Potential Wound Pathogens

Majority of all microorganisms are less than 0.1mm in diameter. No wonder they are called microorganisms and can only be seen with a microscope.

Microorganisms can be classified into groups such as bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses. This categorization is on the basis of structure and metabolic capabilities of these microorganisms. Let’s look at these microorganisms in more detail.

-Bacteria

Bacteria are relatively simple cells and can be further categorized on the basis of their shape and cell wall. There are Cocci that have a spherical shaped cell, bacilli that are rod shaped and sprirochaetes that are spiral. These three can be categorized together. Cocci and bacilli however, are also found in pairs, chains and irregular clusters.

These bacteria can be seen using a bacteriological staining process called Gram staining. After this process Gram-positive bacteria appear purple and Gram-negative bacteria appear red, thus helping in the identification.

There are also certain species of bacteria that are not stained with the Gram reaction. These bacteria e.g. Clostridia, need specialized stains.

-Fungi

Fungi are larger and more complex cells as compared to bacteria. Fungi can either be single celled yeast or a multi-cellular organism that have nuclei within a cell membrane. Fungi are usually produce superficial infections that are found on the skin, nails and hair.

-Protozoa

Protozoa is another single celled organism that has a fragile membrane but does not have A cell wall. The most significant association of protozoa is found with infected skin ulcers.

-Viruses

Viruses are composed of nucleic acid which is a genetic material. This is enclosed in a protein coat or a membranous envelope. We do not see viruses generally causing  wound  infections however, bacteria might infect skin lesions which are formed during the course of a viral disease.

One should clearly note that different microorganisms are able to exist in polymicrobial communities. This is usually the case within the margins of a  wound .

-MRSA

First found in the United Kingdom in the 1980s, Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA is still a cause of concern for healthcare practitioners.

Today many different strains of Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus can be found. These affect a large number of individuals in various healthcare settings. The degree of infections can range in severity from simple  wound  colonization that does not need aggressive treatment to a systemic infection such as bronchopneumonia that can prove to be fatal. Evidence suggests that this microbe is no more pathogenic in a  wound  than the non-resistant version.

Princess Diana Charity Work Has Not Been Forgotten

From the moment that it was announce that she would be marrying Charles, the Prince of Wales, Diana found herself in the limelight by becoming part of the Royal Family. During the years from her engagement to Charles until her untimely death in a car accident, Diana managed to win many fans and admirers.

Her loss was sorely mourned by people around the world who felt as though they had lost a treasured friend. Even though more than tens years has passed since her death, Diana still has an influence and impact through the Princess Diana charity work programs.

When Lady Diana Spencer married Charles, the heir to the throne of Britain, in 1981, her life was forever changed in ways that she surely had never even imagined. It was in 1987 that voluntary charity work seemed to take on a more important role to her.

It was at that time that Diana participated in the opening of a hospital ward that was dedicated to AIDS patients. People from around the globe were in shock when they saw that she chose not to wear protective clothing because the common belief, at that time, was that AIDS could be spread by casual contact.

In a way, the Princess Diana charity work that she later became recognized and acclaimed for was launched on that occasion. Even though many were unsure of the appropriateness of the Princess being so closely involved with an AIDS charity, including the Queen herself and the royal advisors, in a sense the debate seemed to make her even more resolute in supporting the AIDS work, as well as other charity volunteer work programs.

Soon enough, it was not only the AIDS hospital volunteer work that gained from Princess Diana’s awareness and ministrations. Diana became the royal patron of no less than seventy different volunteer charity agencies and in short order had a packed schedule to try keep up with all of them. At first, the needs of babies and child welfare received most of her attention, but it was not long before Princess Diana took on many other dimensions as she discovered other opportunities for volunteer work London and through the British Empire.

After the AIDS cause, the volunteer charity organization that Diana became most closely aligned with was a group called Birthright and she soon became a patron of the group. Birthright is an organization that functions as the appeal department of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The mission of Birthright is to do significant amounts of fundraising to support research of the common problems of unborn children, including occurrences such as stillbirths, infant deaths and the complications of infertility.

Princess Diana’s tireless work on the behalf of numerous voluntary charity organizations helped to throw a spotlight on many of the issues that were being addressed by international volunteer work programs and was instrumental in helping to encourage people around the globe to donate of their time, skills, effort, and money to good causes. Princess Diana did much more than just raise funds for various charities; she compassionately served those in need and inspired countless people to follow her lead.

“There is something quite moving about the way she talks with patients. Not only is she concerned about their problems, but they know she is. She understands the joy of having a baby and the anguish if something goes wrong. She felt very lucky and privileged to have had two healthy children, says Vivienne Parry, one of the group’s national organizers.

