Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pressure Ulceration

Back in the summer of 2003, my wife noticed a skin abnormality on my backside. I thought nothing of it and kept on working. After a month or so passed and it was a bit worse, my wife called for some nursing care. They came over two times per week and dressed it. I felt no pain and because I could not see it, I blew the whole thing off. BIG MISTAKE. Well, the wound continued to get worse. Both my wife and my nurse were totally grossed out. I began to get nervous.

We tried putting a vacuum pump type device on it to remove any fluid and dead tissue. It worked very well at first. One day, the only thing being removed was a Black Fluid. It was pretty disgusting. My nurse got very nervous and sent us to a plastic surgeon. He took one look and told me that surgery was necessary. He wanted to do a Flap Job. That is a type of skin graft where they take a High Tech Meat Slicer and remove a portion of skin from a nearby healthy part of your body leaving a piece attached. They then flap the detached portion of the skin over to the wound, place it in the wound and seal me up. The portion that was left attached was to allow for blood flow into the wound. I am not a doctor. That is my best explanation

The surgery went very well and all of the people in the hospital told me how nice my backside was. What can I say? However, after the surgery and for the next three years, I continued to have small-scale skin eruptions, mostly because I dropped a lot of weight in the hospital. I stopped eating because the hospital food was incredibly bad. Just Raisin Bran and Italian Ice. The last wound healed exactly 631 days ago. Not a day goes by where I am not worried.

How did this happen? To start off, I am a wheelchair user and can not adjust my position. Secondly, and most importantly I sit at my desk all day working. At the time, I was using a terrible cushion to sit on. I did that because I needed to be lower relative to my desk. Why did everything happen ? Well, I have always been very aggressive at my job. I take it very seriously. I lean forward on my desk to type on my computer, take notes and speak on my telephone.. When you lean forward like that, pressure occurs between the skin on your backside and the ischial (sp) bone. Constant pressure with no movement or blood flow in the tissue essentially kills it. The skin rips open and you have a problem. Now, I do not lean on my desk , use Dragon Naturally Speaking and things i are quite stable . This is as simple and laymen like as I could put it.

Below is a description for you:

Pressure Ulcers(Pressure sores; Bedsores; Decubitus Ulcers; Decubiti)

The Merck Manual Minute

Pressure ulcers are areas of necrosis and ulceration where tissues are compressed between bony prominences and hard surfaces; they result from pressure alone or pressure in combination with friction, shearing forces, or both. Risk factors include old age, impaired circulation, immobilization, malnourishment, and incontinence. Severity ranges from nonblanchable skin erythema to full-thickness skin loss with extensive soft-tissue necrosis. Diagnosis is clinical. Treatment includes pressure reduction, avoidance of friction and shearing forces, local care, and sometimes skin grafts or myocutaneous flaps. Prognosis is excellent for early-stage ulcers; neglected and late-stage ulcers pose risk of serious infection and nutritional stress and are difficult to heal.


An estimated 1.3 to 3 million patients in the US have pressure ulcers (PUs); incidence is highest in older patients, especially those who are hospitalized or in long-term care facilities. Aging increases risk, in part because of reduced subcutaneous fat and decreased capillary blood flow. Immobility and comorbidities increase risk further.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bee Venom Therapy -- Apitherapy

For approximately 3 years I experimented with Bee Venom Therapy. It is also known as Bee Sting Therapy or Bee Acupuncture. My wife would take a bee in a tweezers, placed it up to the point on my body designated for a sting and the Bee would pretty much do the rest. Over the three years, I was stinging myself 3-4 times per week up to 60-100 times per session. Stings on the legs, feet, stomach, arms and back were not very painful. However, stings on the neck, head and ears were very often Off the Charts. Stings were administered on "hotspots " (places that were a little bit sensitive than others -- I can't really explain it) or acupuncture points . My expectations were extremely high and this therapy did not cure me. I also took bee products such as propolis, bee pollen, honey and royal jelly. Each has great medicinal properties and they are totally natural. Bees are an amazing creature that you should read about and not fear. Below are some details about Bee Venom Therapy. Please read on with a very open mind. Good Luck

by Mihály Simics

Bee venom therapy is the part of apitherapy which utilizes bee venom in the treatment of health conditions. Apitherapy is the use of beehive products, including honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, bee venom. It has been used since ancient times to treat arthritis, rheumatism, back pain, skin diseases and in this modern age as an alternative therapy to treat multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease and chronic fatigue syndrome. Bee venom comes from the stingers of honey bees who use it in defense of the bee colony.

