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DIAGNOSIS: RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

Sandra was forty years old when she first noticed that the joints in her hands and toes were tender, warm, and swollen. In the mornings, the joints were stiff, and her body ached. She said she felt like she had been run over by a Mack Truck. She knew something was wrong so she made an appointment with her doctor.

The following week she met with her doctor. Sandra described her current symptoms (pain, stiffness, tenderness, warm and swollen joints). The doctor examined each joint, looking for tenderness, swelling, warmth, and painful or limited motion. He noted that the joints on both sides of her body were affected. (Rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect joints on both sides of the body.)

Next, the doctor ordered blood tests to measure inflammation levels. The blood tests also look for biomarkers such as antibodies (blood proteins) linked with rheumatoid arthritis.

Finally, he ordered a magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI) to look for joint damage, such as loss of bone within the joint and narrowing of joint space. Note that the lack of joint damage does not rule out rheumatoid arthritis. It may mean that the disease is in an early stage and hasn’t yet damaged the joints.

While she waited for the results of the tests, Sandra researched osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis on her computer. She discovered that osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. According to https://www.everday health.com/rheumatoid-arthritis, it affects over 30 million adults in the United States. It is also known as degenerative arthritis, and it is also called wear-and-tear arthritis. Osteoarthritis typically occurs in older adults.

By contrast, rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune, inflammatory, systemic disease. The immune system attacks healthy cells in the body by mistake. This results in inflammation, pain, and swelling in affected body parts. Rheumatoid arthritis typically attacks several joints symmetrically. It may also affect organs such as the heart, lungs, and eyes.

The test results showed that Sandra did indeed have rheumatoid arthritis. What caused this? Doctors don’t know what causes rheumatoid arthritis. However, according to https://www.mayoclinic.org, the following risk factors have been identified:

  • Being female.
  • Your age. Rheumatoid arthritis most commonly begins between the ages of 40 to 60.
  • Family history. If a member of your family has rheumatoid arthritis, you may have an increased risk of getting the disease.
  • Smoking. Cigarette smoking increases your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Environmental exposure. Exposure to asbestos or silica may increase your risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Obesity. People who are overweight or obese appear to be at somewhat higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis, especially women diagnosed with the disease when they were 55 or younger.

If you have a family member who has a serious illness 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 (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

ONE MAN’S PROMISE TO ST. JUDE

Born January 6, 1912 in Deerfield, Michigan, Amos Muzyad Yakhoob Kairouz was the son of Maronite Catholic immigrants from Lebanon. One of ten children, he was raised in Toledo, Ohio, where he attended St. Francis de Sales Church (Roman Catholic), Woodward High School, and the University of Toledo. You know him as Danny Thomas, the American nightclub comedian, singer, actor, and producer.

Using the name Amos Jacobs Kairouz, he began performing on radio in Detroit in 1932. He moved to Chicago in 1940 where he changed his name to Danny Thomas (after two of his brothers).

Thomas first reached mass audiences on network radio in the 1940s when he played the part of the shifty brother-in-law Amos in The Bickersons. He also played the part of Jerry Dingle, the postman on The Baby Snooks Show. He had his own 30-minute weekly variety show called The Danny Thomas Show. It ran on ABC in 1942-1943 and on CBS in 1947-1948.

With the advent of television, Thomas starred in Make Room for Daddy, later known as The Danny Thomas Show. The show ran for eleven years (1953-1964).

As a “starving actor,” Thomas had made a promise to St. Jude, the patron saint of hopeless causes. He had promised that if he found success, he would open a shrine dedicated to St. Jude. Thomas did not forget his promise. After he became a successful actor in the 1950’s, he and his wife began traveling the United States to raise funds to build St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. With help from Dr. Lemuel Diggs and close friend Anthony Abraham, an auto magnate in Miami, he founded the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee in 1962. Although St. Jude’s was named after Danny Thomas’s patron saint, it is not a Catholic hospital and is not affiliated with any religious organization. The focus of St. Jude’s is the research and treatment for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

According to https://en.wikipedi.org/wiki/St._Jude_Children”_Research_Hospital. “All medically eligible patients who are accepted for treatment at St. Jude are treated without regard to the family’s ability to pay. St. Jude is one of the few pediatric research organizations in the United States where families never pay for treatments that are not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay. In addition to providing medical services to eligible patients, St. Jude also assists families with transportation, lodging, and meals. These policies, along with research expenses and other costs, cause the hospital to incur more than $2.4 million in operating costs each day.” Today, according to _Forbes Magazine_, St. Jude Children’s Research Center in Memphis, Tennessee, is the fifth highest fundraiser in the United States with $1.37 billion in contributions.