Princess Diana had a strong determination to help charities that had been rejected by others, and her efforts extended to charity work overseas as well. Touched by the awful effects of leprosy, Diana became a patron of the Leprosy Mission. She was admired for the way that she not only shook the hands of those with leprosy but also would sit with them on their beds and visit with them like an old friend.

Through the brief years of her life, the Princess Diana charity work that she engaged in clearly demonstrated to others that there was no need to be apprehensive about working with the victims of various illnesses and diseases. Princess Diana lived a full and compassionate life that was influential and encouraging to millions and her dedicated charity work will not be forgotten.

Extreme Dieting

Each and every human being has got a right to maintain his or her weight. Dieting is just a practice of taking in different classes of food in a manner that will enable you to control your weight. For the ones who are overweight, the main aim is to loose weight while others consider their dieting in order to add some more weight. Diet has got different classes. These classes include the weight loss diets which restricts the amount of food that is taken in order to loose weight. This works differently in different individuals. To some people, maintaining a significant weight is not an easy task and hence they try different weight loss tips.

The ones who do heavy duties such as athletes mostly take the weight gain diets in order to increase their body weight and energy. People who are underweight also take weight gain diet in order to increase in weight or body mass. The actors may also loose or gain weight to enable them portray a certain role in the play. Extreme dieting has its side effects. That is, extreme weight loss and extreme intake of food. They may lead to reduced sex drive, depression, irritability, prolonged hunger,   fainting , fatigue, post nasal drip, bloodshot eyes, muscle atrophy, acidosis, seizures, rashes, abnormal weight gain and malnutrition which may lead to loss of life.

Extreme weight loss can be brought about through fasting therefore lengthy fasting is not healthy to your body since it may cause malnutrition thus, it should be done only under medical supervision.

Stage 4 Lung Cancer – What Is It?

What is stage 4 lung cancer? It is the most advanced stage of lung cancer known today. Having cancer at this stage means that the tumor at the lungs has spread out to the other parts of the body. This is also called metastasis. Identifying lung cancer stage is important to determine the extent of the spread of cancer and what possible treatment that a willing cancer patient must go through if he opt to be treated. This type of lung cancer may affect the brain, the liver, the adrenal glands and the bone.

Usually, a lung cancer is not detected on its early stage. Most symptoms start to manifest only at the later stage of the disease. Some stage 4 lung cancer symptoms are persistent coughing and sometimes with bloody mucous, shortness of breath, hoarseness of voice, difficulty in swallowing, tenderness of muscles with intolerable muscle pains, repeated occurrence of pneumonia or bronchitis and fatigue. Affecting the brain, the symptoms are severe headaches, vision changes and seizure attacks. For the liver and adrenal glands, a cancer patient may experience abdominal pain, fever, yellowish skin, swollen legs, weight loss and loss of appetite. Bone breakage occurs even when there is no injury that took place. Note however that different people may show different symptoms as this will depend on the other organs affected.

One should undergo multiple tests when most of the symptoms manifest. Stage 4 lung cancer can be diagnosed through various tests like chest x-rays, bone scans, CT scans or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), ultrasound and other blood tests. After taking all the necessary tests and a diagnosis has been made, an individual who is said to have this disease is entitled to get a second opinion, after all, its his life that is at stake. Note however that this lung cancer has no more cure but there are treatment methods that an individual may undergo to reduce pain at a certain level, slow down the growth of cancer cells and extend his life.

The common treatments recommended to slow down the spread of cancer cells for stage 4 lung cancer are chemotherapy, radiation therapy and in some cases the combination of both. Why not surgery? Surgery at this point in time is not recommended because as stated, this stage is characterized with the spread of tumors in various organs. The purpose of surgery is to remove the organ affected with tumor. To remove all the organs with tumor will just make the cancer patient weaker and may even be the cause for him to pass away sooner than he should. Chemotherapy, as a treatment, makes use of chemical agents to destroy the cancer cells. There are three ways to take this treatment. It can be taken orally, through injection or through the veins. What is important is the dosage of administering this treatment. But there is a setback. The treatment can also destroy non-cancer cells. Chemotherapy can not distinguish a good cell from a cancer cell. Radiation therapy on the other hand use radioactive substances to target and destroy the DNA of the cancer cells. An external machine can be used or a radioactive material can be inserted into the body and position it close to the area affected by the tumor. Like chemotherapy, radiation therapy can also damage normal body cells.

