Malignant Hyperthermia (MH) is a life-threatening disorder affecting 1 in every 2,000 - 3,000 people. This primarily hereditary condition is considered a, "pharmacogenetic disorder of the skeletal muscle." In layman's terms, having MH means you are susceptible to having an MH crisis. According to the Malignant Hyperthermia Association of the United States, "The general signs of the MH crisis include increased heart rate, greatly increased body metabolism, muscle rigidity and/or fever that may exceed 110 degrees F along with muscle breakdown, derangements of body chemicals and increased acide content in the blood. Severe complications can include cardiac arrest, brain damage, internal bleeding or failure of other body systems. Thus, death, primarily due to a secondary cardiovascular collapse, can result."
Considering Lung Cancer is the second most common adult cancer* the odds are that most people’s lives have been touched by this horrible disease at some point. A couple of years back, I wrote about my friend, Dianne, and how she fought Lung Cancer with a strength and resolve the likes of which I may never see again. I think about Dianne often. I miss her. True, it’s different now, almost three years after her death. But still, I miss her.
Every day, I answer customer calls here at Lauren’s Hope. I love talking with our customers and hearing their stories, learning about their conditions, and helping them find the products that work best for them and their loved ones. Every once in a while, however, I get a very special call. I get a call from a mom just like me.
Last Halloween was my daughter’s first big holiday since being diagnosed with a chocolate allergy. I was more than a little nervous about her school parties, expecting a call from the nurse at any moment. Thankfully, she navigated the events (with the help of her terrific teacher) without incident, and our trick-or-treating went off without a hitch as well.
Much of this is due to the fact that Julia, then 6, was already well aware of her allergy and comfortable self-advocating. She always asks whether foods have chocolate in them and takes the extra step to explain that it’s an important question, as she is allergic. Of course, that’s all well and good when a child self-advocates this way. But many children do not or cannot, which can make Halloween more than a little intimidating for their parents.
What's more fun than a Friday?
What is Lymphedema?
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Thanks to nationwide efforts, bullying has become less tolerated than ever in recent years, but it still happens every day. That’s one reason why PACER Center, an organization devoted to supporting children with disabilities and their families, has created PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, which is the organization behind National Bullying Prevention Month and its cornerstone, Unity Day on October 22nd.
Here at Lauren’s Hope, we hear about bullying quite a bit. In fact, when parents call to order medical ID jewelry for their children, bullying is often one of the topics they’re most concerned about. We hear about children being bullied for having special needs, allergies, chronic medical conditions, disabilities, medical devices, and on and on. Parents are sometimes concerned that their children will even be bullied for wearing their medical ID jewelry.
Lauren's Hope is a constantly evolving, growing organization with countless moving parts. Heading up the organization of all of those spinning plates is Sari Cantrell, Operations Manager and jack-of-all-trades around the office who is just as often found fixing a computer or developing infrastructure as she is working on our website, helping customers, managing inventory, and pitching in wherever else she's needed. We sat down this morning to chat about her first 18 months here at LH.