 reads to not be anxious about tomorrow for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. And other verses about worrying started to fill my brain. I knew I had to get back into perspective that God has this. Of course, I still worried some.
In my worrying, I turned things around. I had to get prepared. Even though I hurt profusely and paid for everything I did that night or next day, things had to get finished. I knew that they told me after surgery that I wasn’t going to be able to do ANYTHING for a while and that included not getting into a vehicle for a month. I had to get my home in tip top shape and game on! My husband was going to be able to take off for a week after surgery, but he had to go back to work so I concentrated on meal planning and putting dinners in the freezer for later dates.
Some things beside the home and food may include things like the bed and where you will sleep. For neck and shoulder surgery, I recommend sleeping elevated as much as possible. You will be required to do so for some surgeries. If you do not have a lift bed, buy a wedge pillow or two. You will be limited on regular household chores. To bend and pick things up off the floor, nah, don’t plan on it. If you can find a cheap enough hand gripper that reaches to the floor and you can squeeze from your hand to open and close on the object, that would be a pretty good idea. Picking up a gallon of milk or other objects of weight will be an issue as well. Try freezing drinks in empty water bottles that you will be able to lift appropriately. Bringing pillows and a cover for the ride home may be something to keep in mind. This will help alleviate the bumps or curves in the roads. Keeping your mind set on prayer and preparation will help the worry disappear. Be sure to follow all of the surgery instructions faithfully so you are prepared for that day. So my advice to anyone emotionally worried about your upcoming surgery, give it to God and just breathe. Prepare your home however you need to. Occupy your brain with what will help you after surgery.
The day of the surgery, I have learned from my neck, lower back, left shoulder, and right knee surgery that it is a whirlwind. Of course, you will sign all kinds of permissions and forms and sign in to the hospital. This is normal and can be lengthy, but it must be done. Patience on your part may wear thin, but you got this. You will have the opportunity to speak with your Doctor and the anesthesiologist before surgery. If you have ANY concerns at all, DO NOT hesitate to ask them. Remember, they are being paid by you to do a service for you. Do not be intimidated by the fact that their job may seem more important. You are just as important and your needs and concerns must be met. I have seen many rude patients who have no care of concern for their caregivers and remember to be nice and respectful when asking questions or concerns.
You will be poked for blood and pic lines and what nots, but be prepared that it may hurt just a little, but soon it is over and once the IV’s are in and the proper drugs start pumping, you should will be properly monitored. The special someone with you may not be allowed to be with you during these blood processes, but they are usually allowed with you after and up until they take you back for surgery. I had the desire for prayer and my husband and family with me prayed. It is a comfort for myself and may be for you as well.
After surgery, they will have you in a recover room where they will monitor your blood pressure and any other issues that may come up. They will keep a close eye on your progress coming out of your anesthesia. Usually, you are in great shape and a lot loopy. At this time, the Doctor usually goes to your family member or whomever brought you in for surgery and give an account as to how things went. They will know ahead of you what went down and had to happen. When they see fit that you are ready, they will usually bring you back into the same room you were in when they put the IV’s in. Here, you will be able to be with your loved ones again. If your family is anything like mine, they will try to have a bit of fun with the idea you are “loopy” and ask you strange things or tell you oddities. Just smile and humor them!
And finally, if you do not have to stay in the hospital, they will send you home. For my neck surgery, I did have to stay overnight in the hospital, but for the others, they were all out-patient. The one thing I stress the most is BE SURE TO FOLLOW YOUR AFTER-SURGERY INSTRUCTIONS!! Read them yourself and have the individual/s read them as well. Be sure to pay attention if there seems to be anything wrong at all! Usually your gut will let you know and don’t ignore them. For example, and this is not to scare you, but I know someone not long ago who had surgery and a few days after he was home, he was filling up with his own feces because his colon was accidentally severed. The ER sent him home after just an IV of antibiotics. Some things do happen, just be sure to know your body and listen to it. Do exactly what they tell you and if you are sent home with the appropriate drugs and instructions for pain and infection, be sure to take them on a regular basis until you feel yourself that you are ready to stop taking them. If you let the pain get too far out of hand, it can be a big issue. With each surgery I had, each was very different with the affects of nerves and other issues. Be sure to contact your Doctor if they are not helping you or if you are having issues with anything!! Stay on top of everything!
It is okay to ask for help. Do not be stubborn because it can cause yourself unnecessary pain and set you back. If you need help doing some simple chores, please call on a family or church member and even perhaps a close neighbor who can get to you quickly. More than likely, they are seeking to help anyway and would love to help. Keep an ice pac on hand because that will be a go to after surgery. Have someone get it for you if you need it. Having a phone by your side is also a must. It is good to call out and answer a call instead of beating yourself up trying to get to the phone. DO NOT OVERDO IT! You may feel like you are feeling so good one day that you think, “I can do this and that today,” but just be slow and little by little or you will pay for it. I had a note pad near me and wrote a lot of notes, especially for marking down who visited or brought me gifts or food. I was SO thankful for those individuals.

