COPD and Other Stuff

This is a patient-to-patient blog to exchange information and resources...from COPD to Arthritis to Cellulites to Sarcoidosis to Sleep Apnea to RLS to Psoriasis to Support Groups to Caregivers and all points in between.
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Posts Tagged ‘Bremerton’

Happy Martin Luther King Day 2013! NAACP’s Health Fair in photos – a little late

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

The recent NAACP Health Fair at Olympic College was fun, a day full of record rainfall, a little snow, great speakers and booths crammed with information.

The program included a delightful parade of kids –  tots to teens modeling the latest fashions and we were later served a delicious box lunch.

Thanks to the NAACP Health Fair, I had the opportunity to show and tell about COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and what it can lead to…not good stuff.  It was my pleasure, thanks for asking.

Harrison Medical Center was not able to attend to offer early detection COPD Spirometry testing – this time.

A quick glance around when I arrived showed a who’s who of Kitsap County, including Bremerton’s Mayor, Patty Lent.

18-IMG_3018 17-IMG_3016 16-IMG_3013 15-IMG_3010 14-IMG_3007 13-IMG_3005 12-IMG_3004 11-IMG_3000 10-IMG_2998 09-IMG_2990 08-IMG_2989 07-IMG_2986 06-IMG_2983 05-IMG_2979 04-IMG_2976 28-IMG_2969 27-IMG_2967 26-IMG_3029 25-IMG_3026 24-IMG_3024 23-IMG_3023 22-IMG_3022 21-IMG_3021 20-IMG_3020 19-IMG_3019 03-IMG_2994  Hey, mom – I found you! 01-IMG_2997

Let’s go THIS way – there is my mom!

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara (familien1@comcast.net)

Martin Luther King, Jr. DayWikipedia: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev.


Does a tumor mean Cancer? Part 3 of 4

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Does a tumor mean Cancer?  Part 3 of 4

Glimpses of a patient’s life and the medical folks who helped save my life.  The University of Washington Medical Center(my lung doctor is here) and the Cancer Alliance of Seattle worked together to give me a life again.

One of the cheeriest technicians I have been around is right there at the University of Washington Medical Hospital.  Washington State first class teaching hospital.  The U – students and staff – alike is loaded with inquisitive, open minded, brilliant medical doctors teaching students to seek answers to patient’s medical woes.

Of the tremendous group of my tumor surgical medical team, this superb doctor stood out by his mention and appreciation of my first iPad covered Otter when he spotted it at my bedside table.  I appreciated his comments and conversation about a non-medical related product.  Btw… I think younger people are generally surprised many of us older folks appreciate and use new technology.

The view from my window was of one of my favorite bridges, the Montlake Bridge by the U. Beautiful views helped lessen the pain.

Need you ask?  This is without doubt the best-arranged toilet area of any I have had the privilege to know and love. The shower is just on the other side of the low wall.  The toilet was at a comfortable height and I let go of the walker, hung on to the low wall, and grasped the support bar on the other side.  I gently lowered myself and my new equipment onto the throne.

The day I was standing by the bathroom door when my incision opened and the blood flow began through the popped seal to the machine.  The bloody fluid flowed through the fingers I had pressed against the gaping open belly wound trying to hold stuff in where it belonged.   Instead, bloody fluid flooded the floor and formed running rivers downhill through my room.

The professionals who answered my call light moved swiftly to stem the bloody flow and no one raised a voice in alarm – not one.  I was immobilized in place hanging on to the pole with one hand and feeling the warm blood rush through the fingers of the other.  The warm blood flowed on down my legs while they quickly, quietly told me where to move.  They did their job with aplomb and took care of a horrified patient…like another normal day.  I had an incredible feeling of well-being in spite of the thought other belly parts and stuff might flow past my open fingers over the wound trying to hold back the blood flood.

Checkout day… the dried remains of one of the bloody flows remain under my soon to be vacated bed.

…Inhalers are important to lung patients.  The order we take them is also important.  I mention it here because my inhalers are rarely dispensed in proper order for the full benefit of my lungs.  Luckily, I know the right order to take them and do pass on that information.

I take Foradil first – a fast acting inhaler few nurses have heard of.  It is one of the best for me – opens my airway fast.  Spiriva is long lasting and second, while Qvar (inhaled steroid) is third.

Harrison Medical Center, University of Washington Medical, and  Martha and Mary in Poulsbo – none dispense Foradil…and I do not understand why.

I hope patients and med dispensing folks using other inhaler combinations see they are taken properly.

