Welcome to the Funky Heart edition of Grand Rounds, featuring the latest and greatest medical writing! For those of you visiting for the first time, Adventures of a Funky Heart! is written by Steve, a 43-year-old living with a Congenital Heart Defect (CHD). (My specific defect is Tricuspid Atresia) In the United States, an average of 1 person out of every 125 is born with a heart defect – almost 2 million of us at last count! Once considered just a childhood disease, thanks to medical advances and better surgical procedures over 90% of CHD patients can now live to adulthood! For the first time in history, over half of all CHD Survivors are adults!
Jill of all Trades, MD (who blogs under the same name) sends in an interesting post about dancing with your doctor. I don’t really want to even think about dancing with my doctor – I think his wife would object – but that’s not what’s on Dr. Jill’s mind.
Dr. John Schumann reports from GlassHospital that nearly every patient knows that Cholesterol is “bad for you”… and not much else. But many of them want their physician to Do Something! so a statin is usually prescribed. But a statin usually isn’t the best answer – there are better, less expensive options.
Dr. Ramona Bates of Suture for a Living contributes a disturbing report concerning a Melanoma that hides in plain sight – underneath a nail bed. Just like a turtle, this type of cancer is hard to access. But instead of just staying put and waiting on the aggressor to go away, this nasty beast is the aggressor. Dr. Bates reviews the proper detection techniques, because finding this Melanoma is difficult and getting rid of it successfully even more so.
Dr.Rich of The Covert Rationing Blog has a tongue in cheek post about encouraging, developing, and nurturing the practitioners of Woo. Be very careful when Dr.Rich is being this diabolical; he’ll convince you that you need to purchase dehydrated water!
Submitted for your consideration, Dr. Val Jones of Better Health sends in this post of a misdiagnosis and a close call. Dr. Jones reminds medical professionals to keep an open mind – even if it looks like this, it could be that.
Medical Student Dan Hart sends us a post via the ACP Internist blog about what’s coming. Or perhaps, what’s not coming. Dan can’t tell, and he and his fellow Med School classmates would like nothing better than a crystal ball to help them sort it all out. With Primary Care already in flux and the new Health Care Law poised to really make things confusing, no one is sure what comes next.
In a similar vein, Selena of Oh my Aches and Pains! sends a worrisome post concerning changes to her Flexible Spending Account (FSA) as a result of the new set of laws. Understandably she’s quite worried and asks you to look at the problem from her point of view as the person sitting on the examining room table. I can sympathize – I take a bucketful of meds to help ensure that my Congenital Heart Defect remains a chronic problem and not an acute one.
Nicholas Fogelson of Academic OB/GYN sends us his tale of attempting to update his hospital’s Gynecological surgical equipment. Constantly turned away because of a lack of resources, Dr. Fogelson discovered that the budget was literally bleeding itself dry. The good doctor has several suggestions to help put a bandage on the wound.
The good folks at Inside Surgery.com sent in a post about an 8-year-old child who took the wheel and steered the car into a guard rail after his mother had a seizure. The child is a hero, but that’s not the point, and the Inside Surgery team is more than a little upset about it. When are people going to start accepting responsibility for their actions? Unless their name is Jim Joyce, the answer is probably never.
Dr. Mary Johnson of Dr. J.’s Housecalls sends in a post about her intense dislike of the legal profession. Hell, who doesn’t hate lawyers these days? Thanks to them, if I want to videotape an interview with a Cardiologist, I need permission from the doctor, his/her hospital, the governor, every hot dog vendor within three miles of the interview site, an act of Congress, and an autographed photo of Millard Fillmore!
Warden of On the Wards has been poking around in the cafeteria again and has found a couple of staples that we all eat but should avoid. Personally, I try to avoid Hospital Food. I dislike it so much that I try to avoid the entire hospital! (Hey, they don’t call it mystery meat for nothing!)
According to Louise of the Colorado Health Insurance Insider, we could very well be looking at the physician payment system from the wrong angle. Why don’t we consider some type of payment per patient system, in which the doctor receives a certain amount for every regular patient?
Barbara Kivowitz of In Sickness and in Health has been down in the Neuroscience department and has discovered what keeps the home fires burning. It is often said that a person’s face “lights up” when their soul mate enters the room, recent studies shows that their brains actually register a change, too! Drop in for a read; Barbara’s got the lowdown on MRI love!
Lynda Esparza (posting as lindylu44 on her blog A Patient Perspective) contributes a post titled Texas, a Wedding, and ICU. The title sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, and that is exactly what it is – a very bad joke that Lynda’s body pulls on her at the worst possible times. But her time in the Lone Star State gave Lynda time to reflect and she’s come to an important decision.
InsureBlog‘s Henry Stern, LUTCF, CBC files this report on a major WHOOPS! moment for the World Health Organization, commonly referred to as the WHO. Seems their scientific advisers may have been just a little too well-connected to the people who make Tamiflu and the vaccines. Somebody’s been making some money! But is it ill-gotten gain? Who in WHO knew about this? No one is saying.
Fibro Mom (Who rules the roost over at Fibro World) sends in this missive about her daughter receiving ultrasound guided nerve blocks for her fibromyalgia and chronic pain. A Heart Mom will go the ends of the earth for her Sick Kid, and if that isn’t far enough, she’ll tie a rope and drag the earth along behind her. I bet that a Fibro Mom would do the same thing!
Jacqueline of Laika’s MedLibLog sends word that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is getting ready to regulate genetic testing by Direct-T0-Consumer companies like 23andMe. Is this a good thing? What’s the thinking behind the move? Jacqueline has some good insights.
Dr. Corinne Rieder, Executive Director of the John A. Hartford Foundation, submits a post from healthAGEnda, the Hartford Foundation’s blog. Dr. Rieder highlights the institutional unfairness toward Home Healthcare Workers (due to a 1974 Congressional amendment) and presents a case for a long overdue rejection of the amendment.
Dr. Romeo Vitelli of the blog Providentia gives us this report of the battle to control the Great Flu Pandemic that occurred just after World War I. This outbreak lives on today, in the nightmares of those who realize just how interconnected the world is.
Kerri Sparling of the blog Six Until Me has her hands full as she recounts a day in the life of a new mom with Diabetes. Pumps, meters, snacks, a new baby… is it too much for a girl to handle? Naw, our heroine has it (almost) all under control!
The ACP Hospitalist blog sends over a report from Dr. John Schumann – moonlighting from his regular gig at the GlassHospital – a tale of long time patients choosing to abandon their doctor. Not for any misdeed on the physician’s part, but because the times are changing. Hospitalists are all the rage now, but many “old school” patients can’t understand why their long time doctor won’t see them in the hospital anymore.
How to Cope with Pain sends us the results of a recent pain management study: Not only is being burned painful, but dressing changes, skin grafts, and physical therapy can restart the pain an even make it worse. But new research shows that burn pain can be alleviated with music. I’ve burned fingertips and singed my eyebrows once (don’t ask!) so I can’t imagine that level of pain – heart surgery pain is pretty bad, but good drug therapy can keep the pain tolerable. Not so with burns, I understand.
Your humble host, Steve of Adventures of a Funky Heart! is more than a little disturbed about some medical “information” he read on the internet and has one piece of advice for every CHDer who reads his blog: Don’t trust me. You’ll be a lot better informed.
And with that, this edition of Grand Rounds comes to a close. Thanks for stopping by! Next week’s host is Debra Gordon of A Medical Writer’s Musings… Submit your posts to her by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org with the phrase Grand Rounds in the header!