In consideration of the family of a cancer patient, they will also experience agony as they witness the physical hardships that their love one is going through. The cancer patient with so much effort will try not to show how much physical pain he is experiencing because he knows that his love ones will also suffer. In reciprocity, family members will try hard not to show how much they sympathize and empathize for their cancer patient. For most families, a disease such as stage 4 lung cancer has brought the family members closer to each other. One concern that brings the family together is the fact that this is a terminal case. It is but human nature to want to spend time with a love one who you know will be gone soon. Another reason concerns family decisions and support that need to be made. When a patient decides that he wants to undergo treatment, he will be needing all the support that his family can give.

Stage 4 lung cancer is a dreadful disease that no one wants to have but there are ways not to reach this stage if you already have lung cancer.

Disabled Veterans Unable to Work Can Get A 100 Percent VA Rating and Full Benefits

If you are a disabled veteran who can’t work, you could be entitled to full disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) even if your current VA rating is below 100 percent. You could get Total Disability based on Individual Unemployability (TDIU).

What Does It Mean To Be Unemployable?

Veterans are unemployable if the disabilities they have that are tied to their military service are preventing them from working. The most extreme situation is that a veteran is unable to work at all. Additionally, unemployability can also be claimed if the veteran is unable to keep a job, or to earn enough money to live above the annual poverty level, which is currently set at $11,170.

Unemployability can also apply to a disabled veteran who works on a farm or for a family business, even if their income exceeds the annual poverty level. This is referred to as “sheltered employment,”

If any of these situations describe what’s happening in your life, you should look into getting full benefits based on individual unemployability, especially if the VA rating you currently have makes you eligible for TDIU.

What is the VA Rating Criteria for Individual Unemployability?

In most cases, your current VA rating must meet the VA’s criteria for TDIU. For example, if you have a disability rated at 60 percent or higher, you are eligible. You can also have a combined VA rating of 70 percent or higher for two or more disabilities as long as one disability is rated at 40 percent.

There Are Exceptions to the VA’s Rules

Eligibility is not always that cut and dry. Believe it or not, you don’t have to necessarily meet one of these VA ratings to qualify. The VA understands that each and every disability case is different. Yours may be linked to a specific situation that supports why you can’t work. So, if you feel your service-connected disability is interfering with your ability to work, you may be entitled to more money from the VA.

Can TDIU Benefits Stop?

There are a couple of scenarios that could affect the continuation of your TDIU benefits.

Even, if you are awarded a 100 percent rating based on unemployability, the VA could still discontinue TDIU if they decide that you are fit to work. That decision would be based upon a requested medical examination. Your TDIU status will end and you will go back to getting compensated based on your actual VA rating.

If you do starting working again, you’ll lose TDIU after a year and you will simply go back to getting disability compensation based on your actual VA rating in addition to a good steady salary.

5 Things Your Nails Are Trying to Say About Your Health

Your nails say a lot about you, such as your favorite polish color or even how meticulous you are with your hygiene. However, they also say a lot about your general health. From signaling that you may be suffering from a respiratory condition to suggesting that you may be suffering from thyroid disease, here are five things your nails can say about your health.

1. Blue Fingernails: Referred to as cyanosis in the medical community, this indicates that there is too little oxygen circulating in your blood. It can also signal that your extremities are not getting enough oxygen. If you massage or warm up your hands and they return to their normal color, this is usually the case. However, if they remain blue, there is an underlying cause. In many cases, this is the result of a respiratory condition, such as emphysema, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). It can also be a sign of Raynaud’s Disease, which is due to a vessel abnormality and can be treated.

2. Yellow Nails: In most cases, this is the result of a fungal infection that is frequently caused by the overgrowth of the organism Candida albicans. In this situation, you may also notice pain and swelling. Dermatophytesare a second type of fungus that often inhabits the nails and often causes them to become thick and split. In rare cases, this is caused by “yellow nail syndrome”, a serious medical condition that indicates the accumulation of excess fluid in the body’s tissues. This requires immediate medical attention.

3. Pitting: Caused by new nail cells developing unevenly superficially in the matrix, this term refers to small dents that form on the nail’s surface. Up to 50 percent of people suffering from psoriasis, a skin condition that results in flaky, red skin, develop pitting during their lifetime. In some cases, it may be indicative of a systemic disease, a condition that affects multiple tissues and organs in the body, such as sarcoidosis.

4. Horizontal rippling: Often referred to as Beau’s lines, this is the result of disrupted cell growth in the matrix below the surface and is often a sign of a nutritional deficiency and/ or serious illness. For example, it can indicate uncontrolled diabetes, a zinc deficiency, peripheral vascular disease, pneumonia, scarlet fever,   measles , mumps, or any other illness that causes an extremely high fever.

