MEDICAL CONCERNS and HEALTH MAINTENANCE:
This is a voluntary opportunity for classmates to share information from their own experience that may help others who may have similar problems or related circumstances.
11/08/2015 The following note from Bill Gourlay points out problems we old guys can have. Our balance is not what is was 50 or even 20 years ago.
when some of the nerve centers in the brain lose the ability to regulate muscle movements. As a result, you may have rigid muscles, tremors, trouble walking and swallowing difficulty.
It is one of the most common diseases affecting people over age 55. It is chronic, meaning you will have it the rest of your life. It also is progressive, which means the symptoms grow worse over time. The disease may become disabling after many years. However, proper treatment should make it possible for you to lead a fulfilling, productive life.
How does it occur? The disease results when nerve cells in a certain part of the brain die or stop working properly. These cells stop producing an important brain chemical called dopamine. Dopamine normally transmits signals to another part of the brain that allows controlled muscle movement. Without enough dopamine, the cells in this part of the brain fire out of control. As a result, you are unable to control your movements normally. Currently, Michael J. Fox, the actor, displays an advanced stage of the disease.
No one knows why the nerve cells die or become impaired. Theories include:
> Damage by chemical reactions in the body, such as oxidation.
> Brain infection or injury.
> Toxins in the environment, such as carbon monoxide.
> Inherited tendencies.
A major symptom of the disease is tremors. A tremor is a rhythmic shaking over which you have no control. Tremors of the hands and sometimes the head often occur along with a constant rubbing together of thumb and forefinger. Over time you may stop making some movements that are normally automatic, such as the natural swinging of arms that makes walking smooth. Also, it may become harder to:
> Write clearly and as large as you used to.
> Speak clearly.
> Start to do something.
> Change positions.
> Balance and coordinate.
> Get out of a chair.
> Deal with drooling, abdominal cramps and swallowing.
> To think and remember. (usually in the later stages.)
In the earliest stages of the disease, symptoms may be very slight or may not be noticed.
Someone close to you might notice a slight limp, stooped posture, or a mild hand tremor.
How is it diagnosed? Accurate diagnosis can be difficult. Your health care provider will ask about your medical history and examine you. He or she will look for the physical signs of tremor, rigid muscles, and slow movements that suggest the disease.
There are no tests that can confirm the diagnosis. However, tests are sometimes used to rule out other diseases. A neurologist should be consulted about diagnosis and treatment.
What medicines are used? Several different drugs are used to treat the disease. Your health care provider will try to use the smallest effective dosage to reduce the chance of unpleasant side effects. Levodopa is the main medicine used to treat the disease. The brain can make dopamine from levodopa.
How long do the effects last? As a result of treatment that relieves symptoms; many people with this disease remain in fairly good health for years. The disease progresses despite treatment, however, and can become disabling over time. Health care providers do not know how to prevent this disease.
How can I make my home safer?
> Put up handrails along stairways and walkways.
> Remove anything that might cause falls.
> Use chairs with high arms.
> Use carpeting to help cushion falls.
> Be sure that seats have sturdy backs.
> Put handrails in the bathrooms.
Stay as active as possible. Keep involved in your work, hobbies and other activities.
As your symptoms get better and it is easier to move, be careful not to overdue physical
activities. Gradually increase your activities to avoid falls and injuries.
Your health care provider will want to see your progress and check on how well your treatment is working. Keep your follow-up appointments and medicines on the schedule
your provider recommends.
Re: LEVAQUIN 4/9/09
is not a forwarded message...this is an actual Don Mang experience.
Last August I was diagnosed as having a kidney stone. I had an endoscopy
to verify the stone and its' location, a stent implanted to keep the kidney
functioning, then two unsuccessful lithotripsies (to crush the stone), and
finally lazer surgery with a catheter installed following the surgery. My
doctor prescribed LEVAQUIN to fight any infection that might occur as a result
of the surgery. Four days after the surgery I had the catheter removed and
arbitrarily stopped taking LEVAQUIN. (I had a bowel problem that might have been
caused by the catheter or the LEVAQUIN).
Two days later my left ankle became very swollen and extremely painful. I
had difficulty walking and, because I was favoring my left ankle, I started to
have pain in my knees. I saw a podiatrist, had an MRI of the ankle, and it
was concluded that there was no Achilles tendon rupture or tearing but that it
was bruised and swollen. It took 5 or 6 weeks of very limited activity
before the swelling subsided and for the pain to go away.
Two days ago Nancy saw an announcement on television concerning LEVAQUIN.
I "Googled" the product and learned that there is a class-action
lawsuit on that product. Apparently many people have had serious tendon
problems following the use of LEVAQUIN. There are some horror stories on
the Internet. A lawyer contacted me and I do not qualify for participation
in the lawsuit because my Achilles tendon did not rupture...probably because I
didn't take the full 7 day treatment of LEVAQUIN.
We notified my daughter who is to have surgery for a gall-stone and a kidney
stone in about two weeks. She reported back that she had already been
given LEVAQUIN to fight her infection prior to the surgery. So far she has
had no tendon problems...but she will ask for something else when she has her
Who would have thought that a tendon problem might have been caused by a drug
intended to fight infection. I certainly didn't see the correlation.
The point is that doctors are still prescribing LEVAQUIN. Please be warned
of this product.
