disability

Dentists, Epinephrine in Novacaine and Racing Hearts and Jitters

I had two dentist appointments this past week. It was for teeth cleaning. Because of my everyday dizziness, I kept putting it off (and off and off…).

I finally made the appointment and it was agreed that the cleaning would be split up into two appointments and that they would use freezing to make it easier on me and on them.

Sounds good so far.

I go to my first appointment and the other dentist in the practice puts the freezing in my mouth and goes away. And then, my heart started racing and I was very jittery for a few minutes afterwards. It felt a lot longer because we were waiting for the freezing to take affect. I had that happen to me once before and wondered if it might be the freezing but it was faint and lasted for only a few seconds so I thought it could easily be nerves. I also have a heart that likes to skip beats but have worn holter monitors and have been told everything is fine.

The reason for the heart racing and jitters is because of the epinephrine that is part of the freezing dentists use. Epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, is used because it constricts the blood vessels near your tooth, allowing the dentist to work longer and only allows a small amount of the local anesthetic to enter your body.

For my second appointment, we used a different freezing solution without epinephrine and not one problem. No jitters or nervousness and no racing heart which meant no anxiety. The only problem I may have had was the numbness going away sooner than normal because of using a different type of freezing solution. If that happened, my dentist would have given me more freezing to get through the rest of the appointment.

I didn’t need to have more. My appointment was delayed by about 45 minutes because the fire alarm went off when I was being given the freezing. I was just starting to feel things again but I was almost done so didn’t bother getting more.

I don’t think I’ve suddenly become allergic to it because, except for the one instance from a couple of years ago, it’s never bothered me. But, there was more freezing used because the whole top half of my mouth was frozen. My dentist said that shouldn’t be why I had the racing heart and jitters but it wasn’t him that gave me the freezing the first time, it was the other dentist at the practice so I don’t know.

When you’re having half of your mouth frozen, it’s a lot of novacaine. My dentist is also very good at using only enough freezing necessary and it’s usually gone about an hour after the appointment.  My mouth stayed numb for about 5 hours afterwards. It’s also possible that the needle entered a small blood vessel and some of the epinephrine entered the blood stream which would also produce an increased heart rate so, again, I don’t know.

If you have had this problem or have a pre-existing health problem, talk with your dentist. Here’s a link to an article called Can Dental Anesthetic Really Make Your Heart Beat Faster? that you can take with you to your next dental visit if this is something that concerns you.

 

 

It’s Heat Advisory Time Part 2: FAQ page about Extreme Heat

 

 

(Part 1 is links to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention page and hot weather tips. Part 2 is frequently asked questions about extreme heat along with the warning signs and how to help people with heat-related illnesses.)

The FAQ page about Extreme Heat has answers to commonly asked questions about extreme heat. Below are some of those questions and answers. Visit the page to learn other ways to help you deal with extreme heat.

 

What happens to the body as a result of exposure to extreme heat?

  • People suffer heat-related illness when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded.
  • The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn’t enough.
  • In such cases, a person’s body temperature rises rapidly.
  • Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs.

Who is at greatest risk for heat-related illness?

  • Infants and children up to four years of age
  • People 65 years of age and older
  • People who are overweight
  • People who are ill or on certain medications

What is heat stroke?

***Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness and can cause death or permanent disability if emergency treatment is not provided.***

It occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature: the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature may rise to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes.

What are the warning signs of a heat stroke?

  • An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)
  • Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness

What should I do if I see someone with any of the warning signs of heat stroke?

***If you see any of these signs, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the victim.***

  • Get the victim to a shady area.
  • Cool the victim rapidly, using whatever methods you can. For example, immerse the victim in a tub of cool water; place the person in a cool shower; spray the victim with cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water; or if the humidity is low, wrap the victim in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.
  • Monitor body temperature and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102°F.
  • If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
  • Do not give the victim alcohol to drink.
  • Get medical assistance as soon as possible.

What is heat exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids.

What are the warning signs of heat exhaustion?

  • Heavy sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting

What steps can be taken to cool the body during heat exhaustion?

  • Drink cool, nonalcoholic beverages
  • Rest
  • Take a cool shower, bath, or sponge bath
  • Seek an air-conditioned environment
  • Wear lightweight clothing

What are heat cramps and who is affected?

***If you have heart problems or are on a low-sodium diet, seek medical attention for heat cramps.***

  • Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms – usually in the abdomen, arms, or legs – that may occur in association with strenuous activity.
  • People who sweat a lot during strenuous activity are prone to heat cramps. This sweating depletes the body’s salt and moisture. The low salt level in the muscles causes painful cramps.
  • Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.

