The Bionic Woman?


Replacements of most joints are becoming commonplace, but some are replaced more often than others; and the hip joint is very likely the most frequently replaced joint. The following is an image of a normal hip:

normal hipNotice that the bone marrow has a blood supply, (the blood supply to the bone marrow is represented by the area with the red dots on the graph), ‘ball’ and ‘socket’ created by the ‘head’ or top of the femur and the acetabulum of the pelvis.

Over the course of years, the cartilage  can wear thin. When the cartilage doesn’t provide the cushion that it used to provide, pain results, and this pain can be quite severe and not always relieved by medication. You may have heard people use the term, ‘bone on bone’ referring to the bone in the ball rubbing against each other of the ball and socket. each. It may now look a bit more like:

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You can see on the patient’s same side that there is an accumulation of dead bone cells. These cells cause much of the pain: how? Bone cells are like any other cell in the body, they must rid themselves of debris and toxic wastes. This is the goal of one procedure commonly used to relieve symptoms: core decompression.

If pain from osteonecrosis still exists despite complete non-weight bearing status, ice, elevation and physical therapy with tylenol and nonsteroidal antinflammatories (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxyn, a surgical option is sometimes indicated. One of those surgical options is the total joint replacement, a THR.

anntated_THRIn the diagram to the left are the components of the hip prosthesis which are inserted by the surgeon to create a new joint.

The femoral stem is inserted into the thigh bone and bypasses any osteonecrosis or osteoarthritis which may be present.

The femoral head component has at it’s end a shiny metallic (titanium) piece which inserts into a plastic cup or liner. This liner fits into the acetabular component and doubles as cartilage to further protect the new joint.

This surgery has saved many from a lifetime of pain and if it works on me in a week, I’ll be free of hip pain for the first time in many years and one step closer to THE BIONIC WOMAN!

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Who’s the boss?

12274366_450369801812999_5403673269188056218_nThis photo struck me. It empowers me and I’m sure it will serve me well through flares or times when I may feel like giving up. What does it say that is so powerful? Lupus is a disease where my immune system, doesn’t attack cells that are foreign; MY IMMUNE SYSTEM ATTACKS ME.

So, what does it say. It says, “I”m doing the work around here and I’m one tough cookie, so don’t toy with me, don’t play with me and most definitely, think twice before you cross me. I wear the pants around here. TRY ME!”

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A little background here, but a just a little. I wasn’t aware until now that something I’d seen on the news that made me feel warm inside had become controversial. Apparently a contestant for Miss Colorado spoke about her passion for nursing in the talent competition-no bathing suit, but scrubs and a stethoscope.

Well, I thought, ‘how wonderful’ for when I practiced nursing, I felt so strongly that nurses should toot their own horns that I wrote articles in support of all that nurses do. Apparently, my beloved profession, which required so much knowledge and skill and I can practice no more, was trashed on “The View.”

Initially my reaction was vindictive, and “I’ll teach them,” “I’m was no handmaiden to the doctor,” “We’ll see about your bedpan!” Then, reality got to me, and I realized how teachable a moment this was. Teach Joy Behar that nurses are SO much more than “handmaidens” who borrow stethoscopes from physicians to look important. THEY USE THEM.”

This reminded me of an aritcle that I wrote years ago, entitled “Just a nurse.” I hope no one needs a nurse today, but if you do, they are there for you!

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“Organ Involvement in Lupus”

This podcast is one of a series produced by the Lupus Foundation of America for May which is Lupus Awareness Month. It can also be found in the archives maintained by C-span, available for public domain use. The Speaker interviewed is Dr. Diane Kamen, Associate Professor of Medicine, Department of Rheumatology, of the Medical University of South Carolina.


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Interview with Dr. Donald Thomas-lupus and Sjogren’s Syndrome

Comprehensive, yet easily understandable, this interview with Dr. Donald Thomas, M.D. discusses 27 secrets to living a better life with lupus and other and other autoimmune diseases. His book, “The Lupus Encyclopedia” needs to be in the library of every lupus patient.

Continue reading

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Just a few symptoms    aneiainlupus     chestpaininlupus     feverinlupus     lupusfatigue

These are common to many autoimmune diseases: joint pain,  anemia caused by disruption of the bone marrow which produces red blood cells, chest pain, fevers and  debilitating fatigue. What causes these symptoms? First, it needs to be known that not every rash is a tell-tale sign of lupus, nor is every instance of chest pain caused by lupus.

Here are some symptoms you may see, however:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Purple or cold fingertips and toes
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Hair loss, mainly on the scalp
  • Low blood count
  • Red rash or color change on the face, across the cheek or bridge of nose
  • Unexplained fever for several days
  • Chest pain
  • Protein in the urine
  • Painful or swollen joints
  • Oral or nose sores
  • Depression, trouble thinking, and/or memory problems or other cognitive problems

In the same token, not every symptom named above is noted in every one of us. We each have a case of lupus that is individual, unique-but somehow, I don’t feel lucky!

What follows, is a partial list of symptoms and some of the reasons that you might develop them. Keep in mind that lupus is a disease of the immune system and inflammatory in nature.

Many people with lupus also have Sjogren’s syndrome, and the two conditions together can cause a dry mouth that can become so severe that the delicate tissue in the mouth ulcerate> mouth sores.  Medications to treat lupus can also be quite drying.

Anemia might be caused by a folic acid deficiency or a vitamin B-12 deficiency and there is discussion that anemia results from antibodies against components of the blood.

Hair loss, or alopecia, may be caused in part from exposure to the sun.

Vasculitis literally really refers to an inflammation of the blood vessels. This inflammation causes  leaking of blood from the vessels (which happens often near the ankles) to the tissues. Often what we see are discolorations in the skin, called petechiae.

These are just a few of the symptoms that present with lupus, but during the course of their disease,  not every symptom is present and some not mentioned ARE present.

The debilitating fatigue which can be from lupus is often caused by coexisting anemia. This isn’t always the case, but sometime a partial explanation.

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Magnesium Deficiency

Several weeks ago, I learned of the importance of magnesium in our diets when I had an extreme muscle cramping/twitching issue. Our bodies don’t manufacture magnesium; but it is essential for many bodily functions. It is used by the bones (approximately, half of the magnesium in the body is found in the bones). Magnesium also helps to control neuromuscular activities of the heart and helps to keep the heart beating regularly. It has many functions.
The video that follows, albeit 10 minutes long, explains the importance of magnesium in our bodies. Not only does Dr. Osborne explain the importance of an adequate amount of magnesium in our bodies, but he spends a good deal of time explaining the signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency and why they ‘happen:’
To recap: some causes of magnesium deficiency
  • long-term stress
  • diuretics
  • diet
some manifestations of magnesium deficiency:
  • depression (treated with SSRI). (But SSRIs can result in other deficiencies which can cause depression!)
  • vasoconstriction which can cause high blood pressure and migraines
  • bone loss so hormone replacement like estrogen is prescribed (However, estrogens can cause further magnesium deficiency.)
  • muscle spasm, resulting in pain so we take NSAIDs.
  • increases thickness of blood (sludgy blood) so we are at an increased risk of stroke
We have to in treat the CAUSES of magnesium defieiency; not the SYMPTOMS
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