Sunday, September 20, 2020

In Her Patients’ Shoes


www.strokecamp.org



http://www.unitedstrokealliance.org/


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Article provided by Medtronic

Medtronic is a global leader in medical technology, services, and solutions. We collaborate with others to take on healthcare's greatest challenges.
https://www.medtronic.com


In Her Patients’ Shoes: Lisa’s Stroke Story

For more than 10 years, Lisa has been a stroke coordinator and cared for stroke patients in Wausau, Wisc., ensuring they get the best treatment and helping them in their recovery. She is a stroke expert.

One morning, in August 2017, Lisa learned even more about stroke: She learned what it was like to actually have one.

At the age of 51, Lisa was rushed to the hospital, her workplace, and the familiar faces of her coworkers were now treating her. Luckily Lisa received medical care quickly, but even then, she experienced several post-stroke conditions including facial droop and arm weakness. After several tests, her stroke care team couldn’t tell her what caused her stroke. Her stroke was a cryptogenic stroke, or a stroke of unknown cause.

In the months following her stroke, Lisa worked hard to recover — physically and mentally. She found her physical recovery to be progressing, but mentally, she was stressed. She didn’t know what caused her stroke and she didn’t know if, or when, it would happen again. Lisa, an independent and adventurous woman before her stroke, was scared and afraid to be alone.

Finding Peace of Mind — and Atrial Fibrillation

Lisa’s doctor suggested they use the Reveal LINQTM Insertable Cardiac Monitoring (ICM) System to monitor Lisa’s heart and determine if her stroke could have been caused by atrial fibrillation (AF). AF is a common condition in which the upper chambers of the heart beat very fast and irregularly. As a result, blood is not pumped effectively to the rest of the body and may pool and clot. If a clot dislodges, it can travel to the brain and result in a stroke. AF can happen infrequently and without symptoms and, when left untreated, AF patients have a five times higher chance of having a stroke.1

With the Reveal LINQ ICM continuously monitoring Lisa’s heart for irregular heart rhythms, Lisa found peace of mind and started gaining her independence back. She felt comfort knowing that if she was having irregular rhythms, her monitor would find them, and her doctor would be informed.

Almost one year later, the ICM detected AF and with the information from the monitor, Lisa’s doctor prescribed medication for Lisa to help prevent her AF from causing another stroke.

Lisa is now back to work and she immediately noticed her care for stroke patients has changed because of her experience — she can put herself in their shoes. She truly understands their fear, and she’s able to share her personal experiences of what helped her get through the challenges of stroke recovery.

To learn more about cardiac monitoring for unexplained, or cryptogenic, stroke, visit MonitorYourHeart.com
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Treatment with a Reveal LINQ Insertable Cardiac Monitor is prescribed by your physician. This treatment is not for everyone. Please talk to your doctor to see if it is right for you. Your physician should discuss all potential benefits and risks with you. Although many patients benefit from the use of this treatment, results may vary. For further information, please call the Medtronic toll-free number at 1-800-551-5544 (7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday–Friday, Central Time) or see the Medtronic website at www.medtronic.com.

Reveal LINQ™ LNQ11 Insertable Cardiac Monitor and Patient Assistant

The Reveal LINQ insertable cardiac monitor is an implantable patient-activated and automatically-activated monitoring system that records subcutaneous ECG and is indicated in the following cases:

■ Patients with clinical syndromes or situations at increased risk of cardiac arrhythmias

■ Patients who experience transient symptoms such as dizziness, palpitation, syncope, and chest pain, that may suggest a cardiac arrhythmia

This device has not specifically been tested for pediatric use.

Patient Assistant
The Patient Assistant is intended for unsupervised patient use away from a hospital or clinic. The Patient Assistant activates the data management feature in the RevealTM insertable cardiac monitor to initiate recording of cardiac event data in the implanted device memory.