Bee venom is a rich source of enzymes, peptides and biogenic amines. There are at least 18 active components in the venom which have some pharmaceutical properties. The effect mechanism of the venom is not entirely know yet. Scientists believe it can modify the way the immune system functions in the body and contribute to increased cortisol production.

Traditionally, bee venom was administered with live bees by stimulating them to sting in the affected area, trigger points or acupuncture points. Depending on the nature of the disease, the standardized venom can be used in a cream, liniment, ointment or injection form. Bee venom is most effective when it comes directly from the live bee during the late spring to early fall season when bees have a good pollen source to produce potent venom. Their venom during the winter period is less potent. Next to the effect of a live bee, injectable venom solution is considered to be a standard method to administer bee venom. Venom solution is prepared from pure bee venom (Apis Venenum Purum) and is a homeopathic preparation. It is administered intradermally just between the skin layers or subcutaneously under the skin to imitate the effect of a bee sting. Each injection is equivalent to or is less than the average dry venom sac content of a honey bee. Bee venom is also used topically in creams, liniments and ointments. The application of venom solution with electrophoresis or ultrasonophoresis is practiced in Europe and China.

Bee venom therapy is practiced by health practitioners and lay apitherapists. There are treatment protocols available to follow. In general, the therapy starts with the determination of whether the patient is allergic to the venom by administering a small amount of venom intradermally. If no allergic reaction develops within a certain time, the therapy is continued with the administration of one to two bee stings or injections. The therapy is carried out every other day (three times a week) by gradually increasing the number of bee stings or injections. The length of the therapy is determined by the nature and severity of the condition.

There is discomfort associated with the administration of bee venom including pain, itching, swelling, inflammation and redness. Symptoms like redness, swelling and itching are desired effects of the therapy showing the response of the patient to the venom. The more severe the reaction, but not anaphylaxis, the faster the recovery. Anaphylactic reactions which can be life threatening are also reported from bee venom, but they are rare.

The literature of bee venom therapy is very extensive and lists over 2,000 titles. There are basic guidelines of the therapy which need to be followed. The education on the part of the patient and the therapist is critical and the obtained result is proportional to the knowledge and experience of the administrator of the venom.

Bee venom therapy is an alternative form of healing. In the hands of a licensed practitioner, it is considered to be safe and can be used when the patient does not respond to conventional treatment methods.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I did Hippotherapy for approximately 3 years. It was a wonderful experience. I had to give it up because my arms were just getting too weak and my balance was not getting better. There was a period of considerable improvement. MS just doesn't care. Below is a link to the American Equestrian/Hippotherapy Society website and also there are some details for you to read below. It was great to be around horses and very positive people.


What is Hippotherapy?

Hippotherapy is a treatment that uses the multidimensional movement of the horse; from the Greek word "hippos" which means horse. Specially trained physical, occupational and speech therapists use this medical treatment for clients who have movement dysfunction. Historically, the therapeutic benefits of the horse were recognized as early as 460 BC. The use of the horse as therapy evolved throughout Europe, the United States and Canada.

Hippotherapy uses activities on the horse that are meaningful to the client. Treatment takes place in a controlled environment where graded sensory input can elicit appropriate adaptive responses from the client. Specific riding skills are not taught (as in therapeutic riding), but rather a foundation is established to improve neurological function and sensory processing. This foundation can then be generalized to a wide range of daily activities.

Why the Horse?