If you have a family member who has a serious illness 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 (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

CONDUCTOR RECOVERS FROM GUNSHOT WOUNDS

On May 16, 2017, Michael Case was working as a conductor on an Amtrak train pulling into the station in Naperville, Illinois. Aboard the train was Edward Klein, 79, who was returning home from a canceled trip to Las Vegas..

Case knew that Klein needed to get to Chicago to catch a train to Milwaukee to get to his home in West Allis, Wisconsin. He was aware of a plan to escort Klein at Union Station to get him safely home to Wisconsin.

When the train pulled into the station in Naperville, Case got off the train to help other riders with their baggage. Klein was acting agitated and disoriented so Case closed and locked the train doors to keep Klein on the train. Case later explained his decision to keep Klein on the train, “I didn’t feel like it was a safe place for him to get off at Naperville station with all those tracks there.”

Minutes later, Klein reached out an open window and shot Case with a .38 caliber revolver. Case, who was struck in the abdomen, was able to crawl behind a partition to safety. He was taken to Edward Hospital in Naperville in critical condition and underwent multiple surgeries during the next six weeks. He was released from the hospital ten weeks after the shooting.

During his hospitalization, Case’s wife stayed at the hospital almost twenty-four hours a day. She was his support, his anchor, through it all. Case said, “I remember her sorting me out real quick, like, ‘Hey, we’re going to do this. I got you.’ And she did.”

Klein was charged with attempted first-degree murder, and was ordered held on $1.5 million bail. His attorney said that Klein was mentally unfit to stand trial.

According to https://www.dailyherald.com/news/20180105/dupage-judge-wisconsin-man-had-intent-to-kill-amtrak-conductor, “A DuPage County judge ruled Friday that Edward Klein knew he was doing wrong and intended to kill an Amtrak conductor he shot last May in Naperville. Using a complicated legal term, Judge Jeffrey MacKay ruled Klein was “not not guilty” and “not acquitted” of the multiple charges against him, despite being found unfit to stand trial. Doctors have diagnosed Klein with an impaired cognitive disorder and dementia and said he suffers from a major neuro-cognitive disorder.” He faces confinement in a mental health facility.

If you have a family member who has suffered a serious injury 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 (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

LIVING WITH DIABETES

Checking Blood Sugar Levels

Sixty years ago, downtown Chicago was a destination for shopping, for the arts, and for business. It was a bustling town.

Marshall Field’s thirteen story building dominated the commercial area. Designed by Daniel Burnham and built in 1891-1892, it took up an entire city block bounded clockwise by State Street, Randolph Street, Wabash Avenue, and Washington Street. The interior featured a Louis Comfort Tiffany glass mosaic vaulted ceiling in the five-story balconied atrium in the southwest corner of the building.

At Christmas time, at the street level there were ornate decorated window displays including thirteen themed windows. Upstairs in the Walnut Room, a three-story decorated Christmas tree was the focal point of the room. Families would stand in long lines waiting to be seated at the tables under the tree.

Jean worked in an office in the Loop, not far from Marshall Field’s. Her job was to calculate tariffs for freight on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe lines. This was an important but difficult job because all the calculations were made using pencil and paper. Computers had not yet been universally adopted for business use.

During lunch hour, she would often go to Marshall Field’s just to browse. It was a way to get away from the office for a few minutes. She enjoyed looking at the store’s merchandise and feeling the excitement of the shoppers. Occasionally, she would buy a piece of costume jewelry for herself or a gift for a family member.

In 1957, Jean developed diabetes. For years, she continued to work. She managed her diabetes with diet and with injections of insulin. She died of kidney failure in 1986.

What is diabetes? According to the American Diabetic Association website, www.diabetes.org, “Diabetes is a disease that occurs in several different types, with the main factor the inability to produce enough insulin in the pancreas to handle the demands of the foods and sugars that enter the body.” There are three types of diabetes: Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational.

According to the American Diabetic Association website, www.diabetes.org, “Nearly 30 million battle diabetes and every 23 seconds someone new is diagnosed. Diabetes causes more deaths per year than breast cancer and AIDS combined.”

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

LIVING WITH CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE

A hundred years ago, heart disease was America’s number one killer. People with heart disease were thought to require complete bed rest or they would face imminent death. “We were living in a time of almost unbelievable ignorance about heart disease,” said Paul Dudley White, one of six cardiologists who met on June 10, 1924 and founded the American Heart Association.