Contraindications
There are no known contraindications for the implant of the Reveal LINQ insertable cardiac monitor. However, the patient’s particular medical condition may dictate whether or not a subcutaneous, chronically implanted device can be tolerated.

Warnings and Precautions
Reveal LINQ LNQ11 Insertable Cardiac Monitor
Patients with the Reveal LINQ insertable cardiac monitor should avoid sources of diathermy, high sources of radiation, electrosurgical cautery, external defibrillation, lithotripsy, therapeutic ultrasound, and radiofrequency ablation to avoid electrical reset of the device, and/or inappropriate sensing as described in the Medical procedure and EMI precautions manual. MRI scans should be performed only in a specified MR environment under specified conditions as described in the Reveal LINQ MRI Technical Manual.

Patient Assistant
Operation of the Patient Assistant near sources of electromagnetic interference, such as cellular phones, computer monitors, etc., may adversely affect the performance of this device.

Potential Complications
Potential complications include, but are not limited to, device rejection phenomena (including local tissue reaction), device migration, infection, and erosion through the skin.

Medtronic MyCareLink™ Patient Monitor, Medtronic CareLink™ Network, and CareLink™ Mobile Application

Intended Use
The Medtronic MyCareLink patient monitor and CareLink network are indicated for use in the transfer of patient data from some Medtronic implantable cardiac devices based on physician instructions and as described in the product manual. The CareLink mobile application is intended to provide current CareLink network customers access to CareLink network data via a mobile device for their convenience. The CareLink mobile application is not replacing the full workstation, but can be used to review patient data when a physician does not have access to a workstation. These products are not a substitute for appropriate medical attention in the event of an emergency and should only be used as directed by a physician. CareLink network availability and mobile device accessibility may be unavailable at times due to maintenance or updates, or due to coverage being unavailable in your area. Mobile device access to the internet is required and subject to coverage availability. Standard text message rates apply.

Contraindications
There are no known contraindications.

Warnings and Precautions
The MyCareLink patient monitor must only be used for interrogating compatible Medtronic implantable devices.

See the device manual for detailed information regarding the implant procedure, indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and potential complications/adverse events. For further information, please call Medtronic at 1-800-328-2518 and/or consult the Medtronic website at medtronic.com.

Caution: Federal law (USA) restricts these devices to sale by or on the order of a physician.

1 Fuster, et al. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2006; 48:854-906.
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Sunday, September 13, 2020

Dancing with Stroke - Educating Medical Students

 

www.strokecamp.org



http://www.unitedstrokealliance.org/


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The following is from the Stroke Network Newsletter. They don't do a newsletter anymore but so many of their past articles are so good I like to pass them on. They have a very good online Stroke Support and Information site you might find useful: 
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Dancing with Stroke
By Jim Sinclair

Educating Medical Students

Recently I had the opportunity to do presentations to four groups of third year medical students about to begin working in the rehabilitation hospital in which I volunteer as a stroke survivor peer support counselor. I was to tell them the story of my strokes and journey of recovery in an attempt to provide them with some insight into stroke and the journey of recovery from a survivor’s perspective. I realized this could be a very rare opportunity to impact the thinking of doctors in such a way that at some future point their actions could be of greater benefit to stroke survivors.

With concern about my occasional memory issues, I decided that it would be best to keep my presentation as close as possible to what I normally present to groups of stroke survivors. I chose to start my presentation as I do with all my presentations by welcoming them into our worldwide family of folks living with the effects of stroke and other acquired brain injuries and those who participate in our support infrastructure.

During my preparation it took me quite some time to settle on what things to emphasize with this group. I decided that once I had completed the chronology of my strokes and my journey of recovery, it would be best to conclude by promoting six thoughts for them to incorporate into their framework of thinking about how to work with stroke survivors.

I asked them to take a moment to envision what they considered to be a stereotypical stroke survivor. I followed this by commenting that it would be my guess that many of them envisioned a person in a wheelchair or using a walker with a multitude of issues which needed to be addressed. I emphasized that while this is often the scenario, I thought that they would be of greater service to their patients if they viewed the term survivor as embodying strength, and ability rather than having the disabilities as their primary focus.