5. Brown or Copper Fingernails: Although it is rare, this can be a sign of subungual melanoma, a potentially deadly form of cancer that originates in the nail’s matrix. More often it is a sign of a nutritional deficiency, especially vitamin B12, iron, or zinc. However, it can also simply be a reminder that you are getting older.

If you have an upcoming doctor’s visit, be sure to take off any polish ahead of time so that he or she can get a good look at your naked nails. You may find out that they are trying to tell you, and your physician, something important about your health.

Cerebral Palsy Tests – Diagnosing Cerebral Palsy

Determining if a child has cerebral palsy (CP) is hard to do.  The easiest way to diagnosis a child is to run tests in order to rule out other conditions.  The reason for this is because other conditions can have the same symptoms.  Tests will be given so they can determine if your child has CP. 

Although there is not one test to determine CP on its own, however doctors will run a series of tests so they can rule out other conditions.  A main symptom of is the delay of their development and for this reason is why doctors usually use tests of motor skills.  This way they can see if the child is meeting the developmental milestones.

Cerebral Palsy Tests: Looking for Brain Damage

All the causes of CP have yet to be discovered, however the number one cause of it is damage done to the brain.  How the brain damage occurs is not known but most of the time it happens during the development of the fetus.  The other part the time brain damage can happen during the birth of your child up to early childhood.

To identify damaged to the brain doctors perform brain scans.  Types of brain scans include:

  • Cranial ultrasound- this test is given when a baby is born before 37 weeks.   Using this imaging method can show the soft tissues of the brain.
  • Computed tomography, (CT scan) – this is used to be able to see a picture of the brain from many different positions.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging, (MRI) – The use of magnets and radio waves to allow a more detail image of the brain.
  • Electroencephalogram, (EEG) – is used to measure electrical activity in the brain and is performed on babies that have had seizures.

Other CP Tests

Additional tests that may help to determine or rule out a cerebral palsy diagnosis include:

  • Blood tests
  • Genetic tests
  • Metabolic tests
  • Vision and hearing testing

Each test used to diagnose your child depends on the symptoms.    

After the Tests: What Next?

Cerebral palsy tests only diagnose the child it does not tell us why your child developed the condition.  Most of the time it is not clear what caused the condition, however, if it was due to medical negligence the evidence will be clear.  Some questions to think about if your child has CP.

  • Was your baby born after a difficult labor?
  • Did you child get enough oxygen at all times during labor and delivery?
  • Was there a use of forceps, other related instruments or unnecessary force used during delivery?

There are other forms of neglect not mentioned above so if you have any questions regarding your child’s condition and the delivery you can seek the professional advice of a medical malpractice attorney.  They will evaluate your case for free and advise you of your legal rights.

Achieve Your Goals – Watch Out For Analysis Paralysis

An achieved goal is a thing wondrous to behold. I have achieved many goals in my life and will achieve many more. Each success leaves me happier than ever. I have also had many failures of the type that have a known correctable cause and, whilst the feedback and learning gained has been most useful in the longer term, each one of these was a definite blow to my self-esteem at the time. It does not matter what anyone tells me, or even what I tell myself, at the time it is felt like a personal failure. You see, my goals are personal. So are yours. Time and reflection always puts things into perspective of course. Resilience, courage and tenacity will have me bouncing back to pursue new goals in no time. For me, the most insidious drain on gumption and confidence is not a goal failing for some reason but rather a goal that is never started at all. There are several reasons for failure to start a goal such as lack of resources, fear, emotional strength. This article looks at another very common reason many people fail to start goals at all; analysis  paralysis .

Analysis  paralysis  simply means that you are so intent on getting everything right prior to starting a goal that you are literally paralysed into inaction.

Too many failures in succession can deplete your reserves of confidence, tenacity and commitment and lead to you becoming gun-shy. You overcompensate by trying so hard to get things perfect that the goal is buried beneath a mass of details, caveats and compromises. This also provides you with ample evidence of another failure from which it can be even harder to recover. You can acquire a losing mentality.

How then do you avoid this sorry fate? Ideally, you should avoid it at all costs. You can break any medium to large goal into sub-goals. This method affords you many smaller victories along the way and lets you build up your success muscles and confidence. Likewise, any failures are smaller and less frequent. You will be a goal-master in no time.

