"Flesh-eating bacteria were eating her alive"

Looking down at her belly Sandy Wilson after giving birth to her son, she was stunned to see her intestines covered by layers of plastic. She was confused, in a drugged fog and thinking she would not survive this or am I in a movie?
No horror movie could compare to the horror and pain she was to endure from flesh-eating bacteria that were eating her alive.
“When I looked down at my belly, basically all the skin was gone and I could see my internal organs,” she said. “I remember seeing my intestines. I thought, ‘There’s no way I can live like this … This is a death sentence.'”

Being a nurse, she knew what was wrong with her body, she had gotten drug-resistant superbugs Streptococcal Necrotizing Fasciitis commonly called the “flesh-eating” bacteria that produced toxins and cause nightmarish infections  It attacts those compromised or weak immune systems. It kills 20 percent of its victims and horribly disfigures others.

With only one way to rid the body of its decaying parts, doctors cut away dead tissue, but the infection often spreads over much of thee body inside and out. It ate Wilson’s spleen gall bladder, appendix, part of her stomach, her intestines, and her marriage over the next five year. That was the bad news.

The good news
A tribute to her positive attitude, indominable spirit,

determination to live to raise her son, help others, a loving family

and compassionate skilled medical support.

Over five years, she had countless surgeries, including an unusual organ transplant. For much of that time, she lived in hospitals and rehabilitation centers, fed by tubes and unable to give her young son a bath, to read him a bedtime story, to tuck him in at night. She lost her marriage and endured unimaginable pain.

She spend so much time in the hospital for years after her baby was born that She feared her baby was dead. Her family brought him to see her through a window, but she accused them of borrowing a baby from the hospital. They took pictures of Christopher at home with newspapers showing the current date, like kidnappers do to prove a captive is alive. She remained unconvinced, and would not cooperate with her medical care.
Finally, when he was several months old, they put her in isolation gowns and brought him to a conference room. A tiny arm poked out of his blanket.
“I have a freckle on my right arm and he has one on his left in the same spot. I remembered that,” Wilson said. “That’s when I thought, ‘OK, he’s here, he’s real. I’ve got to get back home to him, to get better now.'”

“It was so incredibly hard,” Wilson said. “I wanted to feed him and bathe him and clothe him, and walk him when he cried. I worked in the pediatric emergency room for 11 years. I had waited all my life to do this for my own child, to take care of him, and I couldn’t.”

Her son Christopher’s first birthday party was in the rehab hospital. For his second, Wilson was in a medically induced coma and didn’t even see him. The little boy took it all in stride and never seemed afraid, said Lori Walden-Vetters, another nurse and family friend.

The little boy would color pictures on the wipeable patient information board in her room, and nurses made her a mobile of family photos. She said nightly prayers with her parents, but worried sometimes about the looks on their faces and those of the staff.

Natural Medicine therapies help  her live a full life again.
When her pain and separation from her son and family became too much, she was comfort and inspired from Reiki, acupuncture and guided visual imagery integrated medicine therapies that allowed her self confidence, peace and sense of control over her destiny and health to grow anew.

One more major surgery would arrive to challenge her health came in December 2006, when she had to have her small bowel and large intestine transplant. A month later, she had an appetite for the first time in years and devoured her first meal of lasagna, zucchini, salad and cake. That was a big mistake, her stomach energy was not up to processing so much foos suddenly and complained. “It was amazing to actually be able to chew something and to have different flavors in your mouth.”

Struggling progressing one small step at a time she has returned to a normal life.

“You’ve got to look at one small piece: OK, I walked two more feet today. What am I going to do tomorrow?” Wilson said.

Her abdomen looks like a patchwork quilt. Her son loves to throw his arms around it. A big Star Wars fan he challenges her to Star Wars light saber duels. He begs her to take him to his favorite park, where she threw the ultimate Star Wars-themed party for his fifth birthday in April.
She spends as much time as possible with her son and family at home, but her desire to serve has returned along with her health, she plans to return to work at the hospital where she had worked before her own Star War’s recovery became the movie to live and triumph.

How do her doctors and other cohorts fell about her return?

“I think that’s great,” said Scalea, the top surgeon at Shock Trauma.