Importance of Evidence-Based Complementary Medicine

The modern-day world has many challenges and thus good health is one of the greatest blessings in today’s era. For example, a rich man with a bad health will always be unsatisfied and unhappy! “Health is Wealth”. Improving your health is an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. It is a fact that your health affects all the aspects of your life, be it professional, or personal. Probably that is the reason why evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine came into existence!

With increasing number of health-related apps and journals on the internet, you can now easily move towards a healthier lifestyle. Even the experts of medicine have admitted that the advice and products of work best when supplemented with a doctor’s standard care and supervision.

As the famous proverb suggests, “Prevention is better than cure” and evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine helps you achieve this goal. So, here are a few benefits that you might get if you follow an integrative healthcare protocol:

It helps you in receiving specific treatment plans as per your physical requirements. As each individual has a unique body, it is not advisable to subscribe to a generalized treatment protocol. An effective biotyping assessment studies your inherited traits such as body frame, personality type, digestive capacity, metabolic activity, nutrigenomics, as well as environmental factors. In this way, it provides you with a personalized holistic Integrative healthcare medicine advice.
It aims at examining and treating all the aspects of physical as well as emotional components. It is proven that daily stress negatively affects your emotions, biology and genetics. All this further results in greater risks of several chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease!
It offers a wide range of Natural Cure and Remedies so that you are not completely dependent on pharmaceuticals, many of which have side-effects. The food that you eat is one of the biggest reasons behind your healthy (or unhealthy) life! Following unhealthy food habits can result in an increase in the risk of heart conditions, high blood sugar, obesity, etc. So, what could be better than utilizing food as a medicine?
It focuses on the prevention of diseases before it even occurs. While conventional medicines are prescribed for a lifetime for chronic disease, alternative medicine examines the root causes of the disease. It also encourages the patients to focus on preventing a disease by eating healthy foods, exercise, meditation, etc.

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This is as long as them the very inexpensive and low economical emergency patient transfer facilities. We will help you to transmission patient from wherever in India with the best medic team. We transfer all kinds of patients for their further treatment and secure them. We select dedicated MBBS, MD doctors, skilled paramedical component and nurse’s calm with latest emergency life supports equipment such as a ventilator, cardiac monitor, suction machine, infusion pump, nebulizer machine, oxygen cylinders and the basic to progressive accessories. A user can avail our varied range of profitable patient transfer and other services anytime from anywhere in India by a phone call, e-mail or other means of communications.

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Cancer Immunotherapy Use on Cancer Patients

Recent advances in treating cancer patients have resulted in the development of biological therapies that can prove to be a promising alternative to conventional cancer therapies. Immunotherapy harnesses the body’s immune system to identify and fight effectively against cancer cells.