The horse's walk provides sensory input through movement which is variable, rhythmic and repetitive. The resultant movement responses in the client are similar to human movement patterns of the pelvis while walking. The variability of the horse's gait enables the therapist to grade the degree of sensory input to the client, then use this movement in combination with other clinical treatments to achieve desired results. Clients respond enthusiastically to this enjoyable learning experience in a natural setting.

Physically, hippotherapy can improve balance, posture, mobility and function. Hippotherapy may also affect psychological, cognitive, behavioral and communication functions for clients of all ages. Clients who may benefit from hippotherapy can have a variety of diagnoses: examples include Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Developmental Delay, Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, Autism and Learning or Language Disabilities. However, hippotherapy is not for every client. Each potential client must be evaluated on an individual basis by specially trained health professionals.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Myofascial Body Therapy

Myofascial Body Therapy is a type of massage. I have a session every two weeks . I have found it to be quite helpful . Not moving much causes the fascia to become hardened
and movement will be restricted more than it already is. I have included a link to some further information on it . I have been getting this type of massage every other week for the past 2 years . I hope you find this interesting and helpful


Below is an excerpt from the article :

Fascia is very densely woven, covering and interpenetrating every muscle, bone, nerve, artery and vein as well as all of our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. The most interesting aspect of the fascial system is that it is not just a system of separate coverings. It is actually one structure that exists from head to foot without interruption. In this way you can begin to see that each part of the entire body is connected to every other part by the fascia, like the yarn in a sweater.

Fascia also plays an important role in the support of our bodies, since it surrounds and attaches to all structures. These structures would not be able to provide the stability without the constant pull of the fascial system. In fact, our bones can be thought of as tent poles, which cannot support the structure without the constant support of the guide wires (or fascia) to keep an adequate amount of tension to allow the tent (or body) to remain upright with proper equilibrium.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Electric Stimulation

I can't really exercise right now so, we have to take steps to make exercise automatic. Exercise of any kind is not an option for me. We have an Electric Stimulation machine. It wasn't very expensive. Pads are placed on certain locations of given muscles and once the process is set in motion, my muscles receive electrical current for eight seconds and nothing for six seconds. This On/off process occurs for 12 minutes. Muscles are either flexed or extended depending on pad placement. I don't breathe hard or sweat, but the muscles are being worked. You do not have to set the machine at the highest level. Higher settings are not better. Suffering is not required. My chiropractor gave me some advice on therapy with it. I highly recommend that your physical therapist, chiropractor or doctor show you the ropes for pad placement (to ensure a healthy flexion, extension) and level setting. There is a link off on the right of this blog for a stimulation machine. Please let me know if you use an electric stimulation machine and in what way/results you get. Thanks

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Be Careful

Back in early November, I was having a acupuncture session at my house. I will write about acupuncture at a later time. While receiving that treatment, my wife was asked to provide a hot water bottle to put some heat on my back. She did. The bottle wasn't perfectly sealed close and some boiling hot water leaked onto my back. YOUCH! Not everything I said, but you get the idea . I received a second and third degree burn. The worst things seem to happen when you have a moment of carelessness. It is now nine weeks later and the third-degree portion is still not healed. It is moving forward, but not all set yet. Luckily, I have a nurse that visits me on a weekly basis. She gives me treatment advice, checks out the wound and makes fun of me a little. I can take it. Just be careful

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Funny Remembrance

Five years ago I needed an operation. Details will follow, but that's not the reason for this post. I was in the hospital for 10 days. Upon completing my time there, I was to go to rehabilitation for 2 weeks. I had to be transported from the hospital to rehab by an ambulance. Well, the ambulance people were moving through the hospital to the back door. I thought to myself, "Fresh Air! In a couple of minutes, Fresh Air!"

