Tag Archives: nurses

KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY

Looking down the long hall from her office to the conference room, Elaine must have thought about the number of steps required to get there. Fifty? A hundred? Five hundred? A thousand? Even using the cane only helped a little. At least there were no stairs to climb.

And then there were the problems at home. How much longer would she be able to take her dog, Patrick, for a walk past the school playground where the children were playing hopscotch? Who would pull the weeds out of the flower garden in the front yard? How much longer could she make the beds or wash the dishes? So much of life depends on the ability to stand and walk.

Elaine’s primary care doctor referred her to an orthopedic surgeon. He recommended knee replacement surgery. He explained that nearly one million Americans undergo hip or knee replacement surgeries each year. He said the majority of these procedures were performed on patients over the age of 65. According to https://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/knee, “Osteoarthritis is the main reason why people go for knee replacement surgery. The age-related condition is very common and occurs when cartilage—the cushion between the knee and bone joints—breaks down.” Elaine fit into those demographics.

The doctor explained that patients having knee replacements are normally discharged from the hospital three days after surgery. Elaine would need to be able to use a walker before she could be discharged. Then someone would need to be with her at home 24/7 during her recovery.

The doctor told Elaine that the initial short-term recovery stage lasts four to six weeks for most patients. Nurses would need to be with her to tend to her medical needs. Therapists would come to her home to provide physical therapy. The final phase, long-term recovery, could take as long as six months.

Patients need the encouragement of family and friends throughout the whole process of knee replacement surgery. It would be easy to feel alone and to get discouraged. If someone you know is having knee replacement surgery, send a card. Call your friend or family member. Make a gift basket and deliver it. Do something to let them know you care.

If you have a friend or family member who is having knee replacement surgery and needs private duty nursing, call American Home Health at (630) 236-3501. The agency can provide round-the-clock nursing care by Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (RNs), and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). Our service area covers fifteen counties in Northern Illinois including Cook, Lake, McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, Grundy, Will, and Kankakee. American Home Health is licensed by the State of Illinois and accredited by the Joint Commission. For further information, go to our Web site, www.ahhc-1.com, or call (630) 236-3501.

—By Karen Centowski

LIVING WITH ARTHRITIS

Did you know that arthritis is the leading cause of disability among adults in the United States? In fact, according to the Arthritis Foundation, about 54 million adults have doctor diagnosed arthritis. In addition, almost 300,000 babies and children have arthritis or a rheumatic condition.

Who gets arthritis? According to the Arthritis Foundation fact sheet at https://www.arthritis.org, “Doctor-diagnosed arthritis is more common in women (26 percent) than in men (18 percent). In some types, such as rheumatoid arthritis, women far outnumber men. Almost two-thirds of adults in the U.S. with arthritis are working age (18-64 years). Arthritis and other non-traumatic joint disorders are among the five most costly conditions among adults 18 and older.”

The Arthritis Foundation fact sheet also states that “Arthritis is much more common among people who have other chronic conditions. Forty-nine percent of people with heart disease have arthritis. Forty-seven percent of adults with diabetes have arthritis. Thirty-one percent of adults who are obese have arthritis.”

Did you know that Medicare will pay for certain individuals receiving physical therapy or other services at home? There are certain criteria that must be met, including the following:

  1. A physician must prescribe home care.
  2. The patient must be homebound. Brief, intermittent trips outside the house are permitted.
  3. The care must be skilled. Medicare will pay for a nurse or therapist, but not for a home health aide.
  4. The care must be necessary and reasonable.

The Arthritis Foundation sponsors events to raise funds. Walk to Cure Arthritis, the largest arthritis gathering in the world, raised $6,652,872. The Jingle Bell Run, a festive 5K race with a USA Track & Field certified course, raised $966,602.

Bone Bash, a Halloween themed event, includes spooky decorations, costume contests, a silent auction or live auction, and entertainment including music, games, etc. Bone Bashes can range from informal concerts to elegant sit-down dinners or masquerade balls.

Other fund-raising events range from black-tie galas and tribute dinners to wine tastings and themed parties that benefit the Arthritis Foundation.

If you have a family member who needs private duty nursing, call American Home Health at (630) 236-3501. The agency can provide round-the-clock nursing care by Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). Our service area covers fifteen counties in Northern Illinois including Cook, Lake, McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, Grundy, Will, and Kankakee. American Home Health is licensed by the State of Illinois and accredited by the Joint Commission. For further information, go to www.ahhc-1.com, or call (630) 236-3501.

—By Karen Centowski

WALK FOR THE CURE

Have you ever walked ten miles in one day? How about sixty miles in three days? Was the three-day walk for breast cancer research? If so, you were probably participating in a Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure to raise money for breast cancer research and patient support programs.

The organization, originally known as The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, was founded in 1982 by Nancy Goodman Brinker in memory of her younger sister, Susan Goodman Komen. Born in Peoria, Illinois in 1943, Komen was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of thirty-three and died at thirty-six. Brinker promised her sister that she would do everything she could to end breast cancer.