A slight variation of the same method works if you are already caught in a strong downward spiral; through loss of confidence and inability to start any goals due to analysis  paralysis . Even if you don’t want to, force yourself to pick your next goal but this time, instead of trying to break it down into sub-goals only, break these sub-goals down into even smaller goals. Make the stretch as gentle as possible. Take baby steps. Go for a series of very small wins. This will begin to get that confidence and belief back. You will get back on the horse and start to believe again. Keep gradually building up to the goals that really stretch you. If you have a failure, simply go for a series of smaller wins again until you are back with your full winning mentality.

I never said it would be easy. Create the right conditions for success and you will be successful.

I wish you well in all your endeavours.

Drugs For Herpes – Anti-Viral Therapy For Genital Herpes Explained

If you suffer from genital herpes, one of the first and most important choices you must make is on how you are going to manage the condition, control symptoms and manage outbreaks. There are a wide variety of drugs for herpes available, consisting of prescription anti-virals and over-the-counter topical treatments, as well as many alternative treatments that range from homeopathic concoctions to vitamin supplement therapy. In this article we will look at some of the prescription drugs for herpes options your doctor may make available to you.

The most commonly prescribed drugs for the treatment of herpes are Acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir, which may be known as their Brand names, Zovirax, Famvir and Valtrex, respectively. These drugs are known as anti-virals, and are taken orally on a schedule dependent on which type of therapy is prescribed for your condition. These drugs for herpes also come in topical forms, which is a cream you can apply to sores or rashes during an outbreak.

How these medications are taken will depend on your prescribed type of treatment. The three main treatments are listed below.

Suppressive Therapy – this refers to ongoing use of an antiviral drug to reduce the number of outbreaks, reduce severity and reduce viral shedding, which lessens the risk of transmitting the virus to a partner. This is usually prescribed to those with particularly severe or frequent outbreaks. This form of treatment can be very effective, but can also be expensive and may cause unwanted side effects.

Pre-Emptive Therapy – usage of drugs for herpes during selective periods in the sufferers life. Most commonly used by people who know what diet or lifestyle factors will trigger an outbreak, so they can medicate as needed. Those who control their herpes through supplements, diet or natural treatments will often utilise pre-emptive therapy when they know they are going through a stressful period (such as exams or a wedding), or when travelling or during holiday seasons when the diet and lifestyle is likely to change for a short period of time.

Episodic Therapy – Use of drugs for herpes only during an outbreak. Most commonly used by those who have very infrequent or light symptoms. Generally taken within three days of an outbreak, or when the ‘tingling’ sensation is felt, and can reduce severity or in some cases help avoid the outbreak all together.

Fairy Tale Mania Has US in It’s Grip

Fairy tale mania is sweeping the country. If you don’t believe me check the movie listings. You can check the TV listings and you’ll find plenty of these tales being spun, or fractured or rewritten.

This isn’t exactly new but I think it’s at a higher level now than at any time and I don’t see the trend dying out.

Why should it? Fairy tales are terrific stories in themselves so when you take one of these stories we’re familiar with and fracture it, there are lots of things that can happen.

  • New characters from other fairy tales might sneak in. (The Gingerbread Man keeps sneaking into my stories)
  • The character can be changed in many ways. A sweet princess might become a ruthless warrior (Snow White) or a small girl grows up to hunt vampires (Gretel)
  • The stories happy ending might become anything but. (I love doing this in my tales so readers are always wondering about the ending)
  • The setting can change.

The list goes on and on. A skilled writer can take a tale and expand it.

One of the best examples I can give is TV’s Once Upon a Time. What a concept. Fairy tale characters put under a curse and living in today’s world without knowing their true identities.

Actually the curse thing and living in a modern world had been done before. The Charmings was a weekly TV show where Snow White and Prince Charming and others lived in the real world but knew their fairy tale identities. I loved this show until they changed the actress who played Snow White. Paul Winfield played the magic mirror and was hilarious.

Once Upon a Time has taken this concept much further and the tale continues to entertain watchers every week.

In the movie theaters there is Maleficent. I haven’t seen this but the publicity is huge. Even Hansel and Gretel have grown up and fight vampires on the big screen.

You’ll find Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood pitching products in the commercials.

Grimm is another show that takes these tales and myths and brings them into today’s world but I have to admit many times I’m confused as to what tale they are referencing. It must work though because it has certainly gone beyond a one year run.

It can still kick up a debate as to why not only kids but adults as well enjoy fairy tales. Personally I think it’s because these stories are simply entertaining. Snow White is one of the most popular fairy tale characters ever and why shouldn’t she be? The story has everything.