Immunotherapy works by attacking the growth of cancer cells or stimulating the immune system to kill cancer cells. Contradictory to the standard cancer treatment regimes such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, which act on both normal and cancerous cells, immuno-therapeutic treatments are highly specific. A wide range of cancer immuno-therapy approaches exists such as immune checkpoint blockers, cancer vaccines, immune-modulators, monoclonal antibodies and cell based immuno-therapies have demonstrated to be effective against cancer patients.

The most commonly targeted form of cancer chemotherapy is the use of monoclonal antibodies as they can be tailor-made in the laboratory. They have unique antigen specificity thereby allowing themselves to attach to specific epitopes on cancer cells. This flags the cancer cells and makes it more visible to the immune system so that it can find and destroy those cells. Currently, most of the monoclonal antibodies are undergoing phase 3 clinical trials or awaiting FDA review process. Unlike monoclonal antibodies, non-specific immuno-therapy approaches such as administration of immuno-modulatory cytokines are also being used to treat melanoma. Cytokines are hormones that are endogenously produced by the body to enhance or suppress T-cell response against cancer cells. IFN-α and IL-2 are most commonly characterized cytokines used in cancer immuno-therapy.

The primary cell-based immuno-therapy strategy which is successful these days is the use of T-cell therapy, wherein cancer T cells removed from blood are modified with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and is then infused back into the patients to treat metastatic cancer. Another form of cell-based immuno-therapy used is tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) therapy, wherein TIL is surgically removed from tumor tissue and is considerably increased in the laboratory by adding cytokines to it and is then re-infused back into the patient.

A promising treatment that has emerged in recent times for treatment of melanoma is the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors. They act by inhibiting the checkpoint receptors on T cells that act as brakes to the immune system thereby mediating anti-tumor responses. Some of the commonly used antibody inhibitors that have been commercialized are PD-1, PDL-1, and CTLA-4. Another more focused approach to cancer immuno-therapy is the use of vaccines to encourage the immune system to generate antibodies that can target tumor specific antigens, thereby eradicating cancerous cells. Cancer vaccines include peptide-based, dendritic cell-based, tumor cell-based and DNA cell based. Cancer vaccines can be broadly classified as preventive or therapeutic. Preventive vaccines are commercially available for against cervical and liver cancer causing viruses such as human Papillomavirus and Hepatitis B virus, respectively.

However, in spite of these advances, limitation such as tumor heterogeneity, unpredictable efficacy and identification of potential markers still exist in the field of cancer immuno-therapy. Therefore, new more targeted cancer immuno-therapies and preventive strategies are being developed and tested, which will deliver novel efficacious therapy against relapsed or refractory cancer patients.

Analysis to Next Generation Sequencing Technology

With the development of science, traditional Sanger sequencing has failed to meet new requirements of low cost, high throughput and fast in speed.

Recent years, with the discovery and promotion of second-generation sequencing technology, the gene sequencing speed has increased greatly while achieving a substantial decline in costs, making large-scale application of genome sequencing possible. Now, the cost of personal whole genome sequencing is about 5,000$, and is expected to decreased to less than $ 1,000 in the next few years.

The rapid development of sequencing technology will promote the massive accumulation of DNA sequencing data, accompanied by the accumulation of the corresponding individual diseases, signs and other data at the same time. When we accumulate enough data, how to understand these data will be critical. On the micro level, generations of molecular biologists’ studying the effects of apparent biological traits genes exert on utilizing technologies like gene knockout have made breakthroughs in many crucial aspects. On the macro level, statistics and other data analysis techniques are introduced to study the relationship between gene sequences and biological phenotype. The accumulation of basic scientific research gradually brings breakthroughs in clinical applications.

There are now two types of clinical applications mainly, one aims at disease screening of ordinary people. It infers people’s future risks of getting cancer by measuring the known genes associated with a disease loci. The other aims at the diagnosis cancer and other deadly diseases. It finds in a series of drugs or plans the most effective one for certain patients by testing the loci of certain genes.