I emphasized that they would not be working with stroke victims as the only stroke victims were those who died from their strokes. I suggested that they encourage the survivors with whom they work to adopt the attitude that the fact that they survived an event that kills a great many people indicates a strength and ability that will assist them as they move forward in their journey of recovery.

I reminded these young people who were about to become doctors that I was certain that they were already aware that the story of my strokes and journey of recovery were mine alone and that every survivor has an experience that is unique to them and needs to be approached in a manner relevant to that uniqueness. During the second session someone cited the example of a young survivor who had indicated that he did not want to be considered to be disabled. He was differently abled. I repeated this concept in my third and forth presentations.

I recommended to these groups that they not approach their stroke patients with a narrow focus solely concentrated on the physiology of the stroke; but instead approach with a wider global view that is inclusive of the family. I pointed out that while the actual physical event occurred within my brain my wife/carepartner was every bit affected as I, if not more so, and requires every bit as much attention. Additionally many of us become dependent to some degree on our carepartner such that their involvement in the process is essential.

One of my primary goals was to encourage these young folks to help their stroke patients adopt an attitude that their rehabilitation and recovery is not about going back to what they were prior to their stroke; it is about continuing on with their life and attaining a quality of life that is meaningful and satisfying in terms as defined by each individual given their present circumstances.

I suggested that when discussing prognosis their emphasis should be more on positive possibilities rather than likely outcomes and that they should not hesitate in encouraging survivors to dream big as this leads to setting goals; which is necessary if the best possible recovery scenario is to be achieved. If our future is to include the worst possible scenario we will be forced to deal with that as we move along in our journey.

I noted that they needed to be very clear and concise in their communications of possible negative scenarios. At times when a doctor says “you should prepare yourself for the possibility that you will never walk again” all many of us hear is “you will never walk again.” At times when critical information such as this is presented it would be advisable to have the survivor repeat back exactly what was said to insure the information was correctly received.

My sixth suggestion was that it was essential to promote an attitude of taking small steps slowly and that a survivor’s journey of recovery is more akin to a marathon than a sprint. Having had the opportunity to repeat the presentation to four groups over two days I know I emphasized all these points, but with my memory issues I doubt that I covered all the issues with all the groups.
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Copyright ©October 2014
The Stroke Network, Inc.P.O. Box 492 
Abingdon, Maryland 21009
All rights reserved

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Street & Steeple by Phil Bell


www.strokecamp.org



http://www.unitedstrokealliance.org/



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Phil Bell is a retired pastor, University Baptist Church, and a stroke
survivor. He continues to write his Street & Steeple articles for
his local newspaper. I believe this is good therapy for him, and
reading his work may be good therapy for you, too.
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Street & Steeple for August 21, 2020
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“God Will Take Care Of You!”
By Phil Bell, retired, pastor, University Baptist Church

There is a lot of suffering and anxiety in our world today! Macomb is no exception. The chances are good that you are particularly concerned about the coronavirus, some other threat, or are going through some kind of major catastrophe of your own right now, causing you to despair and lose hope. If so, I’ve got very good news for you! Help is available from God Himself! 

The God who is all knowing, all wise, works outside of time restrictions, is present everywhere, has unlimited power, created you and, in fact, the entire universe , and has limitless love for you! “Be not dismayed whatever betide you, God will take care of you. Beneath His wings of love abide you. God Will Take Care Of You. Through days of toil when heart doth fail. God will take care of you. When dangers fierce your path assail, remember, God will take care of you. Through every day, o’er all the way, He will take care of you. God will take care of you!” 

