In the U.S., nearly 26 million adults and children live with diabetes every day. Alarmingly, another 79 million are at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, a disease that is taking a harmful physical, emotional and financial toll on families and individuals of all walks of life.
Diabetes mellitus, often simply known as diabetes, is a set of metabolic diseases. The primary problem caused by the diseases is high blood sugar from two causes: the body isn’t producing enough insulin, or because cells are not responding to the insulin that is produced.
There are three primary kinds of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes: the body fails to produce insulin with this type, also referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and juvenile diabetes. People with this must inject insulin.
Type 2 diabetes: the body fails to use insulin properly with this condition, and it may be combined with an absolute insulin deficiency. It is formerly referred to as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and adult-onset diabetes.
Gestational diabetes: a pregnant woman who may have never had diabetes before has high blood glucose level during pregnancy. It may come before development of type 2 diabetes.
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As a nurse for over 30 years, I have often seen patients and families struggle in understanding the complexity of medical care prescribed to them. They often are afraid, confused and misinformed about their diseases and treatment sets. In my patients with serious illness, I often wished for a better way to coordinate all the professionals working for their health.
It has been my pleasure and privilege to play an active role in the development of a different holistic program over the last ten years, something we call palliative care. As part of the next step in this growth, we’re introducing AseraCare Palliative Medicine across the United States this year and in 2012.
Our palliative medicine team approach coordinates all the players in a patient’s well being: physicians, nurses, nutritionists, pharmacists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, social workers, chaplains and volunteers. They have the time to spend with you to discuss treatments, goals and concerns. They will offer information about home health, hospice or community resources for care needed as goals and treatment plans are established. They in effect “bridge” treatment plans between service providers.
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Wounds come in many shapes and sizes, but almost inevitably, they hurt. But the degree of pain will vary by location on the body, type and severity of the wound. For instance, a puncture wound may hurt less than a burn, even though the wound is deeper.
A wound is injury to your tissue and after injury, the tissue swells. That inflammation activates local pain receptors, which makes both the surrounding skin and deeper areas more sensitive. The actual pain can be from the tissue damage or nerve damage. An infection will increase pain.
Wound Care 101
- Some wounds always need a doctor’s attention. If it has ragged edges or is deep, you may need stitches. Punctures or wounds involving rusty objects mean you’ll probably need a tetanus shot — always call your doctor, even if you think you are up-to-date on your shots.
- Emergency situations: bleeding that spurts or won’t stop after 30 minutes of pressure applied by a clean cloth (elevate area); if there is a large object embedded in the wound; or if you’ve got a human or animal bite.
- If you’re taking care of your wound at home, be quick. Tend it right away, because even a scrape needs to be carefully washed to rid it of bacteria, which causes infection.
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