One nurse told me she did not know there is a proper order to taking inhalers.  Why not?   One possible answer…  If I were in the cancer area recovery, the nurses would be cancer oriented, not lung patient oriented for inhalers.

One of the terrific and friendly docs from my informative medical team.  Another super University of Washington/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance doctor that I cannot name due to misplacing my notes/business cards.

 Kristin, physical therapist…

 

Meet Gretchen, one of the outstanding nurses I had and now, my discharge nurse.  She is putting together the little vac machine that will collect the fluid from the tube sealed inside the unstapled lower belly surgery site.  I will wear it day and night for the next few months…while Harrison Home Health nurses will change it out every three days, per doctor orders.

Gretchen showing how the vac – the entire devise works.

 

Gretchen read directions and showed me how to change the container when it got full of the bloody belly fluid.  I was told an alarm would sound first giving me plenty of time to take care of it.

…Goodbye Nurse Gretchen …another patient going home – another patient tomorrow.   Thanks for your care and kindness.

Thank God for nurses like you…and…your detailed instructions on the belly vac came in handy the very next evening at home.

I am very lucky.  They found no wingding blooming cancer – only some strange looking cells that bear watching every four months for a while.

Please understand – Kitsap County has first class cancer docs and treatment  – I’ve talked to enough cancer survivors to know it.

That said…My first and primary medical condition involves my lungs – COPD first and Sarcoidosis second.  I will not do any surgical procedure that involves anesthesia without my pulmonologist as part of the discussion as a consultant.  While Karen Eady, MD, is my wonderful primary doctor, right here in Kitsap County,  Christopher Goss, MD is my lung doc  at the U .   Thanks to you all!

Harrison Home Health.  Part 4 of 4,  next time.

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara

Good-bye and thank you, Lisa Marie.  You’ve moved on to a  fabulous person and  forever home, and we’re grateful for the eight years we had with you.  Mom S

 

 


Karen Eady, MD and What Can Happen If …

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Greetings!

This is a public thank you to my primary doctor, Karen Eady, MD and a story of what can happen when a patient refuses their doctors advice.

I’ve never liked full physical exams, mostly because of the vulnerable feeling I had with my feet in the stirrups and my bare bottom edging over the end of the exam table and some years ago (after gaining all the weight after COPD and quitting a forty year smoking habit) I said NO to more physical exams.

I told my doctor I didn’t want to have another pap smear or physical, nor did I want my two memories squeezed in a mammogram vise any longer. Year after year, she asked and I said, “no, thank you, Dr. Eady.”

It doesn’t matter how I justified my refusals, year after year I made the choice not to have them.

The trouble is- I now have a huge mass, cyst, tumor, whatever you want to call it that didn’t grow overnight.  The chances are a physical exam would have caught it earlier.
“tumors are often found during routine gynecological exams”

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-required-for-an-ovarian-cancer-diagnosis.htm

Karen Eady, MD is an Angel on Earth right here in Kitsap County – Bremerton to be exact –and is my primary doctor.  Dr. Eady was kind enough to take me when I asked her after Dr. Steele died over a decade ago.  She has kept me on and advised me ever since even though her specialty is Diabetes and I don’t have it.

Wasting time in regret is pointless.  I’m writing this here to suggest that sometimes the consequences of our medical choices become chickens coming home to roast.

I am also thanking Dr. Eady for all the years she has put up with me – not always a good patient or a prompt one.

God Bless you, Dr. Eady.

Thank you for all the years you have helped me move from one medical thing to another.  Additionally, thank you for the great people you recommended who have helped guide me through this COPD and Other Stuff.

With love and heartfelt thanks, your grateful patient and friend, Sharon O’Hara


These legs were made for walking and triking

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

 

New Spelling for COPD – HOPE

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is slowly advancing in leading cause of death in the US and most recently pushed to the third place spot when Strokes dropped back to fourth leading cause of death in the US.

We have WALKS for research dollars – Cancer – Heart – Arthritis – all worthy causes – but no WALKS or RUNS for COPD.

Well – a new study results seem to prove that some patients with COPD can stabilize and some get better – this is HUGE, GUYS!  The first time I have read anything giving hope to a COPDer in terms of some of us helped beyond learning what we can do to help ourselves…and points out what I love about a teaching hospital such as the University of Washington Medical Center.  The professors teach their medical students to have open minds to the possibilities and now a researcher from …

“… University of Nebraska Medical Center scientist worked on the study, analyzing the results described in an article this month in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

“This study, I think, will really result in a change in attitude toward COPD,” said Dr. Stephen Rennard, a professor of medicine at UNMC.