In 1983, The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure was introduced. Held in Dallas, Texas, the event consisted of a series of 5K runs and fitness walks to raise money for breast cancer research. Eight hundred individuals participated. In 2008, the organization celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Race for the Cure. By 2010, there were approximately 130 races worldwide, and over 1.6 million participated in the race.

Additional funding for the organization comes from cause marketing. What is that? According to https://causegood.com, “Cause marketing is the marketing of a for-profit product or business which benefits a nonprofit charity or supports a social cause in some way.” For example, Yoplait ran the Save Lids to Save Lives program. The Susan G. Komen organization raised over $36 million a year from over 60 cause marketing partnerships.

A number of large corporations provide financial contributions to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Top organizations include American Airlines, Bank of America, Caterpillar Foundation, Ford Motor Company, General Mills, Hewlett-Packard, Mohawk Industries, New Balance, Walgreens, and Yoplait.

What started in 1982 has become a multimillion fundraising effort to end breast cancer forever. According to “Susan G. Komen for the Cure” at https://wikipedia.org/wiki, “To date, Komen has funded more than $800 million in breast cancer research.”

If you have a family member who needs private duty nursing, call American Home Health at (630) 236-3501. The agency can provide round-the-clock nursing care by Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). Our service area covers fifteen counties in Northern Illinois including Cook, Lake, McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, Grundy, Will, and Kankakee. American Home Health is licensed by the State of Illinois and accredited by the Joint Commission.

For further information, go to www.ahhc-1.com, or call (630) 236-3501.

—By Karen Centowski

RECOVERING FROM A STROKE

iStock_000009123807Mediu

Twenty-five years ago, Bill and his wife and their six children had gone to have dinner with Grandpa at his home. Seated around the kitchen table, they all enjoyed the Kentucky Fried Chicken, mashed potatoes, cole slaw, biscuits, and gravy. The room was filled with chatter and laughter. Then suddenly, something radically changed. Grandpa seemed confused. He was having trouble understanding what others were saying. It was as if he could not hear.

No one in the room recognized this as a stroke. No one knew that sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding, sudden difficulty walking, or loss of balance and coordination were all signs of a stroke. No one knew the importance of getting the stroke victim to a hospital immediately. They only knew that one minute Grandpa was fine, and at the next minute things had radically changed.

It was obvious that Grandpa could not stay in the house by himself. If he could not hear, he would not be able to talk on the telephone. He could not use the phone to call for help in an emergency. He would not be able to hear the doorbell ringing. He would not be able to speak with someone who came to the door.

The dilemma that families in this situation face is immense. Immediate family members may work or have young children at home. Some immediate family members may live hundreds or thousands of miles away. Placing the stroke victim in a nursing home is a very expensive option. The stroke victim’s family and the stroke victim himself often would prefer that the individual be able to continue to stay in his own home.

What services are available to help a stroke victim recover? Rehabilitative therapy usually begins in the hospital, often within 24 to 48 hours. When a patient is ready to be discharged, a hospital social worker will help develop a plan for continuing rehabilitation and care.

Some patients go to a skilled nursing facility when they are discharged. Others go to a setting specializing in rehabilitative therapy. Others return home directly.

Piecing together care in the home can be difficult. Family members and retired nurses and individual Certified Nursing Assistants may be able to cover the shifts, but it is a challenge to find them on your own. In addition, what happens if someone is sick or on vacation? Who takes care of paying the employees? Using an agency such as American Home Health definitely has its advantages.

Agencies such as American Home Health can provide round-the-clock nursing care by Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), or Registered Nurses (RNs). American Home Health is licensed by the State of Illinois and accredited by the Joint Commission. Our service area covers fifteen counties in Northern Illinois including Cook, Lake, McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, Grundy, Will, and Kankakee.

For further information, go to www.ahhc-1.com, or call (630) 236-3501.

—By Karen Centowski

RIDING THE YELLOW SCHOOL BUS

school bus

When Illinois schools were consolidated after World War II, over 120,000 students were enrolled in one-room schools. These students, who had attended schools within two miles of their homes, had to be transported to schools in towns and cities. The era of the yellow school bus had begun.

Students who lived in rural areas often spent significant time aboard the buses going to school and coming home from school. It was not uncommon for a child to get on a bus at 7:l5 A.M. and arrive at his grade school at 8:30 A.M. High school students then transferred to another bus and rode an additional twenty minutes to their school.

The bus was a place for studying together, for conversation, and for contemplation. For older students, the school bus was a mini-classroom in the morning. High school students would sit near each other and compare their answers for Algebra problems or Latin translations. Each student had to defend his position. Then together they would agree upon an answer.

Younger students usually sat in the same place each day. Boys full of mischief would often sit in the last seats in the bus, the seats far away from the bus driver. If students got into trouble on the bus, the driver would stop the bus, lumber down the aisle, and speak directly to the troublemaker. If the infraction was serious, the driver would tell the troublemaker to come to the front of the bus and sit in the seat directly behind the driver.