Data from BBC research shows that total global gene sequencing market increased from $ 7.941million in 2007 to $ 4.5 billion in 2013, and will reach $ 11.7 billion in the year of 2018 with the CAGR up to 21.2%.

Currently, the market of de novo sequence platform is mainly taken by several major manufacturers, including the Illumina, Ion Torrent / Life Technologies (was the acquisition of Thermo Fisher in 2014), 454 Life Sciences / Roche, etc.

Under such a circumstance, the next generation sequencing technology (second-generation sequencing) appears. As an emerging industry, the next-generation sequencing technology can be applied in clinical testing like antibody discovery, health industry, industrial and agricultural use of gene-oriented study as well as scientific research and development.

Environmental Factors for Hair Loss

ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS OF HAIR LOSS

Hair loss – a common problem which adversely impacts the self-esteem of a number of individuals all over the world. While many people blame the condition entirely on genetics, it is important to know that there are many other factors which contribute to both female and male pattern baldness.

There are numerous individuals know about the way that our encompassing condition can assume a key part in causing male pattern baldness. The beneath specified focuses will tell about the different ecological elements which can prompt male pattern baldness in the two people:

1. Contamination

Debased air contains toxins and cancer-causing agents which can meddle with the protein in charge of hair development bringing about loss of hair. As per researchers, a few poisons can enter the circulatory system, body and skin, and debilitate the hair follicles. It is consequently that spots with a dirtied domain have more number of bare individuals.

2. Hard Water

Hard water is one of the greatest ecological components that prompt male pattern baldness. Late looks into have demonstrated that nations having water with more PPM (parts per million) have more number of uncovered individuals. Higher amounts of magnesium, calcium and silica can cause dryness and harm the hair.

3. Concoction Substances

Barely any compound substances, for example, chlorine found in swimming pools are known to mischief and harm the hair. While there’s nothing concrete over the immediate connection amongst chlorine and sparseness, it is regularly connected to adversely influencing the general prosperity of hair.

4. Warmth and Sun

Drawn out presentation to the sun may bring about perpetual male pattern baldness. A sunburn influencing the scalp can enact Telogen Effluvium, which is a male example hair sparseness condition wherein more than expected follicles enter the resting period of the development cycle. This can exacerbate the male pattern baldness issue.

ADVANTAGES OF HAIR TRANSPLANT

1. There are no complications in hair transplantation:- Hair transplants are very protected. In any case, it’s somewhat of an extend to state that they are without inconvenience. Patients may have redness, swelling and crusting post operatively. When all is said in done, the recuperation in FUE methodology is considerably less demanding than FUT strategies. In any case, there are uncommon difficulties in hair transplant surgery that incorporate dependable nerve torment (more in FUT than FUE systems) and steady scalp redness. Unless a doctor is painstakingly checking the methodology, a patient can even become ill. The hair transplant group tends to bashful far from calling hair transplant systems a ‘surgery’ to make the strategy more patient neighborly – yet don’t imagine it any other way a hair transplant is a surgery.

2. You will regain the hair density of your youth:- A hair transplant is a surgical system which included moving somewhere in the range of 10 to 10,000 hairs into a zone of thinning up top. On the off chance that a region of male pattern baldness is little, it might be conceivable to manufacture some extremely decent thickness in the territory – yet the thickness is for the most part short of what it used to be. For instance, in a patient who is exceptionally uncovered, a thickness of 35-40 follicular units for every square centimeter will regularly be made. This zone likely had a thickness of at least 90 follicular units for every square centimeter at one time years sooner. In this way, it is for the most part the standard for a hair transplant to make comes about that are less thick than the first thickness. A talented specialist can regularly help make 35-40 follicular units resemble the first thickness. Be that as it may, photographs and recordings of patients with incredibly thick and thick hair following their technique may not generally be exact.

