Friday, May 21, 2010

Billy Bridges

The Friday before a long weekend is always fabulous, especially when you get a call at 11 letting you know you have the afternoon off! Yahoo! It also helps that its sunny and warm out!

This morning at the hospital was excellent! It was a pretty slow morning, and we even had some downtime in which I searched for peer reviewed journal articles about hypoglycemia. I mentioned a patient a few days ago who had had a colostomy and as result had an external colostomy pouch. We were referred to see her again today to increase her calorie consumption. When we arrived to see her, her colostomy bag had just burst, so the nurse was in helping her clean everything up. We waited in the hall until she was decent and then went in to see her. The doctor had prescribed 3 cans of Peptimen 1.5 daily with flavour crystals for taste, but for some reason she wasn't getting them. Peptimen is a supplemental beverage that is basically pre-broken down and ready for absorption by the body. This patient was having a lot of issues because everything she ate was going right through her without being absorbed. She was wearing the largest, most heavy duty pouch they have but still have to empty it about 3 times per meal! The poor women! She broke down and started crying while we were there out of frustration. You can't help but feel for her! She has kidney disease on top of the whole colostomy disaster, and doesn't even have any family ever coming in to see her. Unfortunately, if the peptimen isn't tolerated, there isn't much more we can do for her, so needless to say our fingers are crossed that it helps at least a little bit!

This week is The Canadian Paraplegic Association week at the hospital, so we were fortunate enough to have Olympic gold medalist in Sledge Hockey, Billy Bridges, give a talk at the hospital. He talked about how he got involved in sport, how he struggled with his disability growing up and how sport changed his perspective about his disability. Obviously I can't exactly relate as I have been fortunate enough to be healthy my whole life, but one of my favorite things about sport is that all athletes can relate on some level. No matter what the sport, it all takes hard work, dedication and involves the same frustrations and triumphs. He passed around his Olympic gold medal at the end and was around to answer any questions anyone had. It was a great way to end the morning! The most interesting part of the talk for me was his disability. He was born with spina bifida, also known as a neural tube defect. He was lucky enough to have a milder case of it. The interesting thing about spina bifida is that it's completely avoidable. It's caused by a maternal folate deficiency in the first 4 weeks of pregnancy. Unless the pregnancy is planned, it is not uncommon to not even know you are pregnant until 4 weeks in. How scary is that? Without even knowing you are pregers, you are permanently damaging your baby. It is for this very reason that it is recommended that all women of child bearing age take supplemental folate. It's also one of the reasons that the majority of commercial grain products, such as pastas, cereals and breads, are now fortified with folate. I must admit, I am of child bearing age and am not taking a folate supplement, so I can't exactly sit here and preach to everyone to run out and get some, but it definitely wouldn't be a bad idea if we all did!

I got my packing list, emergency evacuation plan, itinerary etc for Kenya today, which is super exciting. I also only have THREE days of internship left! As sad as it is because I love my placement, it's a little bit of a relief at the same time! I'm excited to have a break from homework and assignments and 2 hours of driving everyday. I am also super super excited to go home! Just a little over 2 weeks!

1 comment:

  1. Great post KP! You must be stoked for Kenya!

    I am a HUGE advocate of folic acid supplements. Most women's multivitamins contain 400 ug of folic acid, so if you take a multivitamin you're covered. This is so important!! Thank you for including it in your post!!