My Latest Adventures — Part One

Just one more step in my multi-year journey. 🙂

You may have noticed that we have not posted in a couple of weeks. Read on to see why.

Life sure takes many interesting twists and turns. Today, we first re-introduce the purpose of this blog. Then, we look at my latest adventures — part one. Thursday, is part two.

Why This Blog?

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if that light is not as bright as before. And sometimes, we have to fight to see that light. I am NOT a medical professional. I am not alone in my battle with cancer. This is one person’s journey, both the ups and downs – with the strong determination to have the best life possible for as long as possible.

I am a pancreatic cancer survivor. I underwent an 8-½ hour Whipple surgery to remove the cancer. I had a lot of problems during chemo. As a diabetic, I passed out from low blood sugar a few days after finishing chemo. As a result, I had to miss my daughter’s bridal shower. And I had to have cement pumped into my back. I have a lot of other stuff going on. But enough of that. I am NOT complaining. I just want you to see where I have been – and where I still am going.

With this blog, I want to offer hope and support to those dealing with any terrible disease and their families. Why? To quote the late NY Yankee star Lou Gehrig when he was honored at Yankee Stadium while dying from ALS: “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

My Latest Adventures — Part One

For quite awhile, I  had two arthritic knees, with one much worse than the other. Over the years, I had two arthroscopies on my left knee — along with both steroid and gel shots. After my Whipple surgery in 2015, I told myself that I never again wanted to have surgery that required an extended recovery and rehab process. So, I swore off having knee replacement surgery.

Well, as it is said, the “best-laid plans …” In early 2019, I had to give up walking as an exercise. It was just too painful. Everyone in my family yelled for me to have the surgery. However, I just wasn’t ready psychologically. BUT, by October I was ready. It was just too painful to walk at all. I knew I couldn’t go through life like that.

In November 2019, I sought a second opinion with Dr. Fred Cushner of the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). It is rated number one in orthopedics. Dr. Cushner concurred that I needed the knee replacement. And I decided to have him do it. Before the appointment, I had done my due diligence through online research. He is impressive on paper — and in person.

On Friday January 3, 2020, I had my surgery. They had me using a walker that same day. The next day, they taught me how to use stairs. On Monday, January 6, 2020, I was discharged directly to my home, which has a lot of steps to get to our bedroom.

I decided to use  a revolutionary new technique for the in-home part of the physical therapy. HSS offers a free one-on-one video conferencing app. What is it? On my iPad, I downloaded the software that enabled me to securely interact with a HSS physical therapist who works directly with Dr. Cushner’s team.  To you skeptics out there, I say it really worked for me. Lauren Smith, my PT specialist, could watch me walk, zoom on parts of my leg, and communicate any issues with Dr. C’s team. In my case, this tipped off Dr. C. to my need to have several blisters lanced by him. If I was using an in-home PT specialist, he/she would probably just send me to the emergency room — where the professionals have less experience with this sort of thing.

On Monday January 20 (17 days post-surgery), I started intensive outpatient physical therapy.  By Friday, which was just my third visit, they had me riding a bike and walking a treadmill for six minutes each, using a sitting stepper machine for 5 minutes, and doing various twists on a tilting machine. Wow. Who would have thought this possible? AND, I am only using a cane now!!

Look at the HSS site for knee replacement by clicking the image below. And learn a lot about topics related to knee replacement and the options. A very informative discussion.

 

My Latest Adventures -- Part One
 

Enjoy July 4 SAFELY

Be smart this Independence Day.

Happy birthday America. Have fun. But safely enjoy your 4th of July.
 

Be Happy

We show the following representative visuals in honor of the 4th of July, 2019.

Safely Enjoy Your 4th of July

http://www.happy4thofjulyus.com 

Safely Enjoy Your 4th of July

https://theusindependence.com/happy-4th-of-july-messages/

Safely Enjoy Your 4th of July

From https://fourth-ofjuly.com/

Safely Enjoy Your 4th of July

https://upserve.com/restaurant-insider/4th-of-july-promotions/

Be Safe

As healthycholdren.org notes:Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks. Including devastating burns, other injuries, fires, and even death. Thus, the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks represents a group of health and safety organizations. In its efforts, it urges the public to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and to only enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.”

Safely Enjoy Your 4th of July

Safely Enjoy Your 4th of July

https://www.in211.org

According to Found Animals: “Pet safety doesn’t have to be a hassle on a holiday. Check out our infographic below for five quick and easy 4th of July safety tips. Just click to enlarge!”

 

Breathing Matters — Air Quality Must Be Better

American Lung Association’s 2019 state of the air report.

No matter how hard we try to live well, and to be healthy, the quality of the air we breathe is pretty much beyond our individual control. But, we need to know more.

The American Lung Association annually publishes research on the State of the Air. These are among the air-related resources of the Association. Click the links for further information:

    • Key Findings. “More than four in 10 people live where pollution levels are too often dangerous to breathe.”
    • City Rankings. “Which cities have the highest levels of air pollution? Which are the cleanest? Check out the lists here.”
    • Health Risks. “Ozone and particle pollution are the most widespread pollutants — and among the most dangerous.”
    • For the Media. “Journalists can access press releases, experts available for interview, b-roll, the full ‘State of the Air’ report, and more.”
    • Join Our Fight. “The American Lung Association fights to clean up the air we breathe. We fight because dirty air harms our health and can threaten life itself. Would you join us in the fight for air?”
    • Shared Stories. “We all have a reason to fight for clean air. People just like you have shared some personal stories that highlight the need for healthy, safe air. Read the stories they have shared or share your own.”

Click the image below to access the full 2019 167-page report.

Breathing Matters -- Air Quality Must Be Better
 

AI and Medical Innovation

Informative discussion and video

As we noted yesterday, artificial intelligence (AI) is entering the medical diagnosis field in a big way. Now, let’s look further.

Recently, Garbuio and Lin published an article in California Management Review, “Artificial Intelligence as a Growth Engine for Health Care Startups”:

“The future of health care may change dramatically as entrepreneurs offer solutions that change how we prevent, diagnose, and cure health conditions, using artificial intelligence (AI). This article provides a timely and critical analysis of AI-driven health care startups and identifies emerging business model archetypes that entrepreneurs from around the world are using to bring AI solutions to the marketplace. It identifies areas of value creation for the application of AI in health care and proposes an approach to designing business models for AI health care startups.”

Learn more from this YouTube video.

 

Be Healthy By Exercising

Simple exercising hints.

As we have noted before, exercising is a great way to improve our health. For example, see: Staying Fit and Living Longer. Increase Your Energy When You’re Too Tired to Workout. Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Role Model for Those with Major Illnesses. Today, let’s look at another valuable infographic.

It is from Kaiser Permanente.

Be Healthy By Exercising