Wilson plans to take refresher courses this fall so she can return to work, and managers at the University of Maryland “have offered to help me get back to whatever I want to do,” she said.
“I would like to be able to help someone else who has gone through this.”

“Thanks AP and Yahoo News for sharing this inspiring story of human will to live and People Helping People.”

Resources
Excerpts
courtesy of   http://yhoo.it/avf0tY
Infection info: http://bit.ly/bwnW62
For support and to donate: http://www.nnff.org

Image courtesy of      http://bit.ly/9t3dr2

“Ashwagandha helps calm nerves and improve brain funtioning”

Ashwaganda, also known as Indian Ginseng, has been used for centuries for anxiety, cognitive and neurological disorders and inflammation. It is high in antioxidants.Ashwaganda is also used therapeutically for patients with nervous exhaustion, and debility due to stress. It is also used as an immune stimulant as it has been shown to prevent brain cell degeneration from chronic stress.
For centuries, Indian and African medicine have used it an anti-inflammatory, for fever relief, and against infectious disease. Many believe ashwagandha to be effective in stimulating the immune system. It also appears to inhibit swelling and aid memory and can act as a general health tonic.

A study done in 1991 at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Health Science Center indicated that extracts of ashwagandha had GABA-like activity. This may account for this herb’s anti-anxiety effects.
Ashwagandha is used in India to treat mental deficits in geriatric patients, including amnesia. Researchers from the University of Leipzig in Germany wanted to find out which neurotransmitters were influenced by ashwagandha. After injecting some of the chemicals in ashwagandha into rats, they later examined slices of their brain and found an increase in acetylcholine receptor activity. The researchers say, The drug-induced increase in acetylcholine receptor capacity might partly explain the cognition-enhancing and memory-improving effects of extracts from Withania somnifera [ashwagandha] observed in animals and humans.

A 2002 laboratory study indicated that ashwagandha stimulates the growth of axons and dendrites. A 2001 animal study showed ashwagandha had memory boosting ability. A 2000 study with rodents showed ashwagandha to have anti-anxiety and anti-depression effects. However, no clinical studies have been carried out to support its efficacy in humans.

Part of the Solanaceae or nightshade family as the tomato, Ashwaganda grows as a stout shrub that reaches a height of 170 cm (5.6 ft). Like the tomato which belongs to the same family, it bears yellow flowers and yellow-Orange to red Berry type fruit, though its fruit is berry-like in size and shape. It grows prolifically in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
In Ayurveda, ashwagandha extract is considered an adaptogen or a substance that helps to normalize physiological function of the body and mind. In Ayurveda, the fresh roots are sometimes boiled in milk, prior to drying, in order to leach out undesirable constituents. The berries are used as a substitute for rennet, to coagulate milk in cheese making.
It has sedating properties, but it has been also used for sexual vitality and as an adaptogen. Some herbalists refer to ashwagandha as Indian ginseng, since it is used in ayurvedic medicine in a way similar to that ginseng is used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Seven American and four Japanese firms have filed for grant of patents on formulations containing extracts of the herb Ashwagandha.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/a1xUVK

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/ayZLer

Image courtesy of   http://bit.ly/dkJ3Zi

"Remyelination of the spinal cord after injury may be a step closer"

Brain and spinal cord injuries may soon have a new treatment process that is natural and based on the individual’s own stem cells. Oligodendrocyte, precursor cells (OPCs), are  a type of cell found in the brain and nervous system that forms the coating around the nerve cells. These cells are formed during embryo formation in the ventricular zone of the neural tube (embryonic spinal cord), and the cells migrate outwards along the circumference of the tube, and then along its length. During this migration, OPCs actively seek axons around which they can wrap

their processes once they have differentiated into oligodendrocytes. Myelination, the process by which oligodendrocytes wrap their processes around nerve fibers, begins towards the end of embryonic development, and continues post-natally coating around the nerve cells.

These cells are formed during embryo formation in the ventricular zone of the neural tube (embryonic spinal cord), and the cells migrate outwards along the circumference of the tube, and then along its length. During this migration, OPCs actively seek axons around which they can wrap their processes once they have differentiated into oligodendrocytes. Myelination, the process by which oligodendrocytes wrap their processes around nerve fibers, begins towards the end of embryonic development, and continues postnatally.


