Posts tagged with: Medication

16th annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections

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The 2009 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections just wrapped up, and I’ve been on their site checking out the updates, articles and interviews and listening to the podcasts.

I really enjoyed reading the interview with David Bangsberg, a physician with his MPH who is working on a study seeing whether the same type of adherence was needed after 12 months of continual therapy on antiviral medications.

His study team hypothesized “that the level of adherence required to sustain viral suppression would decline with time, possibly because the reservoir of latently infected cells declines with suppression,” he may have been proven correct.

I’m sending you over to the actual interview to read more about viral suppression and see what the results are showing!

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New Year’s Resolutions, I

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In 2004, a friend and I had the crazy idea to make a list of 104 New Years resolutions. Whether tiny or huge, we had to make a list of 104 things we wanted to accomplish in the following 365 days. By the end of the year, there were 14 I hadn’t accomplished. In 2005 we upped the ante to 105 things, and did the same for 2006 and 2007. I was in no place to make a list of 108 things at the end of 2007 (thank you severe depression) and so I made a list of ten. I don’t think I accomplished even five of them. That’s okay, a new year is about to begin. I am going back to the original idea and I’m inviting you to do the same.

Tomorrow I will start listing and sharing my 109 resolutions. They are already posted here at the 109 in 2009 Ning community I created, but I will go into more detail here on this blog on why I want to do them and how I plan on doing them.

If you want, start making your list now and join in on the adventure that 2009 will be!

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10 Myths of Chronic Pain

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Dawn Ashley

continued from yesterday

Chronic pain myth #6: Patients with chronic pain don’t want to get better because they benefit from their pain.

Chronic pain fact #6: Most people don’t like to hurt. Research shows that very rarely do people exaggerate their pain levels. The benefits (financial compensation or assistance) are often small and not “worth” it.

Chronic pain myth #7: You can ignore chronic pain; it will go away.

Chronic pain fact #7: Ignoring pain does not make it go away and can cause it to increase.

Chronic pain myth #8: Pushing yourself to do things will help you overcome your pain.

Chronic pain fact #8: Chronic pain patients need to know their limits, pace themselves and not push themselves too far. I know that when I push myself, I end up hurting worse than before.

Chronic pain myth #9: If you look young and well, you are.

Chronic pain fact #9: Patients with chronic pain often do as much as they can. Chronic pain is an invisible illness and there are sometimes no outward signs of pain. Just because I look like I’m feeling fine doesn’t mean that; I’m good at hiding my aches.

Chronic pain myth #10: You just “have to live with it” when it comes to chronic pain.

Chronic pain fact #10: There is no need for anyone to live with unbearable pain. There may not be cures available, but there are treatments for most patients. Pain management specialists exist for patients in need. Patients should seek these specialists and find a physician they are comfortable being completely honest with for all of their symptoms.

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10 Myths of Chronic Pain

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After yesterday’s post about the late Carla Anna, I felt the need to continue sharing about chronic pain.

Chronic pain is diagnosed over time and is normally considered chronic after a patient experiences the discomfort for more than six months. Pain can be diagnosed by neurological exams, nerve tests and diagnostic testing.

Chronic pain myth #1: If the doctor doesn’t find a medical diagnosis it’s all “in their head.”

Chronic pain fact #1: Chronic pain is not “in your head” (you can however have chronic head pain). Chronic pain is a legitimate and treatable medical condition that can be “maintained” by a combo of neurological, psychological and physical patterns.

Chronic pain myth #2: Only weak people seek treatment or complain about their pain.

Chronic pain fact #2: Seeking treatment has nothing to do with being weak or needy. For me, personally, I don’t want to be a burden to my physicians so seeking care for me is an act of strength.

Chronic pain myth #3: Medications for chronic pain (narcotics are often used) lead patients to become addicts.

Chronic pain fact #3: Narcotics aren’t the treatment option for patients with chronic pain. Physical dependence does occur but the majority of patients do not become addicted.

Chronic pain myth #4: Medications used for chronic pain turn people into “zombies.”

Chronic pain fact #4: The side effects of many narcotic pain killers are tolerable, treatable and can fade with time.

Chronic pain myth #5: Medications used for chronic pain need to be continually increased to treat pain due to tolerance.

Chronic pain fact #5: Increases in doses normally occur because of increases in physical (or psychological) pain status.

… to be continued …

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Panic & Anxiety

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http://techzoogle.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/panic%20button.jpgFor a few weeks, on Thoughtful Thursdays, I’m going to address anxiety and panic, and the disorders that accompany them.  I don’t believe that the conditions are becoming more common, but I do believe the diagnoses are becoming more readily assigned to those seeking help. Both are being diagnosed more and more often and myths surrounding the conditions that I’d like to set some things straight.

First: Anxiety is different than fear.

When you are afraid, your fearfulness is directed towards an outside entity or situation. When you are anxious the focus is more than likely internal instead. It seems to be a response to something distant, even vague and quite possibly unknown. Anxiety affects your whole being causing a psychological, behavioral & physiological reaction. Rather than leaving all anxiety treatment up to medication, a patient must be willing to address all three aspects of the anxiety:

  1. Change how you talk to yourself. This “self-talk” can disrupt your entire life,
  2. Reduce the way your body physiologically reacts to anxiety, and
  3. Stop avoiding the anxiety-causing situations.

We’ll address these at a later date, but for now I’d like to go back to the issue at hand; anxiety.

Second: Panic attacks are real. There are many different levels of anxiety, from a smidgen of worry to full-blown panic attacks. Panic attacks may bring about certain reactions in particular situations.

If you encounter a situation which induces these feelings, on more than one occasion, you should address your primary care physician. Next week we’ll spend some time dissecting general panic disorder in comparison to panic attacks. Stick around for some more fun!

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