Phantom Limb Pain?

It’s not fair. Charlene lived through the car crash, but her left leg was so crushed with broken bones and bruises that amputation was the only option. After a lot of rehab, drive, true grit and support, she is now back to her favorite sport of running. When she wears slacks, you wouldn’t know that she is missing a leg! One Saturday eve, the two of you are at a party, and, “ow,” “ouch,” “my left leg!”  The sounds came from your right, but Charlene is the only person on your right;  grimacing, and clearly the utterer! But, how could … Continue reading Phantom Limb Pain?

“And the beat goes on…”

We rarely think about our hearts, but minute after minute, day after day, year after year… you get the picture: our hearts rarely miss a beat. Unless we are athletes who monitor our heart rate or our heart is ‘broken’ in romance, we usually don’t give it a second thought. That we aren’t aware of our heart isn’t because we don’t appreciate it; it’s because we don’t feel it work so we rarely think about it. But we become much more focused on our heart when it doesn’t work right. When it works right, the heart is the hub of … Continue reading “And the beat goes on…”

What is a port-a-cath?

What is that bump on that man’ chest? It is a port-a-cath. Basically, a port-a-cath is an implanted device to receive intravenous solutions.  Usually, when you have blood drawn or need an IV the nurse has no difficulty slipping an IV in. This isn’t always the case. Some people don’t have such an easy time with IV insertion. The nurse digs and digs, trying to ‘find a vein’. This can cause pain, bruising; and too often the result still is: NO IV 😦 One solution to this problem is a port-a-cath. Implanted in a special surgical suite, a port-a-cath is … Continue reading What is a port-a-cath?

Increased Insurance Footprint? Exagen Diagnostics

You ache and it feels like your whole body has a nasty case of the flu. This has been your life for too long, so your doctor orders a blood test, an ANA: it is positive. Because the ANA is positive she would like you to have AVISE® CTD testing-Where CTD=Connective Tissue Disease-for connective tissue disease). AVISE® is highly specific testing which can give your doctor valuable information that can lead to a diagnosis much more quickly; However, you find out that your insurance company does not cover AVISE® testing. That was then: several days ago, CareFirst/Blue Cross Blue Shield announced … Continue reading Increased Insurance Footprint? Exagen Diagnostics

The use of the buzzsaw in orthopedics

Gazing at the cast cutter as a child, I saw an ominous thing that looked like it was going to eat me alive. Guess what? It did! The cast cutter (possibly a buzz saw in a former life) cut my cast off all right; it also cut my skin. It was a tiny cut, but my 12-year-old saucers-eyes saw a huge crater which became infected and left a large scar. A  bit of history so you can understand my apprehension about having this cast removed. I could only hope that in 50 years there have been advancements in cast removal! “Joy to … Continue reading The use of the buzzsaw in orthopedics