There’s a magic mirror and an evil stepmother and seven dwarfs. A prince kisses her and brings her back to life so the story also has romance. I had a blast fracturing that tale. My concept was to keep the general theme of Snow White but then add twists and turns. I took a lot of liberties because I knew that was a story that pretty much everyone was familiar with so they would understand the humor.

That’s also one of the keys to the fairy tale mania we’re experiencing. At least in my opinion. Those who know the story from their childhood have grown up and enjoy watching the different ways the stories are rewritten. It works.

I like to say these fractured or rewritten fairy tales can also be enjoyed by immature adults.

Classic Chevy – 1970 Monte Carlo

A classic Chevy in the traditional sense will indeed cover a lot of bases. But there is a favored classic Chevy of yesteryear that is worth remembering and that was the introduction of the 1970 Monte Carlo.

The 1970 Monte Carlo was the brain child of Elliot M Estes (Pete) the car was to be Chevrolet’s counterpart to the 1969 Pontiac Grand Prix. Pontiac had great success with the Grand Prix Pontiac in 1969 and Chevrolet wanted to take advantage of that success.

Chevrolet’s stylist in the 70’s Dave Holls borrowed from the Cadillac Eldorado and Chevrolet Chevelle, they produced the muscular looking Classic Chevy Monte Carlo. What came out of this design was a two-door coupe with a classic style that has lasted 6 generations and due to make a reappearance in 2012. Although it’s stats are not likely to impress as much as the 70’s but the reviews are giving the 3.4L V6 2012 model a buildup.

The 70’s Classic Chevy design was marketed as a personal-luxury coupe through its entire history. It has outlived many competitors that were either discontinued or changed into either a four-door sedans or smaller sport coupes.

The base model weighed in at 3460 lbs, about 200 lbs. more than a 2-door Chevelle with the shorter 112-inch wheelbase. Monte Carlos were equipped with more luxury options than your typical Chevelle, such as air conditioning (yes, in 1970, air conditioning was considered a luxury option, unlike today!), power windows, and other items that increased the vehicle weight. Fender skirts were also a popular option.

The best were the first four generations (70-72, 73-77, 78-80 and 81-88) all were rear wheel drive V8 powered coupes. The all had separate chassis and body construction of the traditional full size cars.

My all time favorite was the 1971 model year. There was not much in changes from the first year. In the SS model got European symbol knobs and the steering wheel got four spokes and a raised hood ornament.

The classic Chevy body style made use of the GM’s G-body also used on the Grand Prix. So instead of just making more passenger space on the Chevrolet model they added a splice between the firewall and the front wheels. This is what created the unique Monte Carlo classic look. The classic long hood turned out to be very popular.

Base power included the 350 Turbo-Fire small block V8 with 250 hp with a 2 barrel carburetor. By today’s standards 334 ft lbs of torque at only 2800 rpm was exciting. Some of the standard options included disk brakes in the front. Most of us old guys love the simulated wood trim patterned after the Rolls Royce.

An option available on my 71 added a four-barrel carburetor pushing the 350 to output 300 hp. Both the small block and big block 400 cubic inch engines were offered. The big block version rated at 330 hp was actually the 396 at 402 cubic inch slightly larger displacement.

The most power came in the Monte Carlo SS 454 at 360 hp with 500 ft lbs of torque. The option was only an extra $420 for 7.4 L made for quite a fast car. Standard was the heavy-duty suspension and 3.31 rear gear with load leveling suspension. The badge of honor was “SS 454” for the option package with a turbo hydramatic-transmission. Only 3,823 wore the badge of honor “SS-454” and those cars are highly sought after today by enthusiasts and collectors.

7 Easy Ways to Cure a Cold

The common cold is a nuisance when you catch one. One can feel miserable for several days when dealing with a cold. Here are a few suggestions to help you deal with your next cold.

  • Don’t blow your nose. Although it seems the right thing to do, some surprising research has shown that blowing your noise actually propels viruses and bacteria back into your sinuses.
  • Gargle with salt water. Mix a teaspoon of salt into warm water and gargle with it four or more times a day. This will soothe the throat and help rinse away post-nasal drip.
  • Eat a big breakfast. Consuming a big, hearty breakfast can raise blood levels of gamma interferon by 450%. Gamma interferon is the body’s top virus-fighting compound. If you don’t eat any breakfast at all, your gamma interferon will be lowered by as much as 17%.
  • Crack open a window. Even if it’s cold outside, it is a good idea to open up a couple of windows and draw fresh air in while getting rid of the germ-laden air.
  • Drink lots of fluids. No, not alcoholic beverages. Drink lots of water, tea and juice to prevent dehydration which can occur if you have a fever. Dehydration will interfere with the body’s removal of toxins produced while fighting viruses. So, drink up!
  • Play video games. Yes, that’s correct. By playing video games for about 12 minutes or so, you can generate good stress which will send levels of a key immune system protein soaring.
  • Eat chicken soup. But, of course, you must eat chicken soup if you have a cold. Chicken soup can help reduce the swelling of your nasal cavities and it provides the protein your body needs to manufacture antibodies.