Physicians and patients for many years have believed that COPD inevitably worsened. A landmark study in Great Britain in the 1970s appeared to confirm this notion.

The disease does worsen for many. But a study of 2,163 patients in 50 clinics and universities, including UNMC and Creighton, showed that some didn’t worsen over three years. Some, in fact, got better.

Rennard said this gives reason for hope among lung specialists and patients, and it possibly will lead to more aggressive treatment.

The Rev. Adam Ryan, a Catholic priest at Conception Abbey in northwest Missouri, called the study’s findings “very good news for me.”

 

Ryan, 56, said he is a lucky COPD patient whose disease hasn’t worsened. Diagnosed with emphysema in 1991, he eventually stopped smoking, improved his diet and started exercising. He takes three medicines daily for his COPD…. Rennard said finding the reasons for stabilization or improvement, and what treatments seem to work, weren’t part of the study. That research remains to be done.

He said the study also found that those with moderate COPD seem to deteriorate more rapidly than those with severe disease. In the past, he said, doctors tended to direct treatments toward those with severe illness and less to those who were moderately ill with COPD. This, too, may have been a mistake, Rennard said.”

http://www.omaha.com/article/20110926/LIVEWELL01/709269970/1161

 

World COPD Day is Wednesday, 16 November 2011 and this year I am going to WALK/RIDE FOR COPD!

I’ve invited the governor to join in. – I hope she does.  She would be welcome to carry my COPD cycling safety flag.  My husband, Chuck, made it and noted Rosemaler and teacher, Lois Clauson of Bremerton painted it.

These legs were made for walking and triking.

World COPD Day, Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara


AWAKE – Tonight

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

AWAKE TONIGHT!    Ever wonder about an increasing sleepiness yourself or life partner?  Well, sleepiness may well mean more than boredom at home – it may mean SLEEP APNEA – a potentially deadly medical condition and fixable.

Thursday, September 15 – 7:00pm – 9:00pm

PROGRAM:  C- Pap or Bi-Pap Maintenance and Your Health.

SPEAKER:     Kate Whettam, Resmed

Questions welcome

AWAKE is for people living with sleep disorders and their families and meets the third Thursday of every three months (March, June, September and December).

9/15/2011     7:00pm – 9:00pm

Harrison Annex

750 Lebo Blvd.

Bremerton, WA 98310

Contact Info:   360-479-8022 x4

http://www.harrisonmedical.org/home/calendar/4875

 

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara


Seniors, Walking Sticks and Driver’s License Renewal

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

 

The second time around is good -I passed the Driver’s Test!

Walking Sticks and gray hair still cover a working brain, mobility and the ability to drive.

 

Seniors using Walking Sticks (canes) does not mean brain dead and immobile.

That said:  If seniors using walking sticks are required to take the driving test as I was told,  it should say so on the website and driver’s manual.  Discrimination against seniors using walking sticks is unreasonable and unfair.

The following photo is taken directly off the Driver’s Manual online…and is what I expected to see at the first driver’s test and what one would see during the normal course of a driving day.

 

 

 

See the cars…not the reality of the actual Parallel Parking test in Bremerton, WA.  They should match actual driving conditions.

I shot this photo (Friday, 10 June 14, 2011) before the second driving test.  Bright orange cones instead of cars are the reality in Bremerton, WA for the Parallel Parking test and probably other places as well.  I am suggesting that cones be used in the Driver’s Manual instead of the cars or that actual cars are used for the test.

Please do not discriminate against folks (seniors) using walking sticks by not warning them they will be retested another day.  Mention it online and in the manual.

My thanks to the professional folks at the DOT Bremerton Driver’s License Division for their professionalism and courtesy.

http://pugetsoundblogs.com/copd-and-other-stuff/2011/06/04/dot-department-of-licensing-discriminate-against-cane-users/

http://pugetsoundblogs.com/copd-and-other-stuff/2011/06/05/dot-driver-license-division-discriminating-against-cane-walkers-and-seniors/

http://pugetsoundblogs.com/roadwarrior/2011/06/06/incident-at-the-drivers-license-office/

Thanks for reading… Sharon O’Hara


Dear Harrison Medical Center Respiratory Department

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Dear Harrison Medical Center Respiratory Department,

I was late.  The reasons I was late don’t matter.

The clock on the back wall read 2:40 pm.  The brightly lit room was empty.  I peered around the corner where the coffee and ice water were served – the ice water container was full but no one was there.  A passer-by told me folks were there earlier.