What should I do if I have heat cramps?

If medical attention is not necessary, take the following steps:

  • Stop all activity and sit quietly in a cool place.
  • Drink clear juice or a sports beverage.
  • Do not return to strenuous activity for a few hours after the cramps subside because further exertion may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
  • Seek medical attention for heat cramps if they do not subside in 1 hour.

Can medications increase the risk of heat-related illness?

The risk for heat-related illness and death may increase among people using the following drugs:

  • Psychotropics, which affect psychic function, behavior, or experience (e.g. haloperidol or chlorpromazine)
  • Medications for Parkinson’s disease, because they can inhibit perspiration
  • Tranquilizers such as phenothiazines, butyrophenones, and thiozanthenes
  • Diuretic medications or “water pills” that affect fluid balance in the body

 

 

It’s Heat Advisory Time Part 1: Hot Weather Tips

 

(Part 1 is links to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention page and hot weather tips. Part 2 is frequently asked questions about extreme heat along with the warning signs and how to help people with heat-related illnesses.)

It’s hot, the humidity is rising and heat advisories are being issued for many. This link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention page has information for everyone as well as more specific information for people over 65, children and infants, people with chronic medical conditions, low income, outdoor workers and athletes.

These are the tips from their Hot Weather Tips page. We know them, or many of them, but it never hurts to read them again.

The best defense is prevention. Here are some prevention tips:

  • Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic), regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask him how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
  • Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
  • Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area.
  • Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • NEVER leave anyone (THIS INCLUDES ANIMALS) in a closed, parked vehicle.
  • Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.
    • Infants and young children
    • People aged 65 or older
    • People who have a mental illness
    • Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure
  • Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

If you must be out in the heat:

  • Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • Cut down on exercise. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour.  A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Warning: If you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage. Remember the warning in the first “tip” (above), too.
  • Try to rest often in shady areas.
  • Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).

 

Thought of the Day – Are You An Inspiration Because Of Your Disability Or Chronic Illness?

 

From Ted.com (click on the link for the transcript):

 

Stella Young is a comedian and journalist who happens to go about her day in a wheelchair — a fact that doesn’t, she’d like to make clear, automatically turn her into a noble inspiration to all humanity. In this very funny talk, Young breaks down society’s habit of turning disabled people into “inspiration porn.”

 

The image below is an example of the “inspiration porn” that Young talks about.

 

 

 

Now, you know me, I love my quotes but there are times I look at some of them and think, no that’s too saccharine or too optimistic or too out there. On another day, looking at the same words but with different emotions, the quote works. It’s very subjective.

But, many of us have had experiences that have left us shaking our heads. Life does not stop because of a chronic illness or disability. Some of us are able to continue to work, go to school and participate in various activities. Some of us can’t or can only do it on a limited basis. And I truly appreciate when someone who doesn’t understand how I feel, has good thoughts or wishes for me.

But, I’ve had people look at me on days that I’ve felt like shit but have to go to an appointment and they say something like “Keep it up and you’ll only get better”. I half expect cheerleaders and a marching band to magically appear and accompany me as I drag myself to my appointment. I know they are trying to say something uplifting but they get hurt or mad as you try to explain that what they are saying doesn’t help mentally or emotionally. They just want to be seen as being positive and encouraging.

There is a fine line where someone may not understand what our lives are like, but is genuinely happy to see us able to do something and someone who wants to cheer and “rah rah” us for doing something we have to do, no matter how awful or in pain we may be.

But, if I feel I need to be cheered or “rah rahed”, I’ll let you know. Then cheer away. We all deserve and need that sometimes. Just let it be our choice.

Here are some quotes from the video. Do you agree with what she is saying or do you feel differently due to your experiences?

 

Yeah, we’ve been sold the lie that disability is a Bad Thing, capital B, capital T. It’s a bad thing, and to live with a disability makes you exceptional. It’s not a bad thing, and it doesn’t make you exceptional.

 

And these images, there are lots of them out there, they are what we call inspiration porn. (Laughter) And I use the term porn deliberately, because they objectify one group of people for the benefit of another group of people. So in this case, we’re objectifying disabled people for the benefit of nondisabled people. The purpose of these images is to inspire you, to motivate you, so that we can look at them and think, “Well, however bad my life is, it could be worse. I could be that person.”

 

So I have lived in this body a long time. I’m quite fond of it. It does the things that I need it to do, and I’ve learned to use it to the best of its capacity just as you have, and that’s the thing about those kids in those pictures as well. They’re not doing anything out of the ordinary. They are just using their bodies to the best of their capacity. So is it really fair to objectify them in the way that we do, to share those images?