Throughout their migration, these cells extend and retract filopodia-like processes to obtain cues from their surroundings. Upon coming into contact with neighboring OPCs. These hair or cilia like projections are withdrawn and then extended in the opposite direction. This seems to be a mutual repulsion mechanism which ensures that OPCs are evenly distributed along the length of the axons they will myelinate (coat). An axon is a long, slender extension of a nerve cell, or neuron, that conducts electrical impulses away from the neuron’s cell body

Oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) comprise 5% of the cells in the adult brain, where they are the most proliferative cell present. They can generate both neurons and glial cells, making them an important stem cell population in the adult brain.
The bottom line is that this animal model with the injection of  hESC-OPCs cells has demonstrated that remyelination of the cervical injury site and the restoration of movement to the  limbs of these animals may help restore function in spinal cord injuries victims in the future.
Resources

Excerpts courtesy of    http://bit.ly/ctDR8x
Excerpts courtesy of    http://bit.ly/cNOulI
Image of myelination process courtesy of  http://bit.ly/c8wmkH
Image of neuron courtesy of  http://bit.ly/BECvB

"Benedryl and its’ cousins maybe bad mojo for long term users"

“Researchers … conducted a six-year observational study, evaluating 1,652 Indianapolis area African-Americans over the age of 70 who had normal cognitive function when the study began … ‘[Taking one anticholinergic significantly increased an individual’s risk of developing mild cognitive impairment and taking two of these drugs doubled this risk.'” Reported in Physorg.org.

Why were elderly people allowed to take part in this study?  It disappoints and angers me.

Over the counter (OTC) drugs like Benadryl (or Dimedrol in other countries), Dramamine, Excedrin PM, Nytol, Sominex, Tylenol PM, Midol PM and Advil PM and some Unisom products if used regularly can cause decreased brain function in those over 70 years of age.  Other anticholinergic prescription drugs, such as Paxil, Detrol, Demerol and Elavil are are made with the same antihistamine Diphenhydramine like their OTC cousins.

How do these drugs work?

These drugs, called anticholinergics, block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter. The body uses neurotransmitters to speed or slow the transmission of nerve signals throughout the brain and nervous system.

Despite Benedryl being one of the oldest antihistamines on the market it is more effective than even some of the latest prescription drugs. Consequently, it is frequently used when an allergic reaction requires fast, effective reversal of the often dangerous effects of a massive histamine release. Its active ingredient Diphenhydramine works by blocking the effect of histamine at H1 receptor sites. This results in effects such as the increase of vascular smooth muscle contraction, thus reducing the redness, hyperthermia and edema that occurs during an inflammatory reaction. In addition, by blocking the H1 receptor on peripheral nociceptors (pain receptors), diphenhydramine decreases their sensitization and thus reduces itching from an allergic reaction.

The effects of Diphenhydramine the active ingredient in many antihistamine compounds include:

  • Mouth/throat – dryness
  • Endocrine – change in appetite
  • Heart – increased heart rate (tachycardia or hypertension)
  • Liver – toxicity in very large doses
  • Brain/Memory/Nervous System –  profound drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, short-term memory loss, hallucinations, dizziness, irritability, delirium, motor impairment (ataxia), restlessness, restless leg syndrome, clouded thinking, difficult mood changes, twitching may be delayed until the drowsiness begins to cease, confusion
  • Vision-visual disturbances, abnormal sensitivity to bright light (photophobia), pupil dilation,  blurred vision at nearpoint owing to lack of accommodation (cycloplegia),  redness, dryness and yellowing of eyes
  • Respiration– irregular breathing, decreased respiration
  • Skin – itchy skin, decreased body temperature (generally in the hands and/or feet), flushing
  • Bladder/Bowel function – urinary retention, constipation, nausea, vaginal dryness,
  • Sexual -erectile dysfunction, excitability, decreased libido
  • Atypical sensations – sense of heaviness, hearing imbalances

References

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/cmMLF7

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/BpDrf

Image courtesy of      http://bit.ly/csdX5Y

"To be or not to be stressed out of it-that is the question"

“Fight or flight”, to be stress or not produces in the body a hormonal response (cortisol and other stress hormones), are released within the body, slowing down or halting tissue repair, reproduction, growth and the effectiveness of theimmune system. A decrease in digestive functions of the stomach, intestines and pancreas also occurs.