I waited in the doorway 5 minutes until it was clear no one was coming back before beginning the long walk back down the hall from the Rose Room at Harrison Silverdale and out to the gas guzzler.

I have no complaints…I have questions.  In the light of the present day horrific life and death earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan, my comments and questions may seem frivolous.

20 minutes is a lot of time.  Japan’s record 9. 0 Earthquake reduced buildings into rubble in less than 20 minutes.

The tsunami that followed scooped up and destroyed miles of buildings, homes, cars and people within 20 minutes.

A doctor can see two or more patients in 20 minutes.

What could I have learned in 20 minutes had anyone been there to teach me?

The Better Breather’s meeting was scheduled for 1:00 – 3:00 pm and no one was there.  I understand RT’s respiratory time is valuable and they’re needed but I didn’t see any COPD patients there either.

Why wasn’t the meeting advertised in the Kitsap Sun?  Harrison’s MS support group meeting was advertised that same day.

1.      Kitsap County has how many  pulmonary docs?

2.      Capri is a cardiopulmonary rehab group – do they recommend Harrison’s Better Breather’s pulmonary support for their rehab folks?

3.      What is the problem?

Are Kitsap lung patients uninterested in further education in living with lung disease?  Do they already know all there is to know about lung disease?  Or, are they being ignored by the very medical community treating them?

If a support group is advertised to be available during certain hours, they should not leave early.  In the years I had a business we advertised being open until 9:00 pm and someone was always there until closing.  People knew they could count on those open hours for business.

If pulmonary patients aren’t interested in support group learning and education, there is no point in wasting valuable respiratory employee time from Harrison in meetings no one shows up for.

If the problem is getting the word out then do it!

The Old Guy and I will hand deliver flyers promoting the next Better Breather’s meeting to every heart and respiratory doctor’s office in Kitsap County – if that’s what it takes.  I will even print them out if you send me the file in something other than a dat. file.

In turn, stay open and available for the hours you state you will be there.  Regular business folks do.

I could have learned a lot in that 20 minutes no one was there.  Maybe I did.

I just learned that according to the Yellow Pages in the Kitsap Peninsula “dexknows.com”- the – to July 2011 edition- has only one M.D. is listed under “Lung (Pulmonary)” –page 417.

Doctors Clinic – Kittredge A. Baldwin, D.O. and Benjamin Sy, M.D. on Wheaton Way, Bremerton are the only pulmonary doctor’s listed – why aren’t the doctor’s off Campbell Way listed?  Did they change their specialty?

More later… Sharon O’Hara


Customer Service at My Doctor’s Office – What?!

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Following is an intriguing article written by Casey Quinlan about doctor appointments.  It seems like an efficient idea – what do yhou think?

I’ll state here that I have stellar doctors and my primary Dr. Karen Eady, Bremerton and pulmonary Dr. Christopher Goss, University of Washington Medical Center are without peer.   I know my medical care health is in good hands and know how lucky I am.

