Articles

Asking Your Doctor about Reconstructive Surgery after Breast Cancer

Your breast cancer treatment plan may call for the removal of a lump or breast. Following this surgery, you may want to pursue reconstructive surgery. With removal of a breast, you can choose simultaneous (a one-step procedure) or delayed reconstruction. You will want to have a discussion with your doctors about what is right for you. Your doctors will guide you through your options based on your health, treatment plan, and goals. Here are questions to ask your doctor when deciding if reconstructive...

Treating Breast Cancer with Clinical Trials

A clinical trial is a medical research study in which participants volunteer to test new methods to prevent, screen, diagnose, or treat a disease. The goal of these projects is to find safe, more effective treatments for patients. Should a new treatment prove effective, patients in this trial are the first to receive the resulting treatment. There are four phases of cancer clinical trials. Phase I evaluates safety, Phase II measures effectiveness, phase III tests against the best existing...

Preparing for Breast Cancer Surgery

After deciding to undergo surgery for breast cancer, your doctor and nurse will give you very specific instructions on what to do, what not to do, and what to bring to your surgery. Create a folder entitled "Instructions From the Doctor" as a convenient place to keep these instructions. If you are feeling anxious about the upcoming surgery, ask your doctor if there is a formal pre-treatment presentation for you to attend at your medical center. If you will be staying overnight after the...

How to Disclose a Disability in the Workplace

In general, the best reason for disclosing your disability status is that you foresee a need for a reasonable accommodation on your job. If symptoms of your illness are obvious to others, if they have begun to interfere with your job performance, and/or if you have been receiving feedback from your employer that there are problems with your performance, you may want to approach your employer about possible accommodations. Although you do not have to disclose the underlying cause of your disability,...

Social Security Options for People with Multiple Sclerosis

There are two different disability programs—Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). For both programs, the individual must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability. The main difference between the two programs is that SSI is based on (a) financial need and (b) intended for the individual who has not worked the necessary number of credits (or...

Stay Employed with Multiple Sclerosis: Early Intervention

To the extent that the most precipitous decline in physical functioning typically occurs during the first 5 years after diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS), recently diagnosed people (the majority of whom are employed) may need assistance with such on-the-job issues as knowing when and how to disclose any disability-related work limitations, identifying how those limitations could be overcome via reasonable accommodations, and requesting accommodations from their employers as per Title I of the...

Stroke and Seizures

Seizures are not a common complication of stroke, but they do occur. Those that occur in stroke patients are usually relatively easy to control with medication. The brain is an electrical organ made up of millions of nerve cells that transmit messages electrically at synapses. The electrical activity of these cells is normally related to activity in the environment and inside the body. A seizure can be thought of as a type of inappropriate activity or short circuit in a part of the brain during...

How Stroke Changes Emotions, Affect, and Self-Image

Strokes cause psychologic and physiologic changes in self-image. Strokes often create deficits that are easily visible to everyone, even during casual encounters with stroke survivors. Abnormalities of facial appearance, use of the limbs, walking, and speech are often quite obvious to all observers. Patients worry whether or not the changes will prove acceptable and tolerable to others. This is especially problematic when caregivers need to significantly alter their own activities in order to...

Diabetes and Your Risk of Stroke

High blood pressure (hypertension) is the single most important risk factor for stroke and is more common in people with diabetes than in individuals who have normal blood sugar. Maintaining your diabetes well can also help you control your risk for stroke. Here's what you need to know: There are two well recognized forms of diabetes mellitus: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is due to a deficiency of insulin, the hormone secreted by the pancreas, which is responsible...

Rockin' and Rollin' through the Mid-South in a Wheelchair

This route is a must-do for music lovers, as it hits the live music trifecta of the Mid-South—Nashville, Memphis and Branson. And when you tire of the music there’s the cultural diversions in Little Rock, a scenic drive through the Ozarks, a ghost hunting opportunity in Eureka Springs, and an extensive quilt collection in Paducah. Along the way, you’ll find a variety of wheelchair-accessible sights, lots of friendly people and some good old fashioned home cooking—and that’s a combination...