The Life of Mammogram Inventor Stafford L Warren

Stafford L. Warren was one of the most significant contributors to radiology during his lifetime. He not only was the first doctor to perform a mammogram, but was also had a hand in turning UCLA into one of the most prestigious medical universities in the country, was a special assistant on mental disabilities to Presidents John F Kennedy and Lyndon B Johnson, and aided the U.S. government in testing of nuclear weapons before speaking out about the dangers of nuclear fallout from weapons testing, which were controversial at the time. However, his strong opinions would eventually be considered, leading up to the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963.

Born in New Mexico in 1896, Stafford L. Warren attended the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated with his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1918. Heading to the University of California, San Francisco, he graduated with his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1922 and later did post-doctoral work at John Hopkins School of Medicine and Harvard University.

Warren became an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 1926. Since the Department of Radiology was brand new at the time, Warren was one of the original group of medical professionals that Dean George Whipple chose to staff the school. By 1930, Warren was an Associate Professor of Medicine. He began to study the work of Albert Salomon, a sociologist from the University of Berlin who produced over 3,000 images of mastectomy specimens and extensively studied the many forms and stages of cancer in the breast. Since Salomon wasn’t keen to recognize the life saving aspects of his discoveries, Warren expanded on his research, using radiology to track changes in breast tissue and developing a stereoscopic technique in which the patient would lie on her side with one arm raised while being X-Rayed. This was a huge breakthrough for breast cancer detection, as it allowed diagnosis of breast cancer to be possible without surgery. Warren subsequently published “A Roentgenologic Study of the Breast” in 1930. Today Warren is cited as the inventor of the mammogram for his breast imaging technique. Each year mammograms are responsible to diagnosing millions of breast cancer cases, effectively saving the lives of women the world over.

Warren, having now tackled a major milestone in his career and developing a new life saving technique, then went on to take on a new project: overseeing the health and safety of thousands during the Manhattan Project. His new role meant being responsible for the safety aspects of the detonation of the Trinity nuclear test in Alamogordo, New Mexico on July 16, 1945. He later handled radiological safety when he led a team of surveyors to Japan, and to the Bikini Atoll in 1946, where more nuclear testing was done. Warren was in charge of assessing the radioactive contamination of the environment and atmosphere, which he was appalled by.

In response to this, in a piece for LIFE magazine in 1947 he wrote, “The development of atomic bombs has presented the world with a variety of formidable scientific, moral and political problems, nearly all of them still unsolved.” He went on to write an in depth analysis of the effects of the bombs, people and environment affected, the time length in which the effects of the bomb lasted, safety measures used during the Bikini expedition in which “a month passed before men could stay on some of the ships for more than an hour”, and “300 men of the safety section lived and worked in the contaminated area to protect some 42,000 other members of the Bikini expedition. Every group which entered the target area was accompanied by a safety monitor who determined how long it could stay.” The men were then bathed carefully when they returned, and if their Geiger counters indicated radioactive contamination they had to be bathed again. “Occasionally when a man had taken off his protective gloves in the ‘hot’ area, the safety section had to dissolve the outer layer of skin from their hands with acid.” Clothes and other materials found too contaminated were sunk into the ocean a mile below the surface, because there was literally “no other way to keep them permanently away from human beings.”

In the article, Warren concluded that atomic weapons can never be prepared for by anyone involved, and that “no defense would have been effective. The only defense against atomic bombs still lies outside the scope of science. It is the prevention of atomic war.”

Warren left his position in 1946, becoming the Chief of the Medical Section of the Atomic Energy Commission, which is a civilian agency that succeeded the Manhattan Project; and later he was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal and the Legion of Merit for his contributions to radioactive and atomic weapons safety.

In 1947, Warren was once again at the helm of a brand new medical university, this time UCLA, which had been voted on to establish a medical school for Southern California. He was appointed as the school’s first dean. In 1951 the first students, 28 in total, were enrolled, and there were 15 faculty members. By 1955, when the class graduated, there were 43 faculty members. The UCLA Medical Center officially opened in 1955, and Warren oversaw many milestones and achievements while there, including the addition of schools for Dentistry, Nursing, and Public Health.