I think the following article “I have a dream” is an interesting concept.   What do you think?
****
All I Want for Christmas Is Customer Service at My Doctor’s Office
December 24th, 2010
By Casey Quinlan. I have this dream. It’s about how, when I make an appointment to see my doctor – my primary care physician – the process is easy, honors my time as much as it does my doctor’s, and winds up running smoothly for both parties.
The dream starts this way: I realize it’s time for my annual physical, or any other usual-suspects periodic visit to my PCP. I open up my browser, point it to my doctor’s website, and log in to the secure patient portal. The one where I can see all my prescriptions, my personal health record, make an appointment (using the handy calendar function), request a prescription refill, ask the nurse or doctor a question via email, or download a PDF of my health record.
In my dream, using the handy scheduling function in the portal, I select a date and time for my appointment. The portal auto-populates that date and time with my name and insurance/contact information, since I logged in and it knows who I am. The system asks me if any information has changed. I click “no”. If I click “yes,” the next screen asks me to make the changes, and “submit”.
I select “annual physical” from the list of appointment types. I enter any information I need to related to this appointment request (i.e. “Doctor, I have this pain…”). Then I click “submit” and the system sends me a confirmation email or text (I picked which one I prefer when I set up my profile on the portal). It also schedules me for a blood draw in the week prior to the appointment, sending me a confirmation for a walk-in at the lab.
The scene in my dream shifts to the day of my doctor’s appointment. I’m scheduled to be seen at 11:00am. I get a text at 10:00am – or an email, whichever I selected when setting up my portal profile – saying that the doctor’s running about 30 minutes behind. I can either come in at 11:30am, or select one of the alternate appointment times in the text/email and be re-scheduled.
I select 11:30am, and I arrive a few minutes before that time. Signing in involves scanning a key tag – just like the one you get from your favorite supermarket – which lets everyone in the practice, from the receptionist to the doctor, know that I’m there, and on time.
If the administrative staff needs to talk to me for any reason, they’ll see me on their screen (usually because, in the day-before review, they checked the “confirm insurance details” or “update pharmacy info” or “collect co-pay” radio button) and invite me to have a private conversation. By using my first name only. No sign-in sheet (HIPAA violation) or yodeling my full name across a crowded waiting room (HIPAA violation).
By the way, in my dream the co-pay is collected by the system without having to get me or the staff involved. I’ve given the practice my credit/debit card number, and signed a consent form to allow automatic collection of my payment when I scan my key tag.
I take a seat in the waiting room…for about 5 minutes. I’m called – first name only – by the nurse, who takes me back to an exam room. I scan my key tag again in the room, and s/he checks my blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate using equipment tied into the practice’s IT network. Since my key tag was scanned, the readings are loaded into my record instantly.
S/he and I chat for a minute or two, and then I’m left alone to disrobe. The doctor arrives minutes later, and proceeds with my exam. S/he enters information on an iPad, but spends most of the time talking to me about how I’m feeling lately, the results from my blood work, what my exercise program is these days, how about those Giants/Redskins/Bears/whoever, and if I’ve had any meds side-effects that I haven’t mentioned.
The doctor tells me that my blood work shows everything’s A-OK, all my numbers look good. I’m up a few pounds, time to hit the gym a little harder to stop midriff-creep in its tracks. (It’s a dream, but it could become a nightmare.)
Face time. Real face time. Only about 10 minutes, yet I feel like I’ve been listened to, and engaged with, by my doctor. I feel like I’m a customer, not a meat-puppet on a conveyor belt.
Ok, I’m awake now. In a world where all of the technology tools to turn my dream into reality exist…but aren’t being used. Why not? Usually, I hear “they’re too expensive” or, my personal favorite, “my staff doesn’t like computers.”

Here’s the choice: either bring your staff up to speed or see your revenues shrink. If a practice uses patient-facing technology well, they’re in a good position for better revenue cycle management. If the practice is looking to move some of its patient panel to a subscription/concierge model, this dream MUST become reality.
It’s time for some technology-enabled customer service in primary care. That’s my dream, and I’m sticking’ to it!
http://www.disruptivewomen.net/2010/12/24/all-i-want-for-christmas-is-customer-service-at-my-doctor%E2%80%99s-office/

More later… Sharon O’Hara


Bremerton and Navy Success and the West Sound Cycling Club Booth Photos

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

The new downtown Bremerton IS beautiful… but right now she is similar to a pretty girl all dressed up and no place to go.

We need more Health and Safety Fairs and next time run Kitsap Transit buses to bring people in to the event. We also need passenger boats and Kitsap Transit to bring people in from the outlying districts.

The new Bremerton is a dream place for the possibilities of ultimate luxury healthy living…if a person can imagine walking and cycling pathways throughout Bremerton downtown and meandering through the neighborhoods.

See what Steven Gardner wrote about the folks in the Union Hill neighborhood transforming itself.

http://pugetsoundblogs.com/peninsular-thinking/2010/08/24/union-hill-bremerton-neighborhoods-place-branding/

Imagine the new lovely downtown expanding itself outward block by block with neighborhood walking and cycling pathways providing walking and cycling transportation and healthier citizens….just imagine the tax payer dollar savings in future medical costs through healthier people due to the energetic outdoor living lifestyle.

The walking and cycling pathways would cross the new Manette Bridge into the homey and interesting Manette neighborhood and shops to browse.

When Port Orchard/South Kitsap gets their walking cycling pathways, they will be a splendid place to cycle and visitors can cross by the little ferry or around through Gorst.

The following photographs were taken by Chuck O’Hara (he is the nice guy who helps me out) at the recent Health and Safety Fair when he took two recumbent trikes down to the West Sound Cycling Club booth for a few hours to show n tells.

West Sound Cycling at the Bremerton Navy Health and Safety Fair.

More later… Sharon O’Hara


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About This Blog

This is a patient to patient blog to exchange information and resources...from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) to Arthritis to Cellulites to Sarcoidosis to Sleep Apnea to RLS to Psoriasis to Support Groups to Caregivers and all points in between. Written by Sharon O'Hara.

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