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The ABCs of Stroke

Stroke Health Issue CrosswordStroke is now the fourth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States. Because stroke is so prevalent, we all need to know about this harmful disease. We asked stroke neurologist Eric E. Adelman, M.D., to tell us more.

What are the warning signs of stroke?

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the signs of stroke. When you spot the signs, you’ll know you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away. F.A.S.T. stands for:

  • Face. Does the face look uneven?
  • Arm. Does one arm drift down?
  • Speech. Does the person’s speech sound strange?
  • Time. It’s time to call 9-1-1.

Why is it so important to get help quickly?

The time that passes between the first onset of symptoms and the administration of clot-dissolving treatment called tPA can make a difference in how well a person’s brain, arms, legs, speech or thinking ability recover. TPA stands for tissue plasminogen activator.

What exactly is stroke? Continue reading

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You should be talking to your doctor about supplements!

supplements and cancerJust the other day someone asked me about the use of herbs and supplements in their daily diet.

While we were talking, I mentioned I take several supplements, one of which is Vitamin D. My rational and evidenced based research points to the fact that I live in Michigan, one of the northern most states, known for its lack of sunshine during the winter months and therefore decreased sun exposure, which leads to decreased levels of Vitamin D. This sun exposure is what allows our bodies to make Vitamin D. Most people don’t have a nearly enough Vitamin Continue reading

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U-M Nurse Inspires 2015 Heart Walk Team

Hearts on the Run team leader walks in honor of her dad

MicheleDerheim

Michele Derheim, RN, hopes to inspire others to participate in the 2015 Heart Walk

Michele Derheim, RN, will be among the hundreds of U-M employees who gather on the campus of Eastern Michigan University on May 9. They’ll be participating in the American Heart Association’s 2015 Washtenaw County Heart Walk/5K Run to help raise funds for the fight against heart disease and stroke.

Inspired by her 78-year-old father who suffers with peripheral arterial disease, Michele is currently recruiting runners for her team, “Hearts on the Run.” A born motivator, she hopes to inspire others to participate in the Heart Walk and to embrace a healthy lifestyle, something she did eight years ago in anticipation of her 40th birthday.

“I realized that I needed to take better care of myself,” Michele says. Even though she was a frequent walker and aerobic exerciser, she found it wasn’t enough. She began a walking/running routine that soon had her running three miles, then 5K races and, finally, a full marathon in 2013. Her father’s condition has made her commitment to fighting heart disease and embracing a healthy lifestyle even stronger. Continue reading

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Gavin’s story: New life after epilepsy surgery

Gavin Springer, Westland MIOn Mother’s Day 2010, my son Gavin had his first seizure. That was just before his fourth birthday. Up until that point, Gavin was a healthy young boy. At the hospital that Mother’s Day, Gavin was diagnosed with epilepsy and a brain tumor. For the next three years, Gavin suffered from multiple seizures even though he was on five medications and a special diet. He had seizures most every night and sometimes during the day. We couldn’t leave him alone and had to limit our activities because we never knew when he’d have a seizure.

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For George Magulak, an agonizing wait for a liver transplant

April is Donate Life Month

liver transplant

George Magulak

George Magulak isn’t feeling as well today as he did last August when he was featured in the latest “Wolverines for Life” video promoting organ donation. The Oakland County dentist was diagnosed twelve years ago with primary biliary cirrhosis, an autoimmune disease that has progressed to near-liver failure. Since there aren’t enough available livers for everyone needing a transplant, George is in the heartbreaking position of knowing he needs to be clearly in danger of dying in order to move to the top of the waiting list.

“It’s been a challenge lately. I’m noticeably weaker, less steady on my feet and things are getting worse,” he says. George was Continue reading

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Mastering Medicalese

scanxiety

Betsy de Parry

Unless we happened to choose a career in the medical field, most of us gave up learning medical terminology in high school health or college biology.

Then we get cancer and come face to face with big, incomprehensible words that we’ve done just fine not knowing our whole lives. It’s like going to a foreign land without speaking the language and being unable ask for directions.

Since healing is our destination when we detour to Cancer Land, it helps to understand how to get there. And that means learning at least some Medicalese. I know it’s not easy.

Like most people, I was thoroughly dazed and confused when I was first diagnosed. Not only was I facing a life-threatening disease, but suddenly I was hearing and reading huge words that I didn’t understand. No wonder I felt unequipped to make informed decisions that needed to be made.

And there were lots of mysterious words and phrases. One of my first encounters was with “bilateral inguinal lymphadenopathy.” I figured that bilateral meant both sides and that lymphadenopathy might be swelling of some kind, but inguinal? What the heck was that? Continue reading