About

First Name
Jennifer

Last Name
Hunter

Posts (877)

2 days ago · Art for Healing in Just Want to Talk

OK, how cool is this? A pediatric surgeon who draws pictures on the bandage dressings for his your patients. I love this and it's a way to help kids feel better about some scary procedures. What a cool doctor! He doesn't think he's an artist, but this is little drawings for healing for kids. https://www.akronchildrens.org/audio_video/725c0260866c4078a0b454986803bbf7-all-dressed-up-dr-robert-parry.html

2 days ago · Chronic Illnesses of Millions of Women Left Untreated in Women's Health

@lioness Thank you. I think we can lead by example and there are lessons everywhere in life if we are willing to receive them.

2 days ago · My neck started cracking. Arthritis? Any ideas? in Bones, Joints & Muscles

@colleenyoung @artscaping @wgatap21 My physical therapist told me that often cracking comes from the facet joints in the spine. These joints slide to allow you to turn your head. If you have extra pressure on them due to muscle spasms or bad discs that are loosing height, it causes arthritis wear and tear in the facet joints, and it can be a little painful when they crack as they slide past each other. Myofacial release helps this because it helps to keep the balance between the 2 sides of the neck.

2 days ago · Chronic Illnesses of Millions of Women Left Untreated in Women's Health

@horselover7216 Can we talk about bullies? You mentioned this. The thing about bullies is that they want to make you believe something about yourself that makes you feel bad. I know when you are young, it's hard to understand what they are doing and you start believing what the bully says about you. A bully is a person who feels bad about themselves, and they only feel better if they can be powerful and make someone feel worse than they do.

When you get into a crisis, you might still be thinking and believing bad things about yourself. Most people won't see you that way, they will want to see the good in you. Bullying was a hard thing for me in my life too. I grew up very shy and picked on. I couldn't separate in my very young mind the pain of teasing and physical bullying, and when I had to go to the doctor or dentist for something that was going to hurt, I developed a fear of medical people. To me it was just more bullying and my mom's explanations just minimized my feelings and she teased me for being scared. This fear controlled my life and stole my confidence in everything. I didn't feel safe. When I was 5, it almost cost me my life when I was trying to get away from my brother who was going to hit me. I rode my little bike as fast as I could to get home, and stopped across the street from my house, looked both ways, and then rode my bike across the street. There was a car coming that I didn't see, and it screeched to a stop within a foot of hitting me. I got no sympathy for my fear and I was punished and my brother was not. My parents believed it was my fault and they didn't talk to me about that. As a 5 year old, I didn't know how to process that fear and I carried this burden for many years. It was years later as an adult that I realized I did not have glasses when I was 5, and it wasn't my fault. I was nearsighted and couldn't see the car in the bright sunshine and because of the stress of running from fear. I don't know who saved my life that day, but I am grateful, and I probably gave them a horrible scare. So I grew up in survival mode and trying to be invisible to my siblings. I worked hard in school and my siblings thought I was making them look bad by being good at school and well behaved, so this pattern of jealousy just continued until I was able to get away from home and out on my own.

I still carried these fears inside, and 3 years ago, I had to face my biggest fears because I needed spine surgery. I had been hurt in a traffic accident 20 years earlier, but I told myself I would be OK. The disc in my neck deteriorated and I had bone spurs growing into my spinal cord. When I realized that I really was hurt in the car accident and it caused this problem 20 years later, it brought back the subconscious fears of the day I almost lost my life at 5 years of age. I didn't know that was feeding my anxiety and panic attacks. I worked through those feelings and it stopped the extreme anxiety that I had been having about spine surgery. I got myself through all of it by using my creativity and music to calm my fears and I let myself feel everything. I had to stop thinking like a 5 year old. I was grown up now, and that thinking about fear and pain avoidance wasn't serving me well. I overcame all of it, and that is why I am here to teach others how to address their fears. The first thing you do is make friends with your fear and figure out where it came from. No one is born afraid. This is all learned behavior, and you can chose to unlearn it. It is an awful burden to carry. Let go of other's opinions about yourself and reach out to people who do care about you and who have your best interest in mind. For me, my best support came from friends, and from loosing myself in creativity that healed my soul. For everything that I accomplished in my art work and paintings, I believed more and more in myself and my abilities. It was work to develop talent, and no one could take the credit for that from me.