The moment came to open the back door and go outside to breath the fresh , cold morning air . As soon as the back door opened and I proceeded through it, I was confronted by approximately 25 hospital workers Smoking Their Brains Out. I think that brief event should go in a movie.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Voice Activated Telephone

To begin with, I have MS and have no control over my arms or legs. I am a salesperson who is busy on the telephone all day long. That is an amazingly rough mix. A friend told me about a voice activated telephone. I purchased one 6 years ago and never looked back. I am able to control this telephone and each of its features through a small paddle switch that I connect to my shirt and also with a wireless headset. I simply tap the switch with my chin and my headset prompts me with a beep. I say "Dial", it asks me for the telephone number, I tell it the number, the telephone repeats it back to me and then dials the number. I make contact with no stress . When the call is completed , I tap the switch with my chin , it beeps and I say , "Hang up " No stress. It controls every function of the telephone such as Flash and Raise/Lower Volume. This telephone is available as a standalone unit or, a version is available that can operate via your computer. Either way it's a wonderful product. A link to the company is below.


This company focuses on Voice Activated Equipment. I don't have any experience with their other products. Good luck

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Standing Frame

I use a standing frame from Easy Stand. It allows me to go from seated to standing in a smooth, safe way. It feels very good to stand and get your circulation moving better while your spine has a chance to lengthen out. I am not a doctor, but it feels great to stand. Some people work all day while standing up. I stand a couple of hours per week. I should do more. I am trying to get an Easy Stand
article for this blog.

Used Equipment

There are a number of items that are available for sale. A new friend asked me to post this link for her. If anybody is interested in some or all of the items linked to below, please let me know. Thank you very much



I use a wheelchair. That has solved a big number of issues for me. However, some new issues have been created. Just sitting in the chair all day lets gravity press down on me and the back of the chair presses against my back. All to the detriment of my lung capacity. I also cannot do aerobic exercise. The result is that my lung capacity is lessened. My voice is not as loud and strong as it once was, I cannot yell to someone and my speaking starts and stops because my Air runs
out. When I am in a loud place, people can not hear me speak. I need to wait for a break in my near constant muscle spasms to get a Big Breath.

The way I combat that is to exercise my lungs using a PowerBreathe. Three times per day with 40 of my hardest breaths used during each session. It has helped me a lot. My issues are not solved, just lessened.

Friday, January 2, 2009

TV Remote Control -- Hands Free

I have a Universal TV Remote Control that is totally hands-free (after set up). I lie down on my couch or bed, wake up the remote and tell it what channel I would like. FoodNetwork, Discovery, etc. it is a wonderful product and is rather inexpensive. The product does have some drawbacks. Because it is a low cost voice activated product, background noise can change channels automatically/accidentally. Also, sometimes it is difficult to program certain words. I have learned to live with those things and have gotten rather smart at programming some channel names. For example, HBO has several channels. I call one of them, Funny Box. Everything works just fine I included a link on the right side of this blog. Good Luck

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Swimming Pool Lift

Back when my arms were functional, I used a swimming pool lift to get in my pool. I have an in ground pool. All that was needed was to drill a hole into the deck and place cement at the bottom to prevent the lift from touching earth. The lift is then installed in the hole and a portion of it rests against the wall to the pool, (Luckily, I have helpful friends. Not a major job at all, but I could not do it). A garden hose is attached when the lift is going to be used. You do not need to turn the hose on full blast. I would transfer onto the seat, turn the crank and in seconds, I was safely in the pool Cooling Off. The manufacturer also has/had a version similar to a Hoyer lift where the person in the wheelchair has a sling placed behind him/her by a helper and the straps are connected to the lift. The crank is turned and the person is safely placed in the pool. I do not know if that version is still available. A link to the lift that I have is on the right side of this blog.

Dragon Naturally Speaking

I would like to speak about Dragon Naturally Speaking. I can not say enough good things about this program. Dragon Naturally Speaking is a software program that allows you to operate your computer with your voice. Anything that can be done with your hands can also be done with your voice using Dragon Naturally Speaking. I have been using it for six years and it has leveled the playing field. I am typing this post using Dragon Naturally Speaking right now. It is not difficult to set up and I have a friend that has a consulting company that will come to your home, set up the program and train you on it. You will get a complete understanding. He operates in the Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island areas. After receiving his permission, I will provide a link to his company. There is a link to Dragon Naturally Speaking on the right-hand side of this blog. Good luck