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Archive for December, 2013

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

Don’t forget to visit … www.LegacyEducators.org  and click on “Cancer Information” Thanks in advance for your support!

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Greetings to my fellow bloggers and followers of Legacy Health! Thank you and I hope you received everything you wanted for Christmas!

I know the season is in full swing when I hear my favorite “band” playing this song. I hope to see them in concert one day … soon.  Hope you enjoy the video as well and it brings a smile to your face!

Cheers!

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

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From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

Don’t forget to visit … www.LegacyEducators.org  and click on “Cancer Information” Thanks in advance for your support!

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When I am traveling, I tend to read books (now reading the 4 Agreements), people watch and ofcourse, sleep. I love the obscurity and tend to dress very relaxed…incognito. * smile* On my recent travel, a beautiful baby girl, maybe about 10mths old,  stood up on the seat in front of me on the plane and gave me the biggest, warmest, uninhibited smile…I have ever received! I smiled right back admiring her innocence… and winked. This sat her off in the most gleeful, giggling, period of joy, accompanied with little bouncy hops of happiness. “How delightful!” I thought.  Her parents quickly sat her down …nodded apologetically in my direction and smiled. “No problem at all!” I said reassuringly.

Then I noticed. Both her parents were communicating … but … with sign language.  I chided my self. I never entered into the world of sign language before. They spoke most of the time on the plane…communicating with their young daughter via sign language also.

Neat. Cool. Interesting.

Living in a world of silence.  Can you imagine?

How about you…Have you ever interacted with a deaf person?

How the Ear Works. Click video below to watch

Do you know what to do and how to accommodate communicating with a deaf person without knowledge of American Sign Language (ASL)? I wanted to learn more … I never took care of a patient who was deaf. Hhhmm. Patients with Downs syndrome, mentally challenged, legally blind…among others…not deaf though. So now I have started on a new journey to learn more, and thought I would share with you. The wonders of blogging!

I advocate American Sign Language (ASL) as a language choice at all levels of education. Do you agree?

Please read more about the National Association of the Deaf  by clicking HERE  

I hope the videos below and brief introductory review on our deaf citizens will spike your interest  to learn more…and, dare communicate…maybe?

What is it like to be Deaf? Click below to watch

Ms. Deaf America – click below to watch 

Deaf in the Army – click below to watch

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

Read Full Post »

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

Don’t forget to visit … www.LegacyEducators.org  and click on “Cancer Information” Thanks in advance for your support!

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Bad news is bad news…plain and simple. But I am sure some would agree that receiving bad news during a season of festivity, somehow magnifies how “bad” the situation may be. 

sick child“It is December and my daughter’s 12th Birthday is fast approaching. However, we were just informed that my little angel has Cancer. So instead of Birthday, Christmas and New Year celebrations, I am busy researching the type of Cancer, types of treatment, best doctors to see, how to navigate the system of health care, and on and on.  Before this, I rarely paid attention to the medical field, except for the usual minor sickness and annual physical exams.  How can I help my Child? This should be an exciting time of her life.

I begin to eat, sleep, and exist for the HOPE of my little angel. It devoured everything I did… and maintaining “regular hours” at my job, became increasingly difficult. My daughter needs me. In the spiral of confusion and chaos of the medical jargon, distrust, cost, and emotional drain, I pulled away from my well-meaning family, friends and associates. Feeling alone and desperate for an answer, to save my child from all the surgeries, and pain, life changes and difficulties I know this will bring, I dug deep for inner strength…to get out of the bed one more day…just one more step…just for her. This is not fair. But…something good will come of all this … it must.”

