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4 Women With Parkinson’s Share What They Wish They Knew When They Were First Diagnosed

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

From Good Housekeeping

While Parkinson’s disease affects men twice more often than women—Michael J. Foxx has been one of the most famous to be afflicted by it—data shows that women experience a faster progression of the disease and a higher mortality rate.

With symptoms like tremors, rigid muscles, slowed movements, and speech changes, a Parkinson’s diagnosis can wreak havoc on the body. These four women, who have been living with Parkinson’s for up to two decades, open up about what they wish they knew when they were first diagnosed, including how important it is to have a rock solid support network.

“You can live a great life with Parkinson’s, but you have to accept help along the way.”

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

After Kelly Weinschreider, 47, of Chicago, Illinois, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at just 29 years old, she was prescribed several medications that lessened her symptoms. Since she felt fine, it made it easier for her to ignore what was going on, especially since she didn’t tell many people about it. “I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me, or for my diagnosis to change my relationships, personally or professionally, ” she said.

That denial—plus side effects from the medicine and the disease’s progression—forced her to leave her job as a quality manager 10 years later. “I should have been seeing a behavioral health specialist to understand how Parkinson’s affected me and how to accept it,” she says. “Instead, I took my medications sporadically. I mismanaged time and commitments, and I had trouble performing my job and, ultimately, spun out. I wish I would have been more forthcoming with family and friends as to how the disease was affecting me.”

After living with the condition for 18 years, Weinschreider came to terms with her diagnosis. She also realized it truly takes a village to live life with Parkinson’s to its fullest and started to communicate with friends and family when she needed help. “You need the support of family and friends, the care of multiple specialists, and the foresight to plan for the future. You can live a great life with Parkinson’s, but you have to accept help along the way,” Weinschreider says.

“I wish I hadn’t dismissed early symptoms.”

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

Denise Coley, 68, of Morgan Hill, California was diagnosed with Parkinson’s two years ago, after months of having trouble balancing and experiencing insomnia and mood changes—all things she thought were unrelated to each other, not signs of a slow degenerative disease. “It wasn’t until the motor symptoms appeared, like the tremors, that I realized what was going on was a bigger issue than I originally thought,” Coley says.

In hindsight, Coley wishes she had responded differently, and run to the doctor first thing. “If I had realized sooner,” she says, “I would have spent more quality time with family. I would have looked into what changes in my life and home were needed earlier in order

Olivia Newton-John tearfully talks breast cancer diagnosis: ‘I knew immediately something was wrong’

Olivia Newton-John opened up about the first time she was diagnosed with breast cancer in a tearful video shared on Monday.

The “A Little More Love” singer was first diagnosed with the disease in 1992, had a secret battle with cancer in 2013 and her most recent diagnosis in 2017.

Newton-John, 72, currently has stage four metastatic breast cancer.

JOHN TRAVOLTA PRAISES ‘GREASE’ CO-STAR OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN AMID HER CANCER BATTLE: ‘I’M VERY PROUD OF HER’

The “Grease” actress announced a new foundation in her name to help other cancer survivors.

Olivia Newton-John attends 2018 G'Day USA Los Angeles Black Tie Gala 

Olivia Newton-John attends 2018 G’Day USA Los Angeles Black Tie Gala 
(Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

“I am probably one of those people who’s living beyond cancer, living beyond probably what people expected to happen,” the Australian singer said in her video.

She then got tearful recalling her 1992 diagnosis and said, “I knew immediately something was wrong.

“I had a mammogram. The mammogram was benign and I had a needle biopsy that was also benign,” Newton-John said. But she persisted and got a surgical biopsy, which then led to her breast cancer diagnosis.

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN GIVES HEALTH UPDATE ON BREAST CANCER DIAGNOSIS

The singer added: “I don’t say this to scare women, but you have to just trust your instincts.

“All this was overwhelming. It was a feeling of dread, terror, the unknown,” she said of that time.

Newton-John then added she chose to be strong moving forward for the sake of her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi.

“I made the decision that I was going to be okay. I had to believe I was going to be okay, that my daughter was the most important thing in my life and I would be okay for her,” the Grammy winner said.

KELLY PRESTON: JOHN TRAVOLTA’S ‘GREASE’ CO-STAR OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN SAYS HER ‘HEART BREAKS’ OVER THE LOSS

She also discussed her combination of cancer treatments ranging from chemotherapy, meditation, acupuncture, massage, and plant medicine to help her manage her pain.

Newton-John has long been an advocate for medicinal marijuana.

“Plant medicine has played an amazing role in my life. I have seen the incredible beauty of the plants and their healing abilities,” the actress said. “I know it sounds strange but if I hadn’t had that experience, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you about kinder therapies.”

She added: “Your body wants to heal itself. That’s why I’m excited to start this foundation.”

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The Olivia Newton-John foundation notes on their website, “We will fund the discovery of kinder therapies and advocate for more effective ways to prevent, treat and cure all cancers.”

In January, the actress gave a positive health update and revealed her tumors shrunk in size.

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Trump’s medical team briefing reveals things are worse than we knew

Here’s what we learned from the latest briefing.

