‘Tis the season for health and happiness

Left: Aunt Kathy with Camille; Top: with Jeremiah; Bottom: with Kamden

Left: Aunt Kathy with Camille; