Monday, June 29, 2009

Cardiac Spasms Diagnosis

10:39 PM 0 Comments
I had been in the hospital for my heart recently. It really wasn't a biggy, had such been I would have called my Mom and Uncle letting them know that I was now part of their Heart Club of cardiac bypasses in the Family. The year was 2000 when my Mother had a 4 heart bypass. Additionally; at this time the Cardiac Surgeon preformed a triple loop with one of her veins to the heart, a procedure that supposedly had never been done before. Shortly afterwards - maybe within a few years; my Uncle had a one heart bypass. As CAD (coronary artery disease) continues to spread throughout the Family, my Uncle telephones others to welcome them to what he calls "The Zipper Club". Though currently with the rapid advancement in medical technology, some heart surgery patients are now glued with incision down their chest.

Well knowing our Family heart tradition and not wanting my Little Sister to have to blindly attend to my affairs with all my Sis had and is going through, I prepared my Living Will. Something I would like to encourage everyone to do, even if you aren't planning on going into the hospital any time soon. Especially since things unfortunately happen unexpectedly in life. These unfortunate events are called accidents, tragedies, etc. And it is the Family whom must deal with your affairs and the Doctors. A Living Will is NOT a will about your personal belongings, property, etc. - rather a Living Will is simply a "DECLARATION OF A DESIRE FOR A NATURAL DEATH" that basically consists of:

INSTRUCTIONS CONCERNING ARTIFICIAL NUTRITION AND HYDRATION


INITIAL ONE OF THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS:

If my condition is terminal and could result in death within a reasonably short time,

______ I direct that nutrition and hydration BE PROVIDED through any medically indicated means, including medically or surgically implanted tubes.
______ I direct that nutrition and hydration NOT BE PROVIDED through medically indicated means, including medically or surgically implanted tubes.

INITIAL ONE OF THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS:

If I am in a persistent vegetative state or other condition of permanent unconsciousness,

______ I direct that nutrition and hydration BE PROVIDED through medically indicated means, including medically or surgically implanted tubes.
______ I direct that nutrition and hydration NOT BE PROVIDED through medically indicated means, including medically or surgically implanted tubes.

(Download your Free Living Will).

I'm not sure about a DNR (Do not resuscitate), that would also need to be a personal decision. Bear in mind however; that a DNR is a choice made by you that includes a written DNR Order by you and/or from a doctor that resuscitation such as CPR should not be attempted if a person suffers cardiac or respiratory arrest. This includes No resuscitation from paramedics. You might want to only decide on a DNR Order if "resuscitation would not alter the ultimate outcome of a disease, and will prevent unnecessary suffering."

Having made my Living Will, I knew that I've had an undiagnosed heart problem since the first onset in March 2003. Heart palpitations sent me to the emergency room then. Conclusive only for an unexplained high pulse rate. However; the stress test was inconclusive because I had an asthma attack during the test. Then the paper work from the ER Doctor that recommend I wear a Holter monitor for 24 hours - had gotten lost in the process, so I just never followed through. Until April this year when I was at the emergency room twice in one week for chest pains.

The EKG (electrocardiogram) showed NO heart attack, however; I did test positive on the D-dimer blood test for a blood clot. An IV contrast CAT Scan (CT Angiography (CTA)) of my lungs fortunately showed no clot in the lungs, so I was diagnosed with a possible 10% heart blockage. Still I refused to be admitted to the hospital. However; I did want to follow-up with their recommendation for a cardiac nuclear stress test. Only to learn what it is like to be laid-off, unemployed, uninsured, and living in America. Finally I got in the back door of a local hospital at MUSC Ashley River Tower (Specializing in Heart & Vascular Disease and Digestive Disease), to at least have the test done.