Trump given steroid, a worrying sign

As a determination of the team based predominantly on the timeline from the initial diagnosis that we initiate dexamethasone. – White House physician Dr. Sean Conley

Dexamethasone – a safe, inexpensive steroid that has been around for decades – is generally reserved for patients with severe or critical Covid-19 cases.

The National Institutes of Health and World Health Organization both recommend the drug for patients on supplemental oxygen or ventilators, based on a large clinical trial that found it reduced the risk of death. But both guidelines warn the drug could harm people who don’t require oxygen therapy or a ventilator, and should not be used for such patients. Trump’s doctors said Sunday that he has received oxygen therapy twice for limited periods. They also said he’s run a fever.

The decision to give Trump dexamethasone shows that “he’s actually having effects on his lungs from the virus,” said Abraar Karan, an internal medicine doctor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Trump continues antiviral treatment that can shorten length of illness

The president yesterday evening completed his second dose of remdesivir. He’s tolerated that infusion well. – Dr. Brian Garibaldi

Remdesivir is an antiviral drug made by Gilead Sciences originally developed to fight Ebola. Trump’s doctors said Friday that he had begun the standard-five day course of infusions of the drug.

Remdesivir has been shown to speed recovery, but it’s not clear if it actually reduces the risk of death. The Food and Drug Administration has authorized emergency use in hospitalized patients.

Trump’s oxygen levels have dipped to concerning levels

Late Friday morning, when I returned to the bedside, the president had a high fever and his oxygen saturation was transiently dipping below 94 percent. Given these two developments, I was concerned for possible rapid progression of the illness. I recommended the president we try supplemental oxygen, see how he would respond. He was fairly adamant that he didn’t need it. He was not short of breath. He was tired, had the fever and that was about it. And after about a minute, on only two liters, his saturation levels were back over 95 percent. He stayed on that for about an hour, maybe, and was off and gone. – Dr. Conley

Another oddity of Covid-19: some patients’ oxygen levels fall, but they don’t have trouble breathing. That’s why doctors watch blood oxygen levels.

The president’s physicians gave him oxygen after his level dropped below 94 percent – a key threshold for Covid-19 patients. Dipping below that level signals that a patient’s case is moderate or severe, with the exact diagnosis depending on other vital signs, according to the CDC.

“Once you drop below 94 percent, by definition you have severe Covid,” said Carlos del Rio, an infectious-disease expert at Emory University.

What do Trump’s lung scans actually show?

What did the X-rays and CT scans show? Are there signs of pneumonia? Are there signs

The boutique fitness experience as we knew it is dead

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the previously-booming boutique fitness industry into crisis, with studios struggling to pay rent as classes remain closed or at limited capacity.
  • Consumers are increasingly pivoting to digital and at-home fitness as companies like Peloton and Mirror, already successful pre-pandemic, have been booming. 
  • Experts say the coronavirus exposed existing vulnerabilities in the boutique fitness industry, but the market for premium in-person fitness experiences will likely adapt and survive through the pandemic. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When Flywheel Sports, the revolutionary spin class with a cult following, announced it was permanently closing its doors in September, other studios saw an ominous sign in the world of boutique fitness.

“When it’s as big as Flywheel, that’s when it really gets noticed. That’s exemplifying what’s going to happen over the next 6 months,” said Amanda Freeman, founder of SLT NYC, a pilates studio with locations in several states, including New York and New Jersey.

Flywheel was once widely lauded as a paragon of success, expanding to 42 studios since its founding in 2014. In March, the company laid off 98% of its staff. Flywheel declared bankruptcy September 15, joining the ranks of fitness corporations like Gold’s Gym and New York Sports Club parent company Town International Sports, which have had to permanently shutter locations and liquidate assets in response to pandemic-induced closures.

Six months into the pandemic, the boutique fitness industry is now facing a crisis. 

The business of small, often exclusive or luxury spaces, group exercise classes, and typically a specialization (such as high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, barre, spin, or pilates), has boomed in the past decade.

“The big success was built on that idea that you could have an experience with an individual rockstar trainer or the brand identity and community,” said Jared Kaplan, owner and founder of Studio 26, once called the “WeWork” of fitness, providing a co-working space for fitness professionals. 

“People really identified with the experience they were having rather than being a cog in a big box gym, whether that was a dark class with pumping music or a really serene, meditative studio.”

But that highly successful model of home-away-from-home studios with showers, saunas, and luxe changing rooms may be a thing of the past. Instagram-worthy ambience, amenities, and a trainer that remembers your name may not be enough to entice exercisers back into the studio, given evidence that the virus spreads more easily indoors. 

To compete with the at-home fitness industry that’s booming during the pandemic, boutique fitness has to also adapt to meet clients where they are now, which is increasingly at home. And under intense economic and social pressure, studios that are unable or unwilling to change rapidly may not survive at all. 

Even prior to COVID-19, the industry was being squeezed by platforms like ClassPass, which offered subscribers credits to attend multiple studios, rather than faithfully subscribing to one. While boutique studios typically charge a premium per-class fee, ClassPass leveraged lower prices by helping to