Anxious feelings initially appear as our entire being prepares to physically either flee or fight . . .but if these anxious feelings are left on, they can worsen and may eventually turn into anxiety and or depressive related conditions. If these stress hormones continue to be released and are not turned off, they most likely will cause adverse physical symptoms, as well, which can lead to chronic physical and emotional distress. Because our stress and social situations have evolved so we cannot “Flee or Fight,” we find ourselves in a state where we “Freeze.” In this state we continue to produce the stress hormones, and often find ourselves not knowing how to respond for fear of losing a job, upsetting a spouse etc., or we may “overreact” with a behavior that does not have much thought to it, often compounding work-related/family or social problems or interactions.

If “fight or flight” response  is left on, these stress hormones released within the body, slow down or stop tissue repair, reproduction, growth and decrease the effectiveness of the immune system. A drop in digestive functions of the stomach, intestines and pancreas will take place.

Stress hormones such as cortisol, GH and norepinephrine are released at periods of high stress. The hormone regulating system is known as the endocrine system. Cortisol is believed to affect the metabolic system and norepinephrine is believed to play a role in ADHD as well as depression and hypertension.

Stress hormones also rise in the body during  surgery, during grief, poor sleep, and even when a person receives exceptionally good and exciting news. The hormones can stay elevated for 72 hours and then return to their normal level.

Prolonged and protracted stress can create anxiety, depression, hyper-vigilance in a variety of ways. The body was never designed to maintain high prolonged periods of stress. It can bring on physical and emotional pain and disease.

There are many integrated/complementary medicine has many ways to address physical and emotional stress successfully. Natural medicine is not used to just address symptoms, but to use the symptoms to create opportunities for the individual to de-stress, address the challenges of their life and heal.

One modality that is used homeopathy. Homeopathy is a system of medicine that listens to the person’s story, carefully assess the effects of the person’s responses to the stresses in their life and chooses a remedy to fit the person.

Each person is unique and responds to a crisis in a different way so there would be  no reason to give the same remedy to each person.

An example: A family has suddenly lost their only son.

  1. Father may refuse to talk about it and be emotionally unsupportive of other family members.
  2. Mother may cry around the clock at the about of their lost son.
  3. Grandmother may put on a strong face in front of everyone, but cry only when she is alone in her room.

All are grieving, but all need different homeopathic medicines to bring them back to a calmer more relaxed  state of effective being. The medicines do not block or suppress grieving, but allow the person to breathe more freely and express themselves so the healing can begin and their mind and body will not stuff feelings away to make them sick later.

Submitted by M.Wolken, PhD Healthy Living Center

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/cqmwbt

Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/bjZYS3

Image courtesy of   http://bit.ly/cpoDV1

"TM -one way to concentrate and sleep better"

Josh Goulding was diagnosed with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in second grade, after his impulsive and disruptive behavior frequently landed him in the school principal’s office. “Over several years, I was put on a whole gamut of drugs, and nothing worked well,” says Goulding, now 24. By his second year at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, Goulding was still struggling to concentrate in classes and complete his work, and his medications were causing mood swings and irritability.

The Conventional Rx: Stimulant drugs, such as Ritalin and Adderall. Almost 4.5 million children between ages 4 and 17 are diagnosed with ADHD, and nearly half of them take prescription medications, often for years. Long term, these drugs may be physically and psychologically harmful, and side effects such as sleep disturbances, poor appetite, weight loss, and mood disorders can require further medication.

The Alternative Rx: Transcendental Meditation (TM). In the first study on ADHD and TM, middle-school-age children who did twice daily nonreligious meditations for 10 minutes reduced their stress levels by over 50 percent–resulting in fewer ADHD symptoms. “TM helps children focus on a special mantra or sound, which helps the child transcend mental busyness and stress,” says Sarina Grosswald, EdD, coauthor of the study. “This allows the child’s body to completely relax and his mind to stay fully awake without effort. The results are improved behavior, grades, creativity, and inner stability.”

Success As a result of Goulding learned TM techniques of relaxing and concentration:

his sleep improved

better ability to focus his attention

ability to communicate with others more effectively inproved

GPA (grades) improved.

blood pressure was lower

no longer needed ADHD medications

Shared courtesy of    http://bit.ly/fU19R