I believe that you want to get better. Anorexia seems to be the way that you are punishing yourself. I want you to know that the people who are here on Connect are helping others out of their own love and compassion. Fear and love are opposite emotions. I have heard it said that love is letting go of fear. I know that it is true. You have to love yourself enough to let go of the bad stuff, and it is hard to do that, but it is worth it to live with love and self forgiveness. We all carry those burdens until we figure out how to let them go. This is what happens as you get older if you question the things that you believe in that are holding you back.

3 days ago · Chronic Illnesses of Millions of Women Left Untreated in Women's Health

@horselover7216 I read through your post and you are on a lot of drugs including morphine. I'm not a medical professional, but I had some experience with my mom in the hospital after she broke her pelvis, and they were giving her morphine and she was getting overdosed. When the next nursing shift came in they dosed her again without checking when the last dose was. I got a supervisor to come to the room to see her. She was like a rag doll and had trouble staying awake and couldn't hold up her head or keep her eyes open. The drugs suppressed her breathing, so she would have long pauses between breaths. She also halucinated similar to what you describe. She thought her bed was vertical up on a ledge and panicked because she thought could fall out of it, and she thought I was somehow standing on a wall looking at her and she didn't know how I could do that. She also was hearing cats meowing and thought they were in her stomach. That was all from too much morphine and tylenol pain killers together, and after cutting back on the morphine she got better. Some people don't do well on morphine. It would be worth asking your doctor if the combination of drugs could be causing a problem for you and if they are necessary. They should explain why you need them, and if someone else is advocating for your care, such as your parents, they should discuss this with your doctors.

I know I have been wrong before, thinking the worst, but since I'm not a doctor, I don't have the qualifications to diagnose myself and it's very easy to believe something is serious if you don't understand the entire picture. If I understand your post correctly, do you have a feeding tube? My dad had that, and I had to feed him with it when he could no longer swallow due to old age. It is important to get nutrition and fluids that your body needs. I know this may be frightening for you and might not make sense, but sometimes we have to trust our care to someone else. I have had to do that too after I had spine surgery, and I had to be patient and embrace the little bit of recovery that I had every day. It was a long recovery for me, 3 months in a neck brace, and then rehab after that. I thought it would be terribly painful, but it wasn't because I relaxed and just accepted that I needed to rest. The pain pills nauseated me, and I found I could manage without them. That was a surprise to me, and I got better each day.

I think from your name, you must like horses. I do too, and I have an older horse who helped me a lot while I was recovering from my surgery. It was 7 months before I could ride him, but trail riding just at a walk was the best therapy I could have to regain my strength. Also thinking about my horse gave me something good to think about instead of worrying. We can get trapped worrying too much because it is a survival instinct to look for danger. That can trap us in frustration and the stress of all of that is awful. The good news is that when we recognize that this happens so easily, we can choose our thoughts and think about positive healing things. Horses are very healing, and my horse always watches me where ever I go, and when I turn my back, he'll steal a carrot out of my pocket. Find something that you can think about as a "safe place" where you can go in your mind with your thoughts anytime you feel a need to escape. I have used that during painful testing and it helped me stay in control and calm myself. I had lots of fears about medical tests that caused pain, and this worked for me. I have even used photos of places I love to look at for a mental escape. I hope this gives you some things to think about and that it helps. I send you my good wishes.

2 days ago · Herniated discs at Levels L4/L5-S1 in Bones, Joints & Muscles

@flscottybingo Good morning. I am a Mayo spine surgery patient and my surgery was a cervical procedure and I had an excellent outcome. You are correct in that surgery at the lumbar end of the spine is more involved and can be a more difficult recovery because that end of the spine is bearing most of the body's weight, and twisting or bending will place more pressure on surgical hardware constructs. The angles and placement of that is very important or screws holding the hardware can pull out from the pressure. My PCP said it should be given careful consideration. The choice of a spine surgeon is very important. Some are gifted, and some are not. Surgery can make a patient worse, but also has the possibility of significantly improving the life of the patient.