SHINGLES Click here to gain a knowledge of Shingles, symptoms, effects and the fact that a vaccine now exist. Getting the vaccine is recommended for all we old people-get yours soon.
PROSTATE CANCER TREATMENT
6/5/06 From Lee
Hebbard "I have just finished treatment for Prostate
Cancer, 44 days at Loma
Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda,CA. This was Proton Beam
Therapy, a form of radiation, but minus almost all the usual side
effects associated with radiation treatment. There are only three
locations in the USA for this type of treatment LLUMC, Mass General
Hospital in Boston, and the Univ of Indiana Bloomingdale, IN.The reason
there are only three centers is the cost of the initial installation,
about $125,000,000. Two more centers are under construction , one in FL
at Shanes Hosp. in Jacksonville, and one at the H D Anderson Cancer
treatment Center in Houston.
The main side effect for me was a little fatigue that started in about
the third week of treatment. The "normal" side effects you would expect
from radiation treatment were just not present.
You can find information on the internet at www.LLUMC/proton.com. or if
anyone would like to talk to me personally call me at my home
Sad to say , do not expect your local Cancer surgeon or Urologists to
tell you about this treatment, because every time one of their patients
leaves them for Loma Linda, they lose about $25,000-40,000.
Loma Linda UMC has treated over 11,000 patients since they started in
1990, with a success rate of 87-92% depending on your starting point.
The good news is Medicare covered the treatment along with
TRICARE.Other forms of treatment can produce equal success rates, BUT
YOU WILL SUFFER considerably more side effects both during treatment,
and after completion of treatment.
The word is, "If you live long enough, you'll get prostate
Cancer".Remember this form of treatment, and check it out.
Best regards to all, Lee Hebbard 1st and 4th companies."
More on Prostate
Cancer and treatment options from Tyke Furey, click here.
2/20/06 From Bob Cox: At my age is not uncommon to be tired from time to time. However, when oneís vitality is so eroded it becomes a major effort just to get out of bed, something is amiss. My wife insisted I go to the family doctor. He ordered a blood analysis and found I had anemia. The doctor referred me to an Oncology specialist. After a bone marrow biopsy, blood work, and other miscellaneous tests the oncologist gave a preliminary diagnosis of a lymphoproliferative disorder and referred me to the Johns Hopkins Cancer Clinic in Baltimore. After another bone marrow biopsy and some invasive tests by several doctors it was revealed that I had T-Cell Large Granular Lymphocyte (LGL) leukemia. Most people who have leukemia have the B-Cell type or Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). However, T-Cell is less difficult to treat. There is only one way to cure it. Isolate one in a isolation ward, inject medication to kill all of oneís bone marrow, and then inject healthy bone marrow from a donor that has matching characteristics. If it takes, one is cured. If the new bone marrow is rejected Ė one dies. With a success rate of less than 35% I elected not to try to replace my bone marrow. Johns Hopkins referred me back to the oncologist for treatment. Not satisfied with my health condition, I contacted the National Institute of Health (NIH) and inquired about any studies of LGL. They advised of a new clinic study that is testing cyclosporine to control LGL. I applied and was accepted for tests. After a Leukapheresis (removing all of my blood, circulation it through a process, and re-injecting it Ė a continuous process) I was given substantial doses of cyclosporine and appointed to inhale pentamidine periodically to prevent pneumonia. Iíve been treated by NIH for five years now and my cyclosporine dosage has been considerably reduced. The NIH study has been completed and I am now being followed by the Hematology clinic at the Bethesda Naval Hospital.
3/15/06 Hal Walters 5th. AMD or ďAge Related Macular DegenerationĒ. The dry-AMD related degeneration is the most common form of AMD and accounts for about 90% of all cases. Dry-AMD tends to develop slowly and begins in one eye and may never develop in the other one. There are few treatments for dry AMD and often it does not cause enough vision loss to upset your regular lifestyle.
My first sign of AMD was a small dip in all horizontal straight lines. This just appeared one day about 6 months ago and is only in my left eye. During my annual checkup the optician mentioned that she could see a tiny spot on the retina of my left eye and recommended I see an ophthalmologist to confirm the nature of the spot.
The doctor quickly determined that I had an early stage of dry-AMD and not wet-AMD.* There is a test you can conduct to see if any degeneration is occurring. It uses a grid of horizontal and vertical straight lines and is called the Amsler Grid. The test lets you monitor whether any changes are occurring. If any of the grid lines are wavy or curved or you see a blank spot or hole on any part of the grid see an ophthalmologist ASAP. He can determine if you have the dry or wet kind of AMD. People who smoke are 3 times more likely to develop AMD. My left eye is also developing a progressive cataract. Seniors who have cataracts removed have a greater chance of getting AMD.
So, with any sign of change in your vision, I highly recommend you promptly visit an ophthalmologist. The Amsler Grid can be found on Google or Yahoo and may have an enlarged or downloadable copy to use for testing. Currently, all the medical profession can do is try and slow down the progression of AMD. Use the Grid check often mates!
* With dry-AMD yellow-white deposits called drusen accumulate in the retinal pigment tissue beneath the macula. Drusen deposits are composed of waste products from photoreceptor cells. In wet-AMD abnormal blood vessel growth forms beneath the macular. These vessels leak blood and fluid into the macular damaging photoreceptor cells. Wet-AMD tends to progress rapidly and can cause severe damage to central vision.