Students would often sit with the same person each day—saving a seat for their best friend or girlfriend/boyfriend. The ride home was a time to tell each other about things that had had happened during the day.

In the late afternoon after many of the children had been dropped off, the bus was usually quiet. This was a time to sit by the window and look out at the fields of wheat or corn or soybeans, to look at the farmhouses, barns, machine sheds, and corn cribs of the neighboring farms. It was a time to think about life, to contemplate the future.

Riding a school bus on country roads was hazardous at times. Sometimes roads would be covered with snow and ice. If the snow was too deep, the buses would travel only the main roads and highways. Buses often had to turn around in a student’s driveway without backing into a deep ditch on the other side of the road. Buses had to cross railroad tracks at railroad crossings with no gates and poor visibility. Sometimes a car would plow into the rear of a bus stopped to pick up or let off a student.

Going to another county on a field trip was a real treat. On long trips, the students would sing a long, repetitive song such as “Found a Peanut” or “99 Bottles of Beer.” The teachers and the driver never discouraged the students from singing these songs. Did it drive the school bus driver crazy? Maybe it was worth it because it kept the students out of trouble.

FOUND A PEANUT

Sung to the tune of “Oh My Darling, Clementine,” the song has the following basic lyrics:

Found a peanut, found a peanut, found a peanut just now,
just now I found a peanut, found a peanut just now.

Cracked it open, cracked it open, cracked it open just now,
just now I cracked it open, cracked it open just now.

It was rotten, it was rotten, it was rotten just now,
Just now it was rotten, it was rotten just now.

Ate it anyway, ate it anyway, ate it anyway just now,
just now I ate it anyway, ate it anyway just now,

Got sick, got sick, got sick just now,
just now I got sick, got sick just now.

Called the doctor, called the doctor, called the doctor just now,
just now I called the doctor, called the doctor just now.

Said I wouldn’t die, said I wouldn’t die, said I wouldn’t die just now,
just now he said I wouldn’t die, wouldn’t die just now.

Died anyway, died anyway, died anyway just now,
just now I died anyway, died anyway just now.

Went to Heaven, went to Heaven, went to Heaven just now,
just now I went to Heaven, went to Heaven just now.

Wouldn’t let me in, wouldn’t let me in, wouldn’t let me in just now,
just now he wouldn’t let me in, wouldn’t let me in just now.

Sent back home, sent back home, sent back home just now,
just now I was sent back home, sent back home just now.

Went out walking, went out walking, went out walking just now,
just now I went out walking, went out walking just now.

Repeat entire song beginning with “Found a peanut.”

—By Karen Centowski

HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW

Hair Cut

Women’s hair. A woman’s crowning glory. An object of attention. How many hours and dollars have American women spent on their hair in the past fifty years? From the bouffant and beehives of the 1960’s to the long, soft, feminine styles and the Afro of the 1970’s, styles were constantly changing. Do you remember the long, straight hair popularized by the hippie movement of the 1970’s? How about the hair styles influenced by Madonna and Cindy Lauper in the 1980’s? Spiral perms were the newest thing in the 1990’s. Since then women have colored their hair, highlighted their hair, permed their hair, straightened their hair, and more. Each year brings a new fashion twist.

Within this whole litany of women’s hair styles, have I ever mentioned bald? Like no hair? Like a skinhead? Absolutely not. When we see a woman who has no hair, we automatically assume she has cancer. We think that the treatments she is undergoing have caused her hair to fall out. Somehow, we expect women to have hair. We don’t expect women to shave their heads.

A different standard exists for men. First used by the military in World War II, variations of the buzz cut have become popular. These include the crew cut, the flat top, the burr cut, and the brush cut. All of these are short haircuts. For example, the burr cut is the haircut new recruits receive when they join the military. The buzz cut gets its name from the sound the clippers make while the hair is being cut.

For the last ten or fifteen years, shaved heads have become increasingly popular with men. Albert Mannes, PhD. at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, conducted a study called “How Shaved Heads Are Perceived/Shaving A Man’s Head and its Effect on Social Perception.” That is, how does a man’s decision to shave his head affect how he is socially perceived by others? There were several parts to the study.

In Study 1, photographs of twenty-five men in identical dark suits and ties were taken. Ten of the men (five white and five black) had shaved heads. Fifty-nine students viewed the photographs of all twenty-five men and rated them on perceived dominance and agreeableness. Sixty other students rated all twenty-five men on attractiveness and estimated their age. The results were that the men with shaved heads were rated as more dominant. The twenty-five men did not differ significantly in agreeableness, attractiveness, or perceived age.

Study 2 tried to test the Study 1 results. Could the results of Study 1 be explained by saying that more dominant men chose to shave their heads (not that shaving one’s head caused the man to be perceived as more dominant)? Pictures of four men were digitally “shaved” so there were “shaved” and “unshaved” pictures of each man. The shaved men were rated as more dominant, confident, masculine, older, taller, and stronger. The unshaved men were rated as more attractive.

So, if you’re a man, the choice is up to you.

—By Karen Centowski