Your comment stood out to me, "Some of the surgeons that I have seen say that I should continue to wait until I start becoming incontinent, or until I become paralyzed from the waist down, as they have indicated this will be the ultimate outcome."

This would indicate an emergency situation.

As a patient, why would you want to see a surgeon who paints this picture for you, that you will have a poor outcome regardless of treatment? Wouldn't you rather see a specialist who has had more experience with cases similar to yours? Surgery can make you worse, and there are a lot of health factors that play into that, but you as a patient have a lot of power over your own recovery. You need to be able to go into surgery with proper expectations, and with the belief and knowing in your heart that you have the will to succeed. Doctors cannot do that for you.

When you get multiple opinions, there can be different surgical procedures to address the same problem. It's your job to ask why and how a specific procedure can help, and ask the doctor for their specific personal success rate with the procedure in comparison to a possible other procedure. Also ask what will happen if no surgery is done, and what disabilities are likely in your future. Nerves can be permanently damaged if surgery is not done in time, and permanent incontinence can be caused by spinal cord damage, and that can be prevented with surgery. Does it really make sense to wait for that to happen to you?

My surgeon didn't promise me that surgery would cure my pain, but it did. I actually had pain all over my body, leg pain and difficulty walking (uneven gait) and retention in my bladder and that was caused by spinal cord compression. My MRI did not show spinal cord damage, and my surgeon told me that you can have myelopathy that does not show on MRI in earlier stages. The reason they do surgery is to decompress and prevent further damage and to correct a structural problem and increase stability. My all over pain was called "funicular pain" and 5 surgeons misunderstood this and could not connect that to my imaging, and they wrongly suggested other problems like MS as a possible cause of that pain and differential diagnosis. They have to be careful to identify the source of the pain, because spine surgery won't help pain caused by something else. They did not want to have an unsuccessful surgery that didn't solve the problem, and it was easier to back out or blame something else as the cause. If I had listened to them, I would have disabilities now. During those 2 years that I was looking for help, I was also reading spine research papers, and watching online presentations of spine surgeons discussing cases at conferences, and I learned a lot. I knew other solutions were possible, and I knew that I could change the location of my pain by a change in body position by turning or bending my neck. I told the doctors, but they didn't listen or believe me. No doctor wants to fail, and when they are not sure about something, they back out.

I found medical literature with cases similar to mine, and I wrote to a surgeon at Mayo and sent the study with my request for an appointment. I chose carefully each time I requested to see a surgeon by looking at their background and how respected they are within their field, their research and areas of interest. I picked a surgeon trained at Mayo in neurosurgery who was a spine deformity expert, and who also had orthopedic spine surgery training. He teaches at Mayo and does both fusion and artificial discs, and deformity surgery like scoliosis and he also teaches surgery lab courses at conferences. He had been recognized in his undergraduate studies with a scholarship. I knew that he would understand my all over pain because one of his papers talked about leg pain with cervical stenosis and had the term "funicular pain" and when I looked that up, I found the case studies like mine. I knew his areas of interest matched my case and that he had more experience than a lot of the other surgeons who had refused to help me.

You have to be careful reading reviews by patients. Some have the wrong expectations or do not follow doctor's orders. Some have other health conditions that affect surgical outcomes. They may have poor bone quality, osteoporosis or be a smoker, or have an inflammatory type disease. Some have a personality conflict with the surgeon. Some don't understand enough about their case to be able to understand and explain it. This is the reason that when you have a complex case with multiple levels involved, you should seek the best highly skilled expert that you can find who only does spine surgeries. Non-invasive and laser surgery will not be able to address a complex case like yours. Laser surgery cannot remove a faulty disc, install hardware, or a bone graft. When the surgeon can see everything in an open surgery, it's easier to fix it instead of trying to operate through a small tube inserted into the site. When I watched the spine surgeons talking in their online presentations, they made unfavorable comments about laser type surgeries. This is why they didn't reply to your inquiry. Take your statistics of surgical outcomes from the surgeons who can evaluate your case and how that would relate to your possible outcome.