My Primary Physician saved me money by calling - instead of scheduling an expensive consultation with her. She stated I needed to see a cardiologist STAT because my stress test was positive (abnormal). Unable to get approved for MUSC Cardiologists, I was fortunate to find a private Cardiologist to work with me financially. So happen the same Cardiologist a Friend of mine has! This Cardiologist stated the stress test showed Ischemia, a lack of oxygen to a certain part of the body. Fortunately though, the heart scans showed a healthy undamaged heart! However; based on our Family history of CAD (coronary artery disease), my high cholesterol, my smoking, shortness of breath, etc. the Cardiologist wanted to look further. So Wednesday I went in for a Coronary Catheterization at Roper St. Francis Hospital. It was an in and out (the same day) procedure that took about 8 hours.

They used an Angio-Seal vascular closure device that "quickly seals femoral artery punctures following catheterization procedures, allowing for early ambulation and hospital discharge. The device creates a mechanical seal by sandwiching the arteriotomy between a bio-absorbable anchor and collagen sponge, which dissolve within 60 to 90 days."

Had the Doctor found anything wrong with my heart such as a blockage, etc. I would have remained in the hospital for the procedure. Fortunately; the Cardiologist only found cardiac spasms (coronary artery spasm) which apparently he found amusingly interesting like I was some kind of video game to play with as he showed me the heart spasms on the monitor. The Doctor doesn't seem to concerned and feels that though rare, my migraines may be the contributor. He muttered some kind of medical word for it to me while I was highly medicated. So far I found this on the internet to best recall my memory of his muttered words, Migraine and angina pectoris:

"A migrainous patient who experienced chest pain attributed to angina pectoris by coronary artery spasm during a migraine attack."

I'm to see this Cardiologist for a follow-up appointment in July. However; as I said he doesn't seem to concerned about the cardiac spasms. Whereas my search on the internet says different:

"Angina is caused by Ischemia (oxygen starvation) of the cardiac muscle. Coronary artery spasm produces ischemia by narrowing the coronary arteries. The narrowed artery is incapable of delivering the necessary blood volume to the working muscle. Ischemia ensues, and the resultant pain is called angina."

My concern is in further research I have learnt that Ischemia being a "lack of oxygen can resultant damage or dysfunction of tissue or organs". And something as simply as Calcium channel blockers can help. So if this Cardiologist doesn't seem concerned about any possible future damage, or give me any medicine for this condition, I may get a second opinion from a Cardiologist at MUSC; who has since approved me to be seen.

For now my current Cardiologist has prescribe me Nitroglycerin, so if I get more chest pains - instead of assuming it is from the migraines I am to take up to three sprays within 5 minute intervals, if that doesn't stop the pain I am to get to an emergency room.

If anyone knows more information on Migraine and angina pectoris, and/or Coronary artery spasm Please inform me and/or send related links. Thank You!

Meanwhile; here's to the 90 days of currently mild pain, discomfort, and finally the Angio-Seal magical evaporation!


Related articles: Women's migraines linked to higher stroke, heart attack risk CNN.com





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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Angelic Love

1:28 AM 0 Comments
It is the love of angels I am told
That turns cold hearts to ones of gold
Who brings us in from the shivering rain
Who coddles us close to them in our pain.

It is the love of angels who live on high
Who journey with us in our lives until we die
They shelter and keep us through the night
And gives us their strength so we can fight.

It is the love of angels from another world
Who believe in us - gives us wisdoms of pearl
They wake with us each day in birds and song
And help us forgive ourselves for all our wrong.

It is the grace of the angels that let us see
The kindness of the souls and lifes' misery
They help us accept both the love and the fear
Of being human and - most of all - being here.

It is the laughter of the angels that let us play
So that we can become children of another day
They want us to envision the dreams we have let go
Yes, it is the love of Angels that has told us so.

~ Author Unknown ~

If anyone knows the author of this beautiful poem, please email me the author's name so I can place the appropriate credit. Thanks.

Recommended Sites:

Your Caring Angels

Messenger Of Peace

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Influential Women In The Military

3:45 PM 4 Comments

Influential Women In The Military

Author: Heather Posted: Mar 4th, 2009 at ArticlesBase.com

The Military Women 

Throughout the history of the military, women have played a large role. Not only by supporting the soldiers but standing next to the male soldiers, ready to fight. Over nine thousand women served over in Vietnam and more served at hospitals caring for wounded soldiers (Wilson, 1996). In September of 2005 there were an estimated 203,000 women on active duty serving in the United States military (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2007, ¶ 24). While some do not believe women should be on the front lines, having women in the military has helped create a strong, more integrated fighting force

Vietnam and Other Wars 

When Pearl Harbor was attacked the military did not have enough male soldiers to fill certain jobs which did not have to do with direct combat. These jobs are supported military occupational specialties (MOS). Many of these jobs were clerical duties, nursing, civil service and laundry workers. The government finally decided to let women fill these jobs and let them men go fight in the war. Many served in the civilian sector but some were sent overseas; and some women did die in World War II and Vietnam. 

Vietnam was a remarkable breakthrough for women in all armed forces. Women served in the Marines, Air Force, Navy and Army. By the time the military was leaving Vietnam, 7,500 women had accomplished oversea tours (Holm, 1982, chap. 16). During Operation Just Cause in Panama 1989, a few hundred women served executing refueling missions and resupply missions while being shot at by the enemy (Wilson, 1996, ¶ 6). These missions still were not considered combat missions. 

Women served in large numbers during the Persian Gulf War in 1990-1991. Over 40,000 (Ghajar, n.d., ¶ 8) women reportedly served in the battle between Kuwait and Iraq. These women had set a milestone in women’s history and set record numbers. Today the women serving overseas against the War on Terrorism has helped contribute to the success of the military women. 

The War on Terrorism has brought men and women together. Not fighting against each other about gender but fighting together as a strong force. Even though the military does not consider what women do in Iraq and Afghanistan as combat, many women find themselves in danger at any given moment. The women of these wars have made exceptional achievements and accomplished many successful missions. 

Achievements 

The military has given credit to the well deserved men and women. Women, who helped in the Revolutionary War, were the first to receive pensions. These women, not yet considered military, were recognized for "drawing well water" (Wilson, 1996, Military Women "Firsts" and their History) for soldiers on the battlefield. These women were accredited no matter how small the pension was and today female soldiers receive the same veteran benefits and pensions of male soldiers. But few have received as many awards as their male counterparts. 

The only woman to receive the nation’s highest award, the Medal of Honor, is a Civil War surgeon Dr. Mary Walker. She was awarded the medal, and Congress eventually took it away from her for reasons still not exactly known. After her death, President Carter "reinstated her medal" (Wilson, 1996). There have been many women to receive the Purple Heart, which is the oldest and first military award. 

The Purple Heart is awarded to soldiers who have been injured or killed during combat, directly engaged with enemy. The Purple Heart is an award of honor and is held in high regard. With the awards come honor but to receive honor one must receive rank that deserves respect. 

Recently the first female was given the rank of four-star General. This is the highest commissioned rank in the military. Army Gen. Ann Dunwoody was promoted in November of 2008, which shifted the outlook on women officers (CNN, 2008). Women have served all branches and parts of the military. 

The Army’s non-commissioned officers (NCO) are thought to be the "backbone of the Army". These NCOs train and fight next to their soldiers guiding them through their battles. There are only a few exceptional women NCOs documented, but there are many who have served. These NCOs stand for, what the military is; they fight beside their soldiers and lead from the front. Women have participated in the long tradition of the NCO ranks. Women NCOs have showed that they too can do what is right and lead the force. 

Even though there are more men given awards of merit and so forth; the women have stood by these soldiers doing the same job. The physical fitness and training standards may be different, but these soldiers work together to get the mission accomplished.  

Feminizing the Military 

Many people will argue that women do not belong in the military or front lines because the obvious physical difference. Can a woman carry the same weight as a man on her back? Can a woman run as far as the man running beside her? 