A Healthy Dose of Medicine for the Soul

A large segment of the human population takes things way too seriously for their own good. The strange anomaly is that most people laugh at the wrong thing and fail to laugh at the right thing. This serious incongruity has robbed people of a healthy attitude towards life in general.

Those who take life too seriously are in danger of missing the great joys of living in a crazy world like ours. I am not sure about the scientific research but I would guess that for every sad moment it takes one hundred laughs to balance the books. Some people are about ninety-nine laughs short of a real sane moment.

I like the old English proverb that says, “Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.”

From my perspective, if you cannot laugh with someone you will not be able to cry with him or her and have it mean anything.

According to some medical advice, it takes more facial muscles and energy to frown than it does to smile. Of course, the only exercise some people have is frowning and who am I to take that away from them.

I am determined, no matter what, to exercise my right to smile and laugh and enjoy the world around me. I must confess that I get this attitude quite honestly.

My paternal grandfather was a Past Master in the area of practical jokes. No amount of time was too much to spend preparing for one of his famous practical jokes. His favorite holiday was April 1 and began preparing for this holiday right after Christmas.

The fact that his practical jokes at times got him into trouble did not seem to affect him at all.

Once while in the hospital for an extended period he had somebody smuggle in to him a can of snuff. For some reason he liked chewing snuff. It is the most disgusting habit I know of on earth.

He no sooner received his smuggled goods then he began chewing it. If you know anything about chewing snuff, you know it is accompanied by a lot of spitting. As usual, his timing was impeccable. Just as the head nurse passed his door and looked in, he leaned over and spit in to the garbage can he had next to his bed. The nurse, not knowing about the chewing snuff, thought he was spitting blood and immediately went into emergency mode. Immediately my grandfather was rushed into the operating room and the surgeon and medical team were assembled.

My grandfather was very sick at the time. Some did not think he would get out of the hospital.

Just as they got him situated in the operating room he pulled from under his sheet his can of chewing snuff and smiled at them. The only person in the room that thought this was in any way amusing was my grandfather. The doctors were so angry with him that they refused to see him for three days and confiscated his can of chewing snuff.

My aunt and uncle lived right next to my grandfather. My aunt was hyper clean when it came to her house. Dirt in any form was not welcome under her roof. She had a broom that was always within reach because she never knew when a piece of dirt would try to invade her domicile.

That year my grandfather found something new. I am not sure where he found it but he probably spent a lot of time looking for something like this. It was a rubber facsimile of a very nasty looking piece of vomit. To him it was a prized possession.

Most of his practical jokes were executed on April 1. Whenever we saw grandfather coming on this particular day we usually ran for cover.

He went over to visit my aunt and was sitting on the couch in the living room. They chatted for a little while and then my grandfather began to cough a little bit. He said to my aunt, “I haven’t been feeling good lately. I really don’t know what it is.” Then he started to cough a little more seriously, to which, my aunt got up and went to the kitchen to get him a glass of water thinking that might help him.

When she got back, she was shocked to see on her new coffee table a very horrible sight. My grandfather was bent over the coffee table hacking and coughing as though he was in the process of dying. On the coffee table was a very nasty looking piece of vomit.

My aunt went into hysterics. She whirled around and within a moment had grabbed her broom and started towards my grandfather. My grandfather was laughing but not for long.

Suddenly he realized that the flailing broom in my aunt’s hand was aimed at him. She chased him out of the house, down the driveway and for at least three blocks yelling obscenities at him that I dare not repeat in public society.

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Struggling With Antibiotic Resistance

I never saw it coming. The process started with a small, but painful sensation right in the middle of my right butt-cheek. A very annoying problem because I am a writer squirming around as I try to fill up empty screens with words.