Low-Back Pain – Causes and Treatment

In a busy primary clinical practice, at least one patient a day comes in with a backache. It is one of the most common human ailments. Most of the problems are with the lower back; and no wonder. The lower back is the “axle” on which most of the other muscle movements base their action. By going through an approach which looks at the history of the pain and the mechanics of the lower back, the doctor can hopefully come up with a successful plan of treatment.

The history is very important, i.e., when did the pain first appear? Is it something which occurs frequently, or is this the first time? What is the nature of the pain: Sharp, dull, intermittent or constant? Does it “radiate” somewhere or does it remain in one area? What were the activities prior to the pain? Maybe you were moving railroad ties around your garden, or continuously leaning back to paint a ceiling. Maybe you’ve been sleeping on a roll-away bed while guests are visiting and it has a six inch mattress with a metal bar halfway across it. Do you have fever or blood in your urine (kidney stone)? By this process, your doctor tries to “sift out” the exact nature and specific history of your back pain.

The second step is to look at the back. Starting with the skin, is there an isolated rash that might be shingles? Is there an infected cyst or an area of skin infection, such as one surrounding a tick bite? Now look at the posture. Is the back too straight, as from muscle spasm? Does it curve to the left or right (scoliosis), and is this a permanent finding or is it due to muscle spasm? Does the back curve too far toward the front (lordosis), maybe due to a prominent “pot belly?” As part of this process your doctor might make other observations. Do walking and standing make the pain worse, and is it primarily movement of one leg that seems to cause the problem? When one sits in a chair, does he slouch with poor posture, or sit too straight from muscle spasm?

The next thing I do in evaluating back is imagine that I have “x-ray vision”, and using the anatomic map I have in mind, go down through the back one layer at a time looking for something wrong. The outermost muscle of the back is the latissimus dorsi which goes all the way from below the “wing” bones (scapulae) to the crests of the hip bones. Weight lifters like to build these up for aesthetic purposes. It has a very broad ligament which stretches over and attaches to the entire lower back. It has a lot of cutaneous nerves which come through the muscle and can be pinched by muscle spasm. The very broad ligament is like any other ligament of the body: it can be stretched or torn causing pain and swelling. Under that is a very large fascia which is like a ligament, and is called the lumbo-dorsal fascia. Deeper muscles of the sides of the back attach to this, and the whole structure is subject to often multiple varieties of strains and tears. Finally, in the third layer are the deep muscles of the back which run parallel to and attach to the spine. They have ligamentous attachments to the lower back and are subject to strains and tears.

Underneath these layers of the back muscles are the actual spine bones. They are very large and sturdy, except perhaps in the case of an elderly person with osteoporosis. There are five lumbar vertebrae, five sacral vertebrae (which are fused), and four coccyx vertebrae. They are held together with ligaments on the front, sides, and back. There are cushions between the lumbar vertebrae called discs which have gelatinous centers and fibrous outer sheaths. Sometimes the gelatinous center ruptures out through the fibrous sheet and this is commonly referred to as a “ruptured disc.” The gelatinous material can impinge on a spinal nerve coming out of the spinal cord, and cause pain down the back of the leg. This is called “sciatica.” Sometimes the disc can rupture inward and actually push on the spinal cord. This may cause bowel and bladder problems and other neurological symptoms.

The doctor examines you continually looking for clues. Is the pain localized to one of the muscles of the back or to its ligamentous attachments, or does it seem to be a deeper process? In looking for a deeper process, the examination often focuses on the legs. The doctor might look to see if there is muscle atrophy due to a nerve injury up around the spine. Are there precisely located areas where the skin is numb or has decreased sensitivity? Are the reflexes brisk and equal at the knees and ankles (looking for the same nerve injury indications)? Is there weakness in pushing down with the great toe (a sign of L5-S1 nerve impingement)?