The military adopted the different physical standards to help provide fair evaluations of female recruits. Some female soldiers are able to run further then male soldiers, some may even be able to carry a heavy load longer distances than men. These standards are set in place to help women overcome the physical differences. The training of soldiers though does not have the same standards. 

Training in a co-ed environment may be a little stricter on language and harder on sexual harassment. The women are trained in the same areas of men and are given the exact evaluations. These training units instill a tough sexual harassment and equal opportunity policy. Still with these policies in place there is a list of units and batteries that women are not allowed to train for ("Women in the Army", n.d., ¶ 7). These units are thought to be ones that would send a woman into direct combat. 

A unit that does go into direct battle needs support soldiers, these support elements are: criminal intelligence, clerical, medical, military police, civil affairs, engineers and signal. Women are allowed to serve in all support units and go to war with the combat units. The support elements will engage in missions that will put women on the front lines. And even though the military will not recognize women serving in combat, in a support MOS, a soldier will be in the line of danger and fight along with the combat soldiers. 

Views on Women in the Military 

The combat readiness of female soldiers is a long debate. There are many that believe that because of a woman’s emotional needs that do not belong on the battlefields. Some say women are a distraction to men on the battlefields and women cannot carry the same load as men. 

Today there are numerous women serving in support units which complete dangerous missions daily. The military prohibits women serving in line units (infantry) (Norris, 2007, ¶ 4) but females are part of a specialized unit themselves. The War on Terrorism brought a new threat, women suicide bombers. 

The Muslim beliefs made it hard for male soldiers to search Muslim women properly who could be hiding critical information or weapons. The military designed a group of women, usually belonging to a military police unit, to conduct missions with combat units to help search the women. The "Lioness" proved to play a very important role in the ground war (Solaro, 2006, chap. 3). 

These women help show respect to the Muslim beliefs and are very important in the War on Terrorism. This job puts these women on the front lines and many women in these units find themselves in battles with the enemy. These women know all to well the effects of war and have firsthand experience. Again, the military will not acknowledge that they put women on the front lines, they are there. 

Our history has shown us that no matter one’s race, religion or gender; oneself can be successful in this country. A woman can run a business just as well as a male. An African American woman can run the same business. And a Muslim, African American woman can run the business just the same. 

Women and men of many races and religions fight the war together, proving the country is united. This lets our enemies know the United States of America does have equality and will rise from our shortcomings. The military may not recognize women are on the front lines because of the policies, but the women overseas know better. They are fighting alongside the male soldiers in direct combat and, they are just as important to the success of the war. Virginia Woolf a British author once said "As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is my whole world."

References Chamber of Commerce. (2007). U.S. Census Bureau News Release Available from Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/cb07ff-03.pdf CNN (2008). Army general is nation’s first four-star woman. Retrieved December 15, 2008, from http://edition.cnn.com/2008/US/11/14/woman.4.star.general/index.html Ghajar, L. (n.d.). Persian Gulf War. Retrieved January 10, 2009, from Hagen, M. (2004). Women in the Military. Retrieved December 15, 2008, from http://www.mscd.edu/~history/camphale/wim_001.html Holm, J. (1982). Women in the Military an Unfinished Revolution. Novato, CA: Presidio Press. Lewis, J. (n.d.). About Women and World War II. Retrieved January 3, 2009, from http://womenshistory.about.com/od/warwwii/a/military.htm Norris, M. (2007, October 1, 2007). Roles for Women in U.S. Army Expand. NPR. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14869648 Solaro, E. (2006). Women in the Line of Fire: What You Should Know About Women in the Military. Emeryville, CA: Seal Press. Wilson, B. (1996). Military Women "Firsts" and their History. Retrieved January 5, 2009, from http://userpages.aug.com/captbarb/firsts.html Wilson, B. (1996). Vietnam-Southeast Asia. Retrieved December 29,2008, from http://userpages.aug.com/captbarb/femvetsnam.html Women in the Army-Historical Highlights. (n.d.) Retrieved January 11, 2009 , from http://www.asamra.army.mil/eo/eo_docs/Women in the Army - Historical Highlights.doc Woolf, V. (n.d.). World of Quotes. Retrieved January 15, 2009, from http://www.worldofquotes.com/author/Virginia-Woolf/1/index.html

