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Insider Arthritis Tips Newsletter December 2010
December 15, 2010
"Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain."
Arthritis News From November 2010Enbrel May Help Improve Growth In Children With Juvenile Arthritis
Katrina Woznicki writing for WebMD reported that, according to a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism, "a drug used to treat inflammatory arthritis increased growth rates among children with juvenile arthritis, a disease that affects children's joints and can stunt their growth." In a study comparing treatment with Enbrel, methotrexate, or Enbrel plus methotrexate " among 594 children ages two to 18 with juvenile arthritis," researchers found that "overall, the children taking Enbrel or Enbrel plus methotrexate experienced steadily increasing improvements in height, weight, and BMI compared with those who took methotrexate alone."
Comment: I found this article really hit home because one of my children developed juvenile arthritis at the age of 10. He was put on Enbrel and is now 20 and doing well.
FDA Approves Cymbalta To Treat Musculoskeletal Pain
Comment: I’m not sure where this medication fits in for my patients but at least it’s an option to think about.
Comment: This is an important development… we’ll see what happens. The meds for RA continue to evolve.
New RA remission criteria unveiled
New criteria to define clinical remission in rheumatoid arthritis, endorsed by the American College of Rheumatology and the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR), provide a realistic standard for drug trials and give clinicians a better guide for treating patients, researchers said recently. The new criteria define remission as no more than one swollen joint
and one tender joint, a C-reactive protein (CRP) level of no more than 1 mg/dL, and a Patient Global Assessment score of no more than 1, said David Felson, MD, of Boston University,
co-chairman of the ACR-EULAR committee that developed the standard.
Comment: Some guidelines that might be helpful, particularly when talking with patients about remission and whether they’re in it.
Comment: Low sodium can affect brain functioning and certainly affects balance and muscle function. It’s an important issue particularly in elderly patients with multiple medical problems.
Darvon, Darvocet Painkillers Pulled From Market Over Heart Risks By FDA
Comment: Those of us who did our medical training in the 1970’s always used this medicine for pain relief because we thought it was safer than other pain killers. I guess not. We’re left with a void though between Tylenol and harder narcotics.
I am pleased to announce the launch of three books that I have recently written… to help you manage your arthritis!
Your special introductory offer will be
$5.00 off the retail price, and autographed by me. Your loved ones will
appreciate this as a gift! Hanukah, Kwanza, or Christmas Stocking Stuffer!!
The Book On PRP - Was 14.99, Now 9.99
The Book on Stem Cells for Osteoarthritis - Was 14.99, Now 9.99
The Book on Arthritis Treatment - Was 29..99, Now 24.99
Wei's World December 2010In November, I had an interesting experience.
I had the opportunity to film a PBS special on arthritis in Daytona Beach, Florida. The show will air sometime in the early spring. I’m told it’s going to be a national show so look for it!
I had never done anything like this before. Sure… I had been on TV shows… but it was always an interview type of situation with not a lot of preparation needed. I basically had to show up and answer the questions I knew were going to be asked of me.
This was different. While I knew what many of the questions were going to be, I had to prepare tightly scripted answers that had to fit in with the rest of the show.
I had the good fortune to work with two real professionals, Suzanne Andrews, an occupational therapist, and Dr. Mache Seidel, a professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
I didn’t realize the amount of work and effort involved in filming for television. The scripts are tightly edited and you have to be on your Ps and Qs … you really need to know your stuff. The preparation is amazing. You have make-up people and costume check people who make sure what you’re wearing is going to look good. There are microphone check people, camera people, on floor directors, off floor directors, producers, “go-fers”, and so on.
You might term it organized chaos.
The show was shot in segments so that the pieces could be edited and put together later. Every movement was choreographed. If a mistake was made, we could redo that. Teleprompters certainly helped. Because I was working with a professional crew, the number of “do-overs” was minimal. Thank goodness since we were operating on a tight time budget. Both Dr. Seidel and I had to get back to the office to see patients.
And it made me think about the similarities and differences between television show production and medicine. Having everything choreographed and laid out so it would flow is exactly the way medicine should be. That would certainly help eliminate errors. We already do much of that in our practice. We train and rehearse and talk about how things should flow and what activities might make for a better patient experience. The big difference though is this… there are no do overs. No second takes. We’re “live” all the time.
And that’s a huge difference, particularly when it comes to procedures.
My big take-away lesson:
In medicine, there are no do overs. That’s why practice and rehearsal before you see patients is mandatory. And it doesn’t stop in medical school. It’s got to be constant and ongoing.
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