 

People, when they say, “You’re an inspiration,” they mean it as a compliment. And I know why it happens. It’s because of the lie, it’s because we’ve been sold this lie that disability makes you exceptional. And it honestly doesn’t.

 

And I know what you’re thinking. You know, I’m up here bugging out inspiration, and you’re thinking, “Jeez, Stella, aren’t you inspired sometimes by some things?” And the thing is, I am. I learn from other disabled people all the time  . . .  We are learning from each others’ strength and endurance, not against our bodies and our diagnoses, but against a world that exceptionalizes and objectifies us.

 

NHBPM – Doing My Own Prompt Today – Chronic Illness Links

Welcome. This post is part of the WEGO Health National Health Blog Post Month (NHBPM) challenge for November, 2012.

I must admit, I am not feeling any of the prompts today. But, I still want to try and do a post each day this month so today’s post is a collection of chronic illness articles.

Two University of Toronto students, Alex Levy, 25, and Aakash Sahney, 22, have created an app that gives a voice to people with disabilities. As the article states, the app helps a variety of people.

“Users include young people with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism and muscular dystrophy as well as elderly people affected by strokes, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, aphasia or other conditions.

Natasha Tracy of Breaking Bipolar has a video where she gives some suggestions on becoming an empowered patient and having the conversation with your doctor on becoming an empowered patient.

The BBC has an internet radio show and a blog about living with a disability called Ouch!

Disability Horizons is an online magazine. Their vision from their about page is:

To create a positive, interesting and useful disability related magazine with articles and resources to help disabled people achieve whatever they wish.

The Lovers’ Guide has a variety of articles about sex and disability. It’s an NSFW educational site that has articles about sex and relationships that also has a sex shop.

MedicinePlus has two articles to help those of us with chronic illness, whether we are starting our journey with chronic illness or need a gentle reminder about things we already know. They are Living with a chronic illness – dealing with feelingsand Living with a chronic illness – reaching out to others.

Happy reading!

ABCs Of Disability – The Letter G

(Image via peacepulse.blogspot.com)

I haven’t really done much posting lately about disability or chronic illness. Part of it is not being on the computer as much since I fell last month. I was at the doctor’s on Friday and I’m having x-rays done on my ankle and wrist to make sure nothing was broken. My ankle keeps getting better but my right wrist has only healed to a point. And, of course, I am right-handed. So, I’ll go get the x-rays done and see if I have something like a hairline fracture.

But, mostly, I think it’s because “Spring Has Sprung”. Finally! The temperatures have been warming up, finally going into double-digit (Celsius) numbers. As of this writing, it looks like we’ll be going two (2) whole days with no rain! April has been wet and cold. And did I mention wet and cold? Now, I either don’t have to wear a coat or only my raincoat. We can go out and play! Attitudes are changing and good moods are coming back.

(Image via  hitchsafe.com)

Allergies have been kicking into high gear for those of us who suffer, but that’s OK because it means green and growth. Grass is growing, buds are on the trees, birds are chirping and the leaves of the perennials have been sprouting from the ground. Tulips have already bloomed. Others flowers will be in the next week or two.

(Image via viewthrumygloballens.blogspot.com)

So, I’ve been thinking of different “G” words lately. Growth, green, good and good enough. Spring is here so there is growth and green all around.  At times I’ve been feeling good, or at the very least, good enough most days to enjoy everything changing from dreary to sunny. And sometimes being good enough is very good indeed.

(Image via bbc.co.uk)

Spring is here!

ABCs of Disability – The Letter A

A is for adversity.  Normally, adversity is viewed as a negative.  However, there are people who are amazingly proving this wrong.

I recently watched a video from TEDMED which is part of TED.  If you haven’t heard about TED, TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design and started out as a conference in 1984.   Now…

Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and Open TV Project, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

Their about page explains:

On TED.com, we make the best talks and performances from TED and partners available to the world, for free. More than 700 TEDTalks are now available, with more added each week. All of the talks are subtitled in English, and many are subtitled in various languages. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.

This list of tags shows how diversified the talks have become.

The speaker in the video I watched is Aimee Mullins and was filmed in 2009.  Aimee is an amputee who was a record-breaker at the Paralympic Games in 1996, and she talks about adversity and how adversity can be used positively in life.

It is 22 minutes long but goes by really quickly.   I found her quite engaging and inspiring as she talks about her life, her disability and how words and language label us and affect our thinking.

Here’s the link to the video. There is also a link to a transcript on the right-hand side of the page.

Enjoy and be inspired!