Straight, No Chaser: The Week In Review, September 22nd, 2013
You’ve been after me all week with two questions, so here goes:
1) Have you dropped back to one post a day, and why?
Not necessarily; it depends on the topic and what else I have going on. As some of you are aware, I’m in the midst of a pretty significant effort to assist with a public health initiative addressing implementation of the Affordable Care Act. As such, my time is limited. That said, please continue to request and suggest topics. If they’re timely and have appeal to a large audience, I’ll get to it!
2) What’s with the commercials?
First of all some of them are hilarious. I particularly like Burt Reynolds and Cap’n Crunch in the bathtub, Neely and the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee, and the little baby (I won’t spoil the punch line.). WordPress recoups the costs of producing this blog by placing commercials. That allows the blog to be produced without additional costs. Thanks for your support, and I’m glad the information seems to be making a difference for many of you.
Now to the Straight, No Chaser Week in Review.
On Sunday, we addressed septic shock. It’s difficult to address topics that represent part of the final pathway to death, and I know many of you have lost loved ones as a result of septic shock finishing off whatever the initial illness was. I hope that I addressed this topic in a way that offered you clarity and not any insensitivity for what has to be among your most uncomfortable memories.
On Monday, we addressed a very important part of the future of medicine, and nurses’ various roles in it. You should be aware of these changes, given how they will affect you. We also addressed the basics of diabetes. I hope you paid attention. I describe diabetes as the Terminator of common diseases. It is both insidious and relentless. It takes a life-long effort to stay on top of things, lest you end up with a foot or leg amputated, blind, or fighting infections, seemingly indefinitely.
On Tuesday, we looked at hypoglycemia, which often occurs as a result of overmedication of diabetics but also occurs as a result of some potentially fatal diseases. In the emergency room, hypoglycemia is the first thing we assume is occurring and attend to in most patients with any altered mental status. It’s just that important – and potentially deadly. We also addressed the initial actions victims should take in the face of a sexual assault. Special thanks to Dorothy Kozakowski, Vice-President of the Illinois Chapter of the International Association of Forensic Nurses for collaborating on this post. Please remember: get away and get to help as quickly as you can without doing anything to yourself. I hope you never have to experience this, but statistically, I know that’s not the case.
On Wednesday, we looked at the most common abdominal cause of surgery in most ages: appendicitis. Symptoms vary significantly, but if you sequentially get abdominal pain, loss of appetite (with possible nausea and vomiting) and a fever, you might want to get to your local emergency department. A ruptured appendix could be fatal. We also reviewed blood clots in your legs (aka deep venous thrombosis, aka DVTs). Please review the risk factors for these and lower your risk. Given that these clots break off, go to the lungs and brain, and lead to strokes or death, it’s worth knowing.
On Thursday, we reviewed the various types of hernias that occur. As with appendicitis, there are risk factors you should know and potentially deadly consequences for failure to get these addressed. Regarding the variety that occur in your groin, ask your physician to show you how to check yourself. Learn how to lift properly!
On Friday, we addressed medical conditions that tend to have a higher risk of occurring while you’re flying. If you like tips, it’s worth knowing those items suggested that could save a life (be reminded that there are no medical crews on your flights).
On Saturday, we began a week-long series on sexually transmitted infections (aka STIs, aka STDs). I’m ok with you reading in silence. Just read. Knowledge is power. You’d much rather I answer your questions now as opposed when you’re about to be on the business end of a needle, speculum or swab (gentlemen that last one is especially for you). We’ll be looking at individual conditions all this upcoming week – but I refuse to call it STD week. That’s every week.
Thank you for your ongoing readership. Have a great upcoming week.
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