Category Archives: THE MEDICINE CABINET

Health related issues.

LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH

MYSTERIOUS DIAGNOSIS & LUPUS LIFE

For those that are not familiar with this disease called lupus, it is an inflammatory of the immune system that attacks itself.  Many people live with this disease, and might be someone you know or have known, but the frustrating part is that it affects everyone differently.  My wife was diagnosed with lupus in July 2011, and everyday, six years later, we still are learning about this unpredictable ailment.  Just so you can better understand what it is like for a lupus warrior, think of your worse flu or cold days and think about living with that everyday with no relief in sight.  Although I don’t have the disease, I live with someone who has to get up and fight every single day, find the strength and courage, to live on a normal life as possible.  Then again, what is exactly a normal life for you?

When someone says, ‘I just want to live a normal life’ what does that mean exactly? Is having a normal life subjective?  Who determines if your life is normal or not? Most, people would ultimately say you, yourself, has the final determination.  Well, with lupus it practically tells you how you will live your life and what you will do to make sure you don’t make it angry.  Of course, if you choose to be hardheaded and not listen to your doctor, your body and not listen to those that live with it daily, you will surely regret it and see your life quality decline too soon.  Lupus warriors and cancer survivors or people living with cancer can have a similar lifestyle with chemotherapy, daily medicine to take, loss of hair, skin rashes, skin paleness, weakness, swelling and potentially getting worse with treatment.  However, as I stated before the disease effects every person differently and not all lupus warriors have to deal with those symptoms.  Not all at once.

For my wife, dealing with the worse pain and flare ups come during the summer time, especially when the humidity is harsh.  One of many reasons we moved up north because the humidity is not has harsh to her body, I don’t get migraines as much and the lifestyle up here fits our personality better.  Even though we are introverts, we still like to get out amongst the people and have fun and just live life to the best of our ability.  Some might be thinking that since we are introverts, how do we deal with our career choice being amongst the people, working closely with people and dealing with different personalities that could rub us the wrong way?  The answer is that our hearts are the biggest part of our personality and that we love to help people, if we can be a blessing, and see others around us happy with their life.  Sure, we have family and friends that are much different than us, have different beliefs, different views on life and politics, but that doesn’t matter too much.  Regardless, of what your life is about or how you live it, you deserve to be happy and content.

Other lupus warriors hurt during the winter with the crisp cold striking and attacking their joints.  Sometimes with all lupus warriors you can see their swollen joints and just touching them ever so gently is very painful.  Not so much of needing to have the right touch, but you have to know how to touch them and where to touch them.  Hearing from alot of lupus warriors, taking showers feels like little needles coming out of the shower head, eating and drinking can be extremely difficult and can potentially choke if their muscles in the swallowing process is not functioning properly.  Other issues that lupus can create or bring on is gastrointestinal problems, depression, thyroid issues, extreme fatigue, edema, weight loss, weight gain, fever, joint stiffness, seizures in some, anemia and chest pain.  Sadly, I have seen my wife experience all these symptoms and the worse part about it is that there is nothing I can do; except make her as comfortable as I can and get what she needs.

So if you know someone who has lupus, trying to figure out if they have lupus or is curious about the disease I suggest you do some research so you can be aware what it does and how it affects others.  It took my wife about two and a half months to get diagnosed and even then I was able to figure it out before she was officially diagnosed and put in her records.  Still to this day we come across doctors who either don’t believe this exist or don’t understand it, not educated about the disease.  With doctors carrying this kind of mindset it can become very frustrating and make you want to give up trying to figure out what is ailing you.  If this has happened to you, don’t feel like you are alone in this fight to make the medical world understand and be better educated about this disease.  Some have gone years and years before diagnosed, and the trick behind the delayed prognosis is that lupus has no specific test.  It takes numerous factors and symptoms to determine if you have lupus.

Do you know or understand how much this cost with numerous doctor, urgent care and hospital visits? Daily? Weekly?  We spent over $3000 just in co-pays, medicine that didn’t work and equipment.  Others have surely spent more and just telling someone that it is all in their mind, doesn’t exist and practically making them feel like a mental patient doesn’t help the credibility.  Also, having a doctor just throwing you pain medicine just because he or she can, even though you may need them, doesn’t show the sensitivity and care the patient needs.  Not only does the medical field need to be more aware and educated on this disease, but your employers and organizations alike.  This disease can be so bad for some that they have gone on disability, but even that is a fight in itself and lead to more frustrations and flare ups dealing with that stress.  Most employers don’t understand and will quickly get rid of an employee who they think is a liability and trying to play the system instead of actually showing support.

All in all this disease is very unpredictable and can strike at anyone at anytime.  Anything can set off a flare up, such as stress, anger, too much excitement and just sometimes life can be a hindrance.  More awareness needs to be spread around about this disease and get the medical world on board to learn more and do more.  A cure for this disease needs to be found just like cancer and other severe and deadly ailments.  Spread the word and get yourself educated.  The more you know, the more you can do to help!