So much has happened since then. In 1957, the first pacemaker was implanted. In 1960, the first successful artificial heart valve replacement was performed. In 1961, American Heart Association funded research showed how CPR can save lives after cardiac arrest. In 2008, research funded by the American Heart Association showed that uninterrupted, high-quality chest compressions–without mouth-to-mouth respiration–can be used for adults needing CPR.

Still, so many challenges remain. One is congestive heart failure. Symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing, tiredness, swelling of legs and ankles, weight gain, and a need to urinate more often. There is no cure, but medications can help lower blood pressure, relax blood vessels, and make the heart beat stronger. Lifestyle changes—like not smoking—can help, too.

What causes congestive heart failure? The following list appears at https://www.webmd.com:

- Diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Heart valve disease
- Congenital heart defects
- Coronary heart disease
- Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation
- Thyroid disease
- HIV and AIDS
- Alcohol or drug abuse

The American Heart Association has funded more than $3.5 billion in heart disease and stroke research during the past sixty-five years. Current fundraising events include Heart Walks, Wear Red Days, and Heart Balls.

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

THE FIGHT AGAINST COPD

Do you know someone who has COPD? According to the Mayo Clinic article “COPD” at https://www.mayoclinic.org, symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) include difficulty breathing, cough, mucus (sputum) production and wheezing. Other signs and symptoms may include chest tightness, blue lips or fingernail beds, lack of energy, and swelling in ankles, feet, or legs.

In developing countries, COPD often occurs in people exposed to fumes from burning fuel for cooking and heating in poorly ventilated homes. The main cause of COPD in developed countries is long-term cigarette smoking. Other irritants can cause COPD. These include cigar smoke, secondhand smoke, pipe smoke, air pollution, and workplace exposure to dust, smoke, or fumes.

The American Lung Association is the most recognized organization fighting lung diseases. Two Fight For Air Climb events are scheduled for the Chicago area in 2019. The first will be February 9, 2019, at Oakbrook Terrace Tower. Participants will climb 31 floors, 680 stairs. The second will be March 10, 2019, at Presidential Towers in Chicago. Participants will climb 180 floors, 2,340 stairs.

In 2004, the COPD Foundation was created. It is a 501©(3) foundation with offices in Washington, D.C. and Miami, Florida. This organization has a unique program called HARMONICAS FOR HEALTH. Recognizing the role that lung function plays in COPD, the foundation has implemented the first national harmonica program created for individuals with COPD and other chronic lung diseases.

The COPD Foundation web site, https://www.copdfoundation.org, describes the value of the program: “Harmonica practice allows individuals with COPD to better control breathing, exercise the muscles that help pull air in and push air out of the lungs, strengthen abdominal muscles for a more effective cough, and more. Participants of the Harmonica for Health Program can order free education kits that include a basic model harmonica, Play Harmonica Today! Book with DVD and audio CD, and easy-to-read information on lung anatomy, COPD, and breathing techniques.”

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


To see a video Harmonica Jam, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMAyxQ77SMM.

STEPTEMBER FOR CEREBRAL PALSY

pdn

If you are a health and fitness buff, this one is perfect for you. It’s a fundraiser for cerebral palsy research. All YOU have to do is take 10,000 steps a day in Steptember. You can skate, bike, climb, roll, walk, run, surf, swim, or cycle. You can use a fitness tracker, smartphone app, or pedometer to track your activity.

How can you get involved? Follow these three simple steps:

  1. Form a team of three friends, family members, or colleagues. Register your team online at https://www.steptember.us. Ask your family and friends to sponsor you.
  2. Wait for your Steptember pedometer and kit to arrive in the mail.
  3. Log 10,000 steps each day between Steptember 4 and October 1.

Funds raised go to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation, classified by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (c)(3) organization. According to https://www.steptember.us, participants in Steptember have raised $246,018.29 in the USA and $1,768,729.38 across the world.

What is cerebral palsy? It is a physical disability that affects movement and posture. One in three children with cerebral palsy cannot walk. One in five children with cerebral palsy cannot talk. According to https://www.steptember.us,

– 1 in 323 babies are diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
– 800,000 people in the U.S. are living with cerebral palsy.
– Every hour a child is born with cerebral palsy.
– 17 million people worldwide are living with cerebral palsy.

Although many people think of cerebral palsy as a childhood disorder, most children with cerebral palsy live well into adulthood. Assistive devices such as walkers and wheelchairs can help individuals maintain their independence. Private duty nurses and CNAs can provide nursing care.

If a member of your family has Cerebral Palsy and requires 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.

—By Karen Centowski


To see a video How Steptember Works, go to https://youtube.com/watch?v=MAK88iKgqec.