At first, I downplayed it as just some stupid little irritation that would go away as soon as it came. Being a diabetic for about 25 years now I am prone to inflammations and infections. This was just another in a long succession of intermittent, annoying, health problems.

At the onset, the thought never occurred that it might be an infection. I had not had any accident, no cuts, abrasions or scrapes so that did not pop up as the culprit. That is until it persisted and grew into an open sore. The pain level also rose dramatically.

I went to the doctor. He did not think it was serious. He wrote a prescription for a mild antibiotic and a cream. I left the office confident that the problem was in hand. Back home I took a pill, applied the cream and applied a bandage.

By that point sitting at my computer and performing my daily writing ritual was growing into a serious challenge. The pain was so intense that I had to force myself not to move at all. That worked for a while. I took the full antibiotic course and got into the habit of cleaning and dressing the open wound three times a day.

The process began last November. As I came to the end of the bottle of pills I was hit by a wave of disappointment and confusion. I had to face the fact that the infection had gotten worse, not better. Had the doctor misdiagnosed it? Had he given me the wrong antibiotic? Worse, did I have some rare new infection?

I went back to his office in a far more worried state than I was during my first visit. He admitted he was puzzled but brushed that aside. I got a new prescription for a stronger antibiotic that was going to require four consecutive injections.

Once again I returned home feeling a bit numb but optimistic that this stronger injectible antibiotic would do the trick. I got the injections and waited for the medication to build up in my system and wipe out the infection. I waited and waited. The situation did not get better it got even worse.

By then I could not sit and also had a hard time walking. The pain was constant even when I was trying to write while lying down. This time when I returned to the doctor’s office he told me to go to the emergency room. He would not try another antibiotic. In fact, he seemed at a loss.

Instead, I went to a clinic. The doctor there did prescribe another antibiotic, took a culture for the lab and had nurses scrub the wound. It just kept growing as if the antibiotic cream was a placebo and the injections had been nothing but water.

At that point, I had added symptoms including chronic fatigue and the first signs of depression. These two are features of a diabetic’s life and I knew what they were as soon as they arose. My immune system was beaten down and using whatever energy it could get from whatever source was available.

I did not get my hopes up during the third two-week course of the latest antibiotic. In fact, I was on pins and needles the whole time. When I finished I was not surprised that it too had failed at its job. Still, it never occurred to me that I might be antibiotic resistant.

By that point, I began to consider the possibility that my 71-year old body was running out of gas. My energy level was so low, and pain level so high that I could not write. I could only walk the short distance to the corner store to ship and my mood was buried in the pits.

When I returned to the doctor’s office he did not seem too surprised by the fact his prescription had failed. He put the lab report up on the lightbox and pointed to it. “I am afraid the results show you are resistant to every type of antibiotic we have.”

I simply could not wrap my mind around his statement. I had never thought that I had overused antibiotics to the point my immune system built up a total tolerance. Then again, nobody ever tells you where that line is.

In fact, I had taken at least one course each of the 3 previous years to cure sinus infections. I left the office completely confused and with no idea of what to do next. The doctor suggested that I schedule an operation to remove the infected area. My thought was that hospitals are great places to contract infections. I was not eager to take that option especially when it would mean I could not sit at the computer and work for a much longer period of time.

Believe it or not, that whole process went on for four months and I still had the infection. I decided to tough it out and see if my body would mobilize and get rid of it. Then I had an impulse to try one more doctor, a female who I had seen before and was impressed by.

She gave me a spray that the other doctors never mentioned, Microdacyn. This spray is a biologically active treatment for the treatment of acute and chronic wounds that are difficult to heal. I applied and applied it every day and started seeing improvement much to my relief.

My status now is guarded and uncertain. I do now I cannot afford one more sinus infection. I did discover one effective treatment, Phage Therapy. However, that is only available in Eastern Europe. I advise a very conservative approach when it comes to taking antibiotics, only do so when it is truly necessary.