Now it’s time to consider other potential causes of back pain. A kidney infection or kidney stone can cause back pain over the areas of the kidneys. Sometimes a dysfunctional gallbladder can cause back pain. As people grow older, particularly if they smoke, they can get aneurysms of the abdominal aorta, which the doctor might pick up by x-ray or listening to the mid-abdomen. The next step is to decide what tests might be needed to diagnose the back pain. X-rays cannot visualize the muscles and ligaments, so your doctor may decide how to proceed. However, if he or she suspects arthritis, a narrowed disc, a kidney stone or aortic problem, an x-ray may be correct. If the doctor thought it was your kidneys, they would order a urinalysis. If they think it is a deep process involving a disc or the spinal cord, the doctor would order either a CT or an MRI.

Let’s talk about treatment. First of all, he or she might put you on a “no lifting” physical profile, with no prolonged standing or sitting. If you have a muscle strain, they might prescribe an anti-spasmodic medicine and an anti-inflammatory medicine like Ibuprofen. They might inject a localized strain with a local anesthetic, and perhaps a cortisone-like medicine. If it just happened, the doctor might tell you to apply ice packs, and gradually change to warm soaking baths after 5-7 days. If they find a deeper problem like a ruptured disc, he or she would probably refer you to an orthopedist or neurosurgical specialist, to a kidney specialist for a stone, or to a vascular surgeon for an aneurysm.

By far, most of the day-to-day back problems are tears and strains of the back muscles and ligaments. By knowing the anatomy and the mechanisms of back pain, your primary physician can successfully treat and resolve the majority of back pain problems.

Expressing Yourself Through Collocation

People communicate with each other to convey what they want to express to other people. Most often, communication is through verbal form where two or more people exchange words and ideas.

However, other people also communicate through sign language, especially those who are deaf mutes.

In communicating, there are people who are very fluent in the English language. Others also talk fluently in languages that they are accustomed to.

But focusing about the English language, there are understandably a lot of things that a person has to learn in order to communicate fluently to their friends or loved ones.

In school, our English teachers have been teaching us grammar and the correct use of words. And one area that teachers teach in school is collocation.

Collocation is the combination of two or more words which give a completely different meaning unlike when these words are used separately. One example of these words is fast food. When used separately, fast means quick while food means meal. But when put together, fast food means food that are easily available in restaurants which are given to the customers right after ordering, unlike at home when you still have to prepare the ingredients and cook them before eating, which often take about a few hours depending on the food that you cook.

Collocations have different types. It may be a combination of verb and noun, noun and verb, adverb and adjective, adjective and noun, noun and noun, or verb and adverb.

Example of a collocation with a combination of an adjective and a noun is excruciating pain.

Another example is commits suicide, which is a combination of a verb and a noun.

Completely satisfied is another example of collocation, which is a combination of adverb and adjective.

Other examples of collocations are extremely happy, highly sophisticated, crystal clear, cosmetic surgery, strong tea, powerful computers, etc.

Collocations can be modified such as when you say write effectively, it can also be written as effective writing which give two different meanings.

Using collocations often give the person a chance to express themselves as this often allows them to invent words that they think best suits their feelings and expressions. This is because collocations are mostly compositional.

Some people say collocation is an interesting area to teach and learn. However, teaching collocation needs extensive knowledge since combining different words may not be easy and the words combined may not give the exact meaning.

If you want to learn more about collocation, you need to read books related to this. There are also available dictionaries on collocation.

Communicating through the use of collocations is far more interesting for an emotionally-sensitive person than an ordinary teacher as this allows that person to learn to express his feelings through words.

Coping With Children Communication Problems

Communication is the important part in human life. So, the communication problem should be handled soon when it is potential to bring any problems. Now, we will talk about the communication in children. We should remember that sometimes saying something will be difficult for them, thus paying the great attention to such matter is all parents need to do.

Dealing with communication problem on children, the parents should be the active party to do the observation. There are many children who have problems with their speech from an early age. In this article I am going to write about the speech impediment known as stuttering.

In this case, stuttering normally starts for people in childhood. Commonly, it will be simply called as a childhood stutter. Some people find that it is a very worrying time for parents and the child. Besides, it is difficult to know where to look for help. Actually, there are many different views and advice given to the parents.

You will see that some people will simply ignore the communication problem in children and let everything happened and find its own solution. While others will say that an early course of speech therapy will be the great solution to choose. The important thing is to remember that stuttering comes in many forms.

Even, family and friends may not even be aware that a person they know has a stuttering problem. In this case, the person who has the stutter may be a closet stutterer who is very good at hiding it. It is done by avoiding certain words or by finding alternative words. Anyway, such communication problem are normally happened when a person is either under pressure, very tired, meeting new people, speaking in an uncomfortable situation, and so on.

By considering a stuttering therapy, you can cope with such communication problem easily.