Thank you,

Henry Scott

 

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THE DREADED SEASON

Since July 2011 my wife has been dealing with an autoimmune disease, called lupus, and even this day we still keep learning different ways to fight and deal.  I’ve mentioned it before, but the best way I can describe this disease to someone is to have them imagine their worse case of the flu or pneumonia, and imagine that same feeling every single day for the rest of your life with no medicine to help.  It does get frustrating when my wife shares this information with people and one of the first things that is mentioned is to exercise.  You gonna exercise at the gym or at home when you have pneumonia and your joints are always achy and just under constant pain?  Imagine yourself going for a run with a fever of over 100 and every time you move your joints are tearing apart with each movement.  You think you can run through that pain and not pass out from the enormous stress your body will be under?  Probably not!

As of today there is no cure for this disease, and no specific test to determine if you have lupus or not.  Numerous tests must be done and the collection of all the tests taken are usually determined whether you have the disease.  Since moving to the northeast from the Mid-Atlantic region, her lupus flare ups and seizures have dropped dramatically, but the threat is always there for her to have either at anytime.  During the winter months her lupus is very much in remission and doesn’t cause much discomfort, but when it does it shows up in an ugly form.  Officially winter is over and with warm weather on the way, this is usually when her lupus starts to slowly rear its ugly head.  It’s bad enough that she is allergic to everything under the sun, but when those get going and her lupus is acting a fool you can only imagine the mess that goes on.  We don’t always have full warning of when her lupus will flare up and when seizures will come, but limiting the amount of stress that is there and making sure we eat the proper foods is one way to fight.

We are now entering into our second week of Spring and so far so good.  She’s beginning her new job at a new company and we can only pray that the lupus will allow her to perform to her best before it decides to be a hindrance.  The late spring early summer seasons are the worse with temperatures rising and the humidity high, but not as humid and hot as it would be in the Mid-Atlantic region.  Not to mention the doctor we see is more understanding and much more awesome than the ones we had in Maryland.  I’d travel across country and the pond to see this doctor! I’m not kidding with that notion either.  The medicines that my wife takes for her lupus helps her deal with it, but can be highly addictive.  With this as our main concern we are always looking for natural ways to help deal with her ailment, but at the same time we are not just going to try anything that everyone suggest.  Our main goal is to keep the stress level down for her and consume the proper foods.  Now that the bitter coldness of winter is behind us, we tend to change our diet to much more vegetables and fruits.

Coming up this May is Lupus Awareness Month and something that I am very passionate about.  Purple is the color of disease and I am looking at wearing something purple everyday for the entire month!

Henry Scott

THE MEDICINE CABINET

KRATOM EXPERIENCE

Formal Scientific Name: Mitragyna Speciosa

kratom-plant

http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidkroll/2016/10/13/dea-withdraws-kratom-ban-opens-formal-comment-period/#648e73377ba9

On October 13, 2016 just after 10:30 am, http://www.forbes.com, released an article that the Drug Enforcement Administration withdrawals their kratom ban and opens a formal comment period.  After numerous objections, including members of Congress, petitioners and other voices within our society, the DEA finally listened and seems to be willing to at least act like they are interested in hearing your comments.  The ban was first put into place because of two chemicals (alkaloids): mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine; the comment period is open until December 1, 2016.  I personally want to thank everyone who signed the petition, along with over 150 thousand people, and forcing the DEA to make an adjustment on a natural plant that helps thousands of people.  People and petitions can make a difference!

All this started on August 31, 2016 when the DEA decided to put kratom on the ban schedule I because of the two alkaloids it contained.  The two alkaloids that are contained in the plant have been linked to numerous deaths, according to the DEA, and have no medical uses except being abused.  On the contrary, numerous of people, thousands and thousands of people have already commented the awesome and good use of the kratom powder.  With my wife having lupus, this powder has done wonders for her lupus symptoms and have made it much easier to deal with her chronic illness.  The nervousness that surrounded our soul when the DEA first announced this ban bothered us severely, and made me very concerned about my wife’s future medical concerns.  My wife has been on this powder for several months and keeps her from popping numerous painkillers that may or may not ease the severe joint pain.

Three separate actions by congressional representatives were also issued over the last month: a letter of objection to the Office of Management and Budget by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) signed by 51 members of the House of Representatives, a Dear Colleague objection led by Sen Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and a strong letter to DEA from Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). – http://www.forbes.com

If you want more detailed information on this powder substance and the medicinal claims for it, check out the website cited underneath the plant picture post above.  Without this kratom powder in my wife’s medicine cabinet, I could only imagine, which brings fear to her heart, that she possibly be addicted to the painkillers.  Numerous painkillers on a constant basis would destroy her liver, kidneys, heart and other internal organs, which will and already be affected by her lupus.  We want to minimize the affects of the lupus destroying her organs by her having the ability to purchase this powder, not increase the potential of serious injury or death by her always taking painkillers.  Many people have used kratom to kick heroin, alcohol and any other substance abuse that controlled them for many many years.  I don’t understand why you would want to step in the way of something that can help millions of people kick drug and alcohol habits, and make those people seek other ways to treat themselves.