You are the captain of your ship, and you decide if you want to hire a doctor for the job that you have. You should not need to beg for help or worry about rocking the boat. If a surgeon is surprised by what they find during surgery, they didn't do their job well enough to prepare for that surgery. I asked my surgeon if things could be unexpected based on what the imaging showed, and he told me that he doesn't find expected problems when he gets into surgery. A surgeon has to offer surgery to you, but you get to decide if this is the surgeon you trust and if you agree with the plan of action. Keep seeking opinions until you find the right one, and go to the best of the best surgeons at major medical centers with teaching hospitals. If you can go to Mayo, I highly recommend it. I didn't know care could be like that, efficient (figured out everything in 3 days) and I was offered surgery right away, and had a wonderful outcome and everyone was so kind to me and very good at what they do. I wish I hadn't wasted time with surgeons who didn't want to help and didn't understand the situation. You can't do a big surgery like this and rehab alone. You will need help, and sometimes patients go to rehab facilities post op for a few weeks. You won't be able to drive. Ask yourself what you want for your life and what is possible. Here are some links with my story and a few others about my surgeon. Let me know if I can be of further assistance.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/biographies/fogelson-jeremy-l-m-d/bio-20055624

My patient story

https://sharing.mayoclinic.org/2019/01/09/using-the-art-of-medicine-to-overcome-fear-of-surgery/

https://sharing.mayoclinic.org/2017/07/26/spinal-surgery-saves-teen-swimmers-mobility/

https://www.bsualumni.org/young-alumni-award-dr.-jeremy-fogelson

https://www.beckersspine.com/spine-leaders/item/37080-spine-surgeon-leader-to-know-dr-jeremy-l-fogelson-of-mayo-clinic.html

Mayo Clinic Minute

https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-minute-scoliosis-screening/

https://sharing.mayoclinic.org/2012/12/23/repaying-a-gift-scholarship-recipient-says-thanks-in-a-special-way/?utm_campaign=search

http://www.startribune.com/in-second-term-minnesota-gov-markdayton-dealing-with-more-health-problems/361662931/

http://www.startribune.com/gov-mark-dayton-to-undergo-third-back-surgery/497015811/

3 days ago · Pain in the butt - Can't sit down in Chronic Pain

@lgerkin @vklittle61 I don't have pundental nerve entrapment, but I have read that Myofascial release physical therapy can help. We have a discussion on MFR, and there is a provider finder on the MFR website. Here is the link to the discussion. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/

4 days ago · Elevated parathyroid hormone (PTH) in Diabetes/Endocrine System

@dianechapman My elderly mom had similar numbers for blood calcium scores and parathyroid problem caused by a tumor that went on for a few years. She had surgery and a blood test during surgery to confirm they were removing the correct one of the 4 parathyroid glands in her case. Her calcium levels returned to normal after that, but it caused thinning of her bones and a week after the surgery, she fell and broke her pelvis, her foot and her ankle, and spent 3 months in a rehab facility. You might want to get another opinion with a specialist in parathyroid issues. Another thing about calcium supplements according to my doctor is that it should be balanced with vitamin K2. I take K2D3 from Orthomolecular. You can also get K2 in your diet, but it is needed so you don't deposit the calcium in your blood vessels.

Here are some links that may be of interest regarding this type of parathyroid surgery and hypercalcemia (high blood calcium)

https://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/endocrinology/news/a-missed-parathyroid-adenoma-a-case-from-the-endocrine-teaching-clinics/mcc-20422649

https://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/endocrinology/news/role-of-focused-parathyroidectomy/mac-20431037

https://www.mayoclinic.org/departments-centers/endocrine-surgery/sections/tests-procedures/orc-20472056

Thyroid nodules can be benign, but should be checked out. I have multiple nodules with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. I have had a needle biopsy of my thyroid to rule out cancer, and my nodules have reduced in size over a few years. I had all my silver dental amalgam fillings removed which according to my doctor were leaching mercury and impacting my thyroid, and after removal, the blood tests that measure the level of antibodies that I have against my thyroid dropped dramatically. I also take Naturethroid which is desiccated pig thyroid hormones which have all the components the body needs. Some patients cannot convert the components in the synthetic thyroid medicines such as Levothyroxin.

https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/what-is-hashimotos-disease/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hashimotos-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20351855