About the Author: My name is Heather. I am 25 years old and currently live in Vicenza, Italy, with my husband of 2 years. I have no children but I have two cats. I currently am studying to become a social worker. I have always loved to write but never had a chance to show what I can do. I hope to eventually become better at writing and maybe write a book one day!

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com - Influential Women In The Military

* You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as you leave the article title, author name, body and resource box in tact (means NO changes) with the links made active and you agree to our posted publisher terms of service. - ArticlesBase.com

This is such an extraordinary article written by Heather that I just had to share this here and at FLOW (FOR THE LOVE OF WOMAN)!

Recommended site: What I can do - I will - "What I can do - I will - pays tribute to veterans in general and is the way of saying Thank You to those who have served. Stacey, a native Texan, is a friend to veterans, a voice for those who have yet to return. I live to honor those who made it back, and remember those who did not. It has been my honor to attend the funerals for five fine Americans who gave their all, yet had to wait over thirty years for their homecoming Stacey says." - THE MOON AWARD SILVER

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Mother’s Nightmare

4:39 PM 0 Comments
Tugs on a Mother and Aunt’s, Family Heart Strings


Some Readers are familiar with my luck that as the old saying goes, when it rains it pours. Such as in my post about my car breaking down, the sadden loss of my pet, and a Happy Birthday to me - here’s an abscessed tooth, etc. about the ever increasing pressures on my job, the health of my Co-Worker, more car repairs for me again. And about carrying for Humanity and the strange events surrounding the health/deaths of many of my Co-Workers.

Recently however; I have been happy that the events in my life have been pretty much even-steven as the saying goes. Though at the end of January, 100 People including myself were laid-off from our place of employment. Then toward the end of February, the Unemployment Commission forgot to send me my benefit package. Happily; they fixed that relatively quickly. Meanwhile; miraculously my online Federal tax rebate was in my checking account in less than five days! And a Friend of mine helped direct me to a program that might assist with one of my medicines. Having properly applied for the prescription program, waiting 30 days, and my medicine running low; I called to inquire about my application. However; the company said they had nothing about me on file! Luckily a few days later, my Doctor office called to say the medicine was in! My Sister however; has not been as fortunate. And it is with her permission I share these startling, tragedy events with you:

My Sister lives on a military base with her Husband and their two boys, my Nephews. In April while they all were at the movie theater, someone broke in to their home. Perhaps a kid/teenager because nothing was taken except some coins in a jar and their things rummaged through. Still creepy knowing someone was in your home and able to even get in your home on a military base. Then at the beginning of May, her Husband headed overseas for his second stint, like many of our Men and Women in the military service. Shortly afterwards, on May 7 our father Gene passed away of a lingering illness. One would think if you knew you were dying, you would make proper arrangements. However; our father did not and so my Sister took care of all the funeral arrangements. I never realized how much is involved in the burial of a person until my Sister shared with me the long process.

Based on our State residency, each Sibling needed to sign a waiver to give her our permission to be in charge of his remains. The mortician had to wait for the Doctor to sign the death certificate. Later my Sister had to fill in any additional personal information that was needed to complete the form. Meanwhile; a donor organization called my Sis to request various organ donations. Then for some reason the funeral parlor isn’t open on the weekends (like do People not die on the weekends?), so my Sister was unable to get his ashes the weekend she drove here to SC. Finally, May 11th the cremation was preformed and his ashes mailed to my Sister. She wrote a beautiful obituary for him and sent that to the local Newspaper where he resided. Then on June 18th, his birthday – there will be a private memorial service for him.

Shortly after his death on May 7, my oldest Nephew age 15 and one of his Friends were invited into a home on the military base where they live. They were invited in by an older guy who is like an assistant coach or some kind of semi-pro football player, I’m not sure which. Having stepped inside the home, this guy introduced the boys to his mom. Suddenly this guy’s mother shouts get out. My Nephew asked the guy if his mother was joking when this mother says, you think I’m joking and quickly shoots a 9 mm gun that passes right by my Nephews ear, into the next home, and lodges outside in another person’s shed! How blessed was my Sister’s Son, my Nephew! How fortunate no one next door was shot.

My Nephew was smart. He ran, hid, and thinking first of his Mom calls and says don’t come out of the house - there’s a woman with a gun, then he calls the police. My Sister of course isn’t going to stay inside knowing her Son is out there, so she goes looking for him. It wasn’t til late that the military police show up merely stating the woman was in the right to protect her home cause her story was she woke up startled thinking someone had broken into her home. Despite the fact; that her son seeing his Mom armed, immediately shouted just before the gun went off, Mom what are you doing. Later it was learnt that it is possible this woman had shot a gun once before. The local police said they could not get involved because it was Federal property. Finally; tension on the military base escalated until a military meeting was held and they opted for the woman and her family to move off the base. But guess what, her husband gets to come home from the war to help them move because the military say it is his responsibility. Dang, this just isn’t fair, she shoots at my Nephew, my Sister’s Son and her husband gets to come home from the war. Shouldn’t my Sister’s Husband be the one to get to come home?

After this shooting incident, my Sister promptly got my Nephew understandably needed psychiatric help. Shortly afterwards, my oldest Nephew and his younger Friend who was with him in the house the night of the shooting decided to skip school. The first time my Nephew ever cut class and they of course were suspended. You’d think the principle would have taken into consideration the psychological mind frame of the kids, given what they had been through.

Meanwhile; things continued to go awry for my Sister. She opted to let my oldest Nephew pump gas in her van while she went inside the gas station to get change. She returned to see my Nephew pumping diesel instead of unleaded! We both agree this is an easy mistake to make because those dang diesel pumps shouldn’t even be on the same gas isle. I often worry myself about doing the same thing when I fill up with gas. Anyhow; the grand total to drain and repair her van was $500 with the mechanic stating it would have been worse if unleaded were put into a diesel vehicle.

Then at school a 6’2, 17 year old guy decided to pulverize my oldest - 15 year old Nephew! For some reason this guy had a habit of often grabbing one of my Nephew’s breast. My Nephew usually just took the invasion of privacy and said nothing, not wanting to make any trouble. Only this day my Nephew decided to merely push the guy’s hand away. My Nephew having already been suspended for cutting school and this being his second suspension knew the school policy was 3 strikes you are expelled; so he dared not fight back, as the guy continued to pound into his face. My youngest Nephew finally intervened and just as he did, this 6’2 guy and a Friend of his ganged up on my youngest Nephew and his ribs. Both older guys and my youngest Nephew were suspended, fortunately not my oldest Nephew cause he didn’t do anything. Still again no consideration from the principle for the circumstances involved, Brother standing up for Brother and two on one. My Sister took my Nephews to the doctor especially because my older Nephew looked as if his jaw was broken. Thankfully; both my Nephews are okay.

Wow, my poor Sister! All this with her health not doing so well either. For example; her back becomes strangely out of joint in various areas at times. The current diagnosis is possible degenerative disc disease. Yet I am a firm believer that with every rain there is a rainbow and so it is for my Sister. The house her Husband and her picked out before he went overseas is now theirs! As of July her and her two boys will be moving in until February when her Husband can join them!

Yes this has been a long post, however; if I didn’t write it, who would believe so much could happen to one person; (besides to me lol). Maybe such will help others to count their blessings.

And so no matter what you are going through in life, for you, for my Sister:

“May God give you...For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer.” - Irish Blessing