It would almost be immediately that heroin usage would jump extremely high and many would probably revert back to what took control of them in the first place.  Managing my wife’s lupus using kratom has been very helpful, but we also understand how the federal government works; looking at a replacement in case the DEA decides to be assholes and replace the ban.  At this point and time we are thankful that this has gone our way right now and I feel that it will stay this way for a while, but our fight doesn’t end here.  If you are on the side of people being treated with less influence of the pharmaceutical industry, join the fight and comment!  We finally have a potential good and natural way to defend ourselves from chronic illnesses and substance abuse!  We don’t need more people walking around drugged up and high on painkillers, which would overwhelm recovery centers and hospital beds.  We were all taught cause and effect in every decision you make and I swear members in high positions, sometimes, don’t think in that fashion.  My wife’s health is on the line nearly everyday and if you want to mess with something that works for her and helps her deal with her lupus, I will fight you to the end!  I tend to do that with this kratom issue.

Henry Scott

Source Cited:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidkroll/2016/10/13/dea-withdraws-kratom-ban-opens-formal-comment-period/#648e73377ba9

LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH FACTS:

TODAY’S FACTS:

 With current methods of therapy, 80 to 90 percent of people with non-organ threatening lupus can look forward to having the same lifespan as people without lupus.


Today marks the last day of Lupus Awareness Month, and I hope everyone that has been reading has gained more knowledge of what this disease is and how nasty it can be.  Some lupus warriors are going through chemotherapy, just like cancer patients, to either have the disease in remission or to lessen the effects of lupus.  At one point my wife was taking basically chemotherapy in a pill, which was four in one month of $120!! Four pills for $120!! Outrageous! That definitely put a damper in our budget for a while, but recovered.  If you know someone that has this disease and it really affects their daily life, please be patient and just let that person know you are there for them.

Henry Scott

LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH FACTS:

TODAY’S FACTS

About half of all people with lupus will experience a serious infection during the course of their disease.

&

As many as 60 percent of people with lupus will experience some type of memory problem, such as recalling names, dates and appointments or balancing a checkbook.


Yes, my wife has experienced both of these statements and still does on a daily basis now.  When we looked back near the beginning of her lupus diagnosis or just before, she was diagnosed with “Pleurisy”.  That diagnosis deals with the inflammation of the lung lining.  I often at times joke with her about her getting these mid-evil diseases and these weird issues.  It’s all in good fun though!!

As for her memory issues, we have seen this happen numerous times, but often she is easily reminded with items or something written down.  So if you are ever around her or in our home and you see paper or posted notes everywhere, don’t mind it as it is part of our daily life LOL!  These are things that we just live with and becomes our daily life routine.

Henry Scott

LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH FACTS:

TODAY’S FACTS

People with lupus take on average nearly eight prescription medications to manage all of their medical conditions including lupus.


So far my wife isn’t too bad with her medications, but in her early stages after getting diagnosed was not good.  Doctor’s just throwing medications at her left and right to where it was too much to manage and take action to reduce her intakes.  Now, nearly five years later, her medication for lupus and the symptoms that come with it are down to about two and much more manageable.  Thank God!

Henry Scott

LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH FACTS:

TODAY’S FACTS

On average, the annual cost of lupus, including expenses related to treatment and loss of productivity, exceed $20,000, and can increase to $63,000 if the kidneys are involved.


The kidney’s are definitely an internal organ we are keeping our watchful eye on.  Our wish is for her to not end up on dialysis and make sure we keep up on our nutrition and consume healthy foods.

Henry Scott

LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH FACTS:

More than half (55 percent) of people with lupus surveyed whose work is affected are working part-time, intermittently or are unemployed because of lupus.


Thankfully my wife isn’t that bad off like others are, but when her lupus flares up beyond her ability to push through it, it shows.  Don’t get me wrong, it bothers her everyday and every hour of the day, but especially during the spring and summer where her days are actually like dog days of the summer!

Henry Scott

LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH FACTS:

TODAY’S FACTS:

Almost three-quarters (74 percent) of caregivers report that caring for someone with lupus has an impact on their work productivity.


If you add the virus, Mono, in the mix it can really test the faith and loyalty you have with your spouse and/or friends who suffer with lupus.  Although my wife and I have been dealing with this everyday for the past five years, some days are more challenging than others and can certainly push you to the point of wanting to be mean and negative.  We have to keep in each others mind that we have and need to be good to one another whenever things seem to compound the stress.

As I have stated before this disease is very unpredictable and can show its ugly head at any time, and usually doesn’t stay for very long.  Unless you understand the disease and what comes along with it, dealing with someone who suffers can consume alot of your time and make the other person feel guilty for you taking care of them.  Your love and care for that person means so much and letting them know that you care for them regardless can go a long way.

Henry Scott