eczemaI had the weirdest rash on my legs and I was afraid it could be an autoimmune disease like lupus or possibly psoriasis. I went to the dermatologist and found out that it was a very common rash which was eczema. Atopic dermatitis (eczema) is a condition that makes your skin red and itchy. It’s common in children but Continue reading


Diverticulosis is a condition that describes small pouches in the wall of the digestive diverticulitistract that occur when the inner layer of the digestive tract bulges through weak spots in the outer layer. When these diverticula become inflamed, that is called diverticulitis. Diagnosis of diverticulosis/diverticulitis is made over several methods, including a physical exam which includes a digital rectal Continue reading


C-2 fracture


I had a friend that broke his cervical 2 vertebrae. He has to wear a halo device for at least 3 months, and possibly up to a year! There are seven cervical vertebrae in the neck that support your head and connect it to the shoulders and body. A fracture (break or crack) in one of the cervical vertebrae is called a cervical fracture or sometimes, a broken neck. A broken neck is defined as a fracture in one or more of the seven vertebrae Continue reading


Years ago, not too long after nursing school, I was in the mall and a gentleman in frontCPR of me suddenly collapsed on the escalator. I knew what to do, but I had never done CPR before in real life. We had practiced numerous times in school and even took a course to be sure that we all knew basic life support. CPR, also referred to as cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a lifesaving technique useful in many emergencies, including heart attack. I was successful in saving the man’s life; continuous CPR until help arrived. Back in those Continue reading


HENOCH SCHONLEIN PURPURAI sure don’t remember this condition in nursing school! Henoch-Schonlein Purpura (HSP) is a disease involving inflammation of small blood vessels. It most commonly occurs in children. The inflammation causes blood vessels in the skin, intestines, kidneys and joints to start leaking. The main symptom is a rash with numerous small bruises, which have a raised appearance over the legs or buttocks. Although HSP can affect people at any age, most cases occur in children between the ages of 2 and 11. It is more common in boys than girls. Adults with HSP are Continue reading


Years ago my mother developed a sudden high fever, nausea and vomiting, headache,western equine encephalitis confusion and extreme weakness. She was hospitalized and they could not figure out what was wrong with her. At first her doctor thought that she had a really bad case of bronchitis. After treating her symptoms for days, she finally started to make some progress, but she almost died, with a fever going as high as 106! They literally packed her in ice, ran IVs and tried antibiotics, which did not help since it was a virus and not a bacterial infection. Her fever finally broke and numerous blood Continue reading


altitude sicknessI remember my Dad taking my oldest son to Colorado when he was just 5. It was one of his favorite spots as a child to spend time so they took off and immediately went up to Pike’s Peak. Well – not so fast Dad – my son got a really bad headache, a bloody nose and started to throw up. It is really very common for a lot of people. Luckily Dad knew what was going on and they readily started to come down and get to a more comfortable altitude. Hypobaropathy (the altitude bends), also known as soroche, is quite simply altitude sickness. It is also known as AMS (acute mountain sickness) and is caused by exposure to partial pressure of oxygen Continue reading


Peripheral vascular disease is a condition in which the blood vessels in the lowerPERIPHERAL VASCULAR DISEASE extremities (feet, legs, or thighs) are narrowed, restricting blood flow. Peripheral vascular disease is primarily caused by atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque in blood vessels. Individuals with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or advanced age, or those who smoke or are inactive, are at risk for developing peripheral vascular disease. Approximately eight to 12 million people in the United States have peripheral vascular disease. Individuals with mild Continue reading


calcific tendonitisWhat a week this has been! Last Sunday I went swimming (my usual routine) and when I woke up Monday my right shoulder and arm were killing me. I thought maybe it was a metastatic tumor or maybe I had torn a rotator cuff. You know us nurses, always thinking the worst possible scenario. Anyway I decided I probably slept on it wrong and waited for another couple of days before I decided something was really wrong. I literally could not lift up my arm. I went to Continue reading


A perforated ulcer is a condition where an untreated ulcer can burn through the wall of perforated ulcerthe stomach (or other areas of the gastrointestinal tract), allowing digestive juices, food and/or blood to leak into the abdominal cavity. The severe inflammation and infection inside of the abdomen is called peritonitis and this is a very serious condition. The ulcer is known initially as a peptic ulcer before the ulcer burns through the full thickness of the stomach or duodenal wall. This is, in fact, one of the very few occasions in modern times Continue reading