May 18, 2015

Our May Support Group Meeting

Our second meeting for the month of May was better than the first and we came away feeling much better. My nurse cousin, Beverly did the presentation about neuropathy and the various causes.

She started off with a few questions. She asked how many had neuropathy. When there were only a few hands, she asked everyone to please be honest as she would move on to another topic if so few of us had neuropathy. At that, Tim asked everyone to consider being honest. This topic was important and he said there was some new information that might be worth considering. Slowly people started raising a hand until at least those that we knew had neuropathy had their hand up.

Tim turned to Beverly and said that everyone that we knew had neuropathy did have his or her hand up. Finally, one more hand was raised. At that point, Allen asked if there was anyone else. He then said that some things were good to keep secret, but when it came to diabetes, Allen said this is not good and we saw what happened with foot problems. We had too many people just begging for amputations. Neuropathy can prevent people from feeling some injuries that can lead to amputations.

Beverly said she would stay on this topic, and she agreed Allen had the right idea and understanding neuropathy was important. She then started by saying we are learning more almost every day about this, but there is still a lot we don't know. She then said both of us have read the same articles and she was happy that I had blogged about it on May 16 and 17, and while it is needed, more testing should be done to determine how accurate the numbers were, the three drugs may only be the tip if the iceberg.

Beverly said I know what Allen went through as Bob has told me and a deficiency of vitamin B12 and Vitamin D were both severe and caused Allen to have two shots of each and to take supplements. Bob has told me he has always tested in range for both, but he is taking supplements. Beverly continued that even her husband Tom takes supplements and is tested two times a year to see what the results are. That is why this new study is important.

Next, Beverly asked how many had gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The numbers were less and this was expected. So Beverly explained what GERD is and that an esophageal scope inserted down the throat into the stomach is used to make that determination. The scope has a light and viewing screen that allows the operator to view the tissue in the esophagus and stomach and take samples if needed. The surgeon is looking for inflammation and potential cancerous cells. Tim did put up the slides of the scope and its operation that she had provided and this drew a lot of discussion.

Then she ask Tim to start the slides on the medications that cause neuropathy by creating vitamin B12 deficiency. This brought up a lot of questions and discussion. She had Tim bring up the other slides from other blogs she had prepared. Because of the time, Tim said we would continue for a little time longer and then we would need to call a halt.

Barry asked what the other topic she would have covered. She said that would have been about colon cancer. This brought questions of the age to start checking. Beverly said this varies by family history and other factors. She said that often she sees the need for many women to start at age 45 and every one else at age 50. Some men also need to start at the age of 45. Siblings of people with colon cancer should possibly start earlier.

Beverly asked how many have had a colonoscopy. All but three hands went up. Her next question asked how many had diverticulitis or more properly pockets or small out pockets in their colon. Six hands were raised and as Tim presented the slide, three more were raised.

Beverly said in talking with Tim, she understood we normally do not have meetings in June through the end of August. Tim asked how many would like this meeting earlier. Every hand was raised. Tim asked how many would be able to attend if a meeting was held on June 6. All but two of the members were in favor. Next, he asked about May 30 and six did not raise their hand. When he asked about June 13, all hands were raised. Beverly said that would work for her and Tim said we will have a meeting on June 13. With that, Tim ended the meeting. It took another 30 minutes for everyone to leave, as there were a lot of questions.

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