Some of you may know Talia's story

Some of you may know Talia’s story

Such is the story and pain relayed to me by a mother who is now 1 year out from her daughter’s initial cancer diagnosis. They are looking forward to celebrating her 13th Birthday. As it is with most traumatic experiences, she has learned a lot … and is willing to share on the process with the others. That will indeed be a blessing to many. Her daughter continues to handle the “changes” quite well…but understandably, not quite willing to share yet…

I share this encoutner with you in hopes that you will have a different outlook/appreciation, if someone is facing something similar this holiday season or be gentler with yourself, if it is you. Some of you may know Talia’s story…if not see previous Blog by clicking HERE

As physician, my modus operandi (method of operation) is always to help, to offer assistance, to be a part of the healing process, to try and fix things. I have learned from my patients, sometimes just listening with a compassionate ear, is a much big part of the healing process…than I could have imagined.

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

Read Full Post »

From the Physician’s Desk … Weekly Blog!

Don’t forget to visit … www.LegacyEducators.org  and click on “Cancer Information” Thanks in advance for your support!

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As a Radiation Oncologist … anything with the headline “Radiation” always captures my immediate attention.  A truck with Radioactive material was stolen in Mexico, it was undoubtedly for the truck as the “Cobalt-60” radiation source, is a gift that keeps on giving!

Cobalt-60_Per report however, the radioactive source was properly shielded. However, should the robbers become excited and/or curious and open the containers – expecting money or gold – it is highly likely that they will be presenting to an ER close by with Acute Radiation Syndromes (ARS).

Cobalt-60 is a synthetic radioactive isotope with a half-life of 5.2yrs. It emits beta and gamma rays. The Beta decay energy is low and easily shielded, but the gamma-ray emission lines have energies ~1.3 MeV and are highly penetrating = dangerous. How dangerous?

tx48p1

(old) Cobalt 60 machine used in treating cancer patients

“In 2000 a disused radiotherapy head containing a 60Co source was stored at an unsecured location in Bangkok, Thailand and then accidentally was sold to scrap collectors. Unaware of the dangers, a junkyard employee dismantled the head and extracted the source, which remained unprotected for a period of days at the junkyard. Ten people, including the scrap collectors and workers at the junkyard, were exposed to high levels of radiation and became ill. Three of the junkyard workers subsequently died as a result of their exposure, which was estimated to be over 6 Gy. The source was safely recovered by the Thai authorities.”

Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS), also known as radiation poisoning, radiation sickness or radiation toxicity is a constellation of health effects which present within 24 hours of exposure to high amounts of ionizing radiation. The radiation causes cellular degradation due to damage to DNA and other key molecular structures within the cells in various tissues. The onset and type of symptoms depends on the radiation exposure (type of energy and duration).

Read more about Radiation Exposure and ARS by Clicking HERE

The prodrome (early symptoms) of ARS typically includes nausea, vomiting, headaches, fatigue, fever and short period of skin reddening. These symptoms may occur at radiation doses as low as 35 rad (0.35 Gy). These symptoms are common to many illnesses and may not, by themselves, indicate acute radiation sickness.

  1. Hematopoietic. This syndrome is marked by a drop in the number of blood cells.  This may result in infections due to low white blood cells, bleeding due to low platelets, etc., These changes can be detected by blood tests after receiving a whole-body acute dose as low as 0.25 Gy.
  2. Gastrointestinal. This syndrome often follows absorbed doses of 6–30 Gy (600–3000 rad).  Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain are usually seen. Vomiting in this time-frame is a marker for whole body exposures that are considered to be in the fatal range.   Death with this dose is common if not treated appropriately.  The death is generally more due to infection than gastrointestinal dysfunction.
  3. Neurovascular. This syndrome typically occurs at absorbed doses greater than 30 Gy (3000 rad), though it may occur at 10 Gy (1000 rad).  It presents with neurological symptoms such as dizziness, headache, or decreased level of consciousness, occurring within minutes to a few hours. It is invariably fatal.

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Remember …

Ipsa Scientia Potestas est    ———  Knowledge itself is power!

Don’t forget to visit my website … www.LegacyEducators.org 

Your Family Friendly Doc … Dr McGann!  

See you next week…

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