No, a fit of poetry did not suddenly take control of me. With thanks to Civilla Martin, I’ve just shared her words to the beloved hymn, “God Will take care of you.” Not only do the Scriptures affirm it, but, by personal experience, I promise you that it’s true! First, let’s consider the Scriptures. In the sixth chapter and twenty fifth verse of Matthew, Jesus is speaking to a crowd about the futility of worry. He does, of course, a lot better speaking about worry than I do when talking about worry to my wife. My tenancy is to simply say, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Just don’t worry about it!” Then I wonder why Nancy isn’t comforted and still worrying! 

In Jesus’ sermon He talks about how not even one fallen sparrow escapes the Father God’s attention and that we are so much more valuable to Him than a sparrow. Also, God has clothed the flowers of the field more beautifully than even Solomon, in all his wealth, could have clothed himself. Again Jesus states that we are much more important to His Father than all the flowers of the field. Thus, we should depend on God rather than worry and, besides, He asks, “Which one of us can add a year to his or her life span by worrying?!” 

So, just how does God go about caring for us? An example is in the fourth chapter of the gospel of Mark beginning with verse 35. Jesus who was God incarnate, is with His disciples, teaching the crowd from a boat with the crowd on the shore of the Sea Of Galilee, Mark tells us, “On that day when evening came, He said to them ( the disciples ), ‘Let us go over to the other side.’ Leaving the crowd, the disciples took Him along with them in the boat, just as he was, and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. 

Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’ And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Hush be still’ And the wind then died down and it became perfectly calm.” Needless to say, the disciples were plenty impressed and equally relieved! That was an example of God taking care of the twelve! 

God did it by changing the circumstances, but sometimes He does it by changing His children instead. Jesus could have as easily calmed the disciples and enabled them to reach shore safely had the storm continued even if they had had to swim part of the way. 

One of my favorite songs is performed by Scott Krippayne. Its name is “Sometimes He Calms the Storm, Sometimes He Calms his Child.” It’s lyrics include, “How quickly blue skies can grow dark and gentle winds grow strong. Fear is like white water to our soul, but we sail on knowing that our Lord is in control. Sometimes He calms the storm with a whispered peace be still. 

He can settle any sea, but it doesn’t mean He will. Sometimes He holds us and lets the wind and waves run wild. Sometimes He calms the storm, sometimes He calms His child!” You may, indeed, feel like your blue skies have suddenly turned dark, your winds increased & began to rotate like a funnel cloud, and you would like to wake Jesus and say, “Don’t you care that I’m perishing down here?” 

I felt that way once, too. in fact, I had the ill - conceived gall to tell God I was angry with Him! That was after my massive stroke about which you’ll read later. 

If there are no actual wind and waves to command, how, then, does God go about taking care of us? There is a magnetic sign on my refrigerator which reads, “Friends are God’s Way Of taking care of us.” I believe that’s probably the way He does it most often, but there are others, including the skill of professionals and His divine intervention! 

In this time of suffering for so many, there are some for which it is especially fierce, such as those in the eastern U. S. who must be asking, “What’s next and why us? First the pandemic, then a tropical storm catastrophe! The residents of Beirut, Lebanon, are surely asking almost the same questions! “First, the pandemic, then the explosion catastrophe!” The same questions, no doubt, are being asked by some right here in the Midwest, “First, the pandemic and now the wind storm catastrophe!” 

For me, personally, the order was reversed, “First, the catastrophe of a massive, debilitating stroke, then the pandemic. 

As some, if not many, of you know, at the age of sixty, while serving as pastor of University Baptist Church, on January fourth, 2012, at about 3:30 in the afternoon I was felled by a massive stroke in my brain’s right hemisphere requiring an ambulance ride to MDH, a life – flight to OSF Hospital in Peoria, and a craniectomy to save my life, after each hospital’s ER doctor had told my wife, Nancy, most likely I would not be still alive come the morning! 

You ask, “Just how was God taking care of you through all that?!” My answer is, “He preserved my life either by skilled professionals or His divine intervention, most probably by both!” The fact that I’ve written this article is proof I am not in heaven, to some people’s dismay, including mine sometimes! 

My purpose in relating this experience of mine is to encourage any of you who might be going through something similar or, maybe, worse, and are losing hope for the future and trust in God! As well as friends, God uses His children, the church, to also provide His care. 

Let me give you an example. After leaving the hospital I spent time in Heartland Healthcare here in Macomb, arriving with a feeding tube in place due to my inability to swallow. I went there for care by its nurses and rehabilitation by its therapists., both of which were outstanding! Early on, Nancy applied to FICA for disability payments for me. They were approved but hadn’t yet started when the Deacon Chair of University Baptist came to Heartland to talk to Nancy and me. He told us that the church had voted to continue paying me my salary until the disability payments commenced, considering me on medical leave. 

Since I had, before becoming pastor, chaired the committee which wrote our Bylaws, I happened to know that the phrase, “medical leave” appeared nowhere in the document! Those wonderful brothers and sisters had created the term just for my situation! If that’s not God taking care of us I don’t know what is. He simply used His children and our friends! 

Then He used skilled professionals again as the Heartland’s excellent therapists had me eating, drinking, and transferring to the extent that I was in shape to go home, which is where Nancy brought me on July 5th of that very year, where I would lie awake at night thinking how unfair, my life is over! ! 

Yes, I would have preferred He’d calmed the storm by immediately making my body whole again, but He chose to calm me! It has not been easy for either Nancy nor me, but God has been faithful to enable us to weather very storm with calm assurance of His love and provision! 

He has indeed begun to restore my health. I have only two remaining of the initial six stroke related physically restrictive consequences, that of still being paralyzed on my entire left side and having a constant pain in my head, which, even that God is working on. Until about a month ago, I had described the pain level as an”8” ever since I woke up from the stroke. Suddenly, recently, it occurred to me, my pain isn’t as bad. I think it’s only a “3” now! I want you to know that He wants to take care of you, too! 

Don’t be surprised if God not only takes care of you through a catastrophe, but, also prepares you for it in advance. That is my testimony! 

The fall of 2011 I had no health insurance. Nancy’s group health insurance company had its open enrollment period and we both thought it prudent to add me. I don’t even want to think about what we would have done about the horrendous cost of all the medical procedures I’ve required. We would have had trouble paying the cost of the life – flight alone! I assure you that is not the way to take your first helicopter ride. Not only was it extremely costly, but the view was lousy! 

Actually, God began preparing me for the stroke much earlier. He started in the fall of 1969 in the Capital room of the WIU student union when he introduced me to a junior coed named Nancy Jean Riley who would become my wife in 1972. He knew she’d be a woman to honor her wedding vows, even in the most awful “bad” and most terrible sickness” either of us could ever have imagined! Not a day goes by but what I thank God for giving her to me as part of His care, nor a minute of a day in which I don’t ask for His help, which He gives without reservation! 

As I wrote earlier, of course, I don’t know what catastrophe you’re enduring. It may indeed be greater than any person has ever suffered before you! 

Consider, if you will, how it compares to how the apostle Paul described his sufferings in the 23rd verse of the 11th chapter of 2nd Corinthians when writing about those sufferings in comparison with other Hebrews, “In far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers from false brethren. I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.” 

Can your situation compare with that? If So, if God was able to take care of Paul, which He did, are your problems too great for Him to take care of you? I think not! Please put your trust and faith in Christ to become a child of God if you haven’t already. If you don’t know how to do that, ask your pastor. If you don’t have one, ask any Macomb area church pastor or reach out to me. 

I guarantee you, whatever your catastrophe, even if it is of your own making, you will go through it infinitely better with the maker of the universe providing for you! It is no sin to be distraught and fearful in this time of pandemic, with its uncertainty and feelings of having such limited control over you own life, but, again, I say to you, do not despair, “God will take care of you!” He most certainly has me! He also promised me a full recovery, if not in this life, definitely so when I meet Him in the clouds! He desires to do that for you also!
  • Phil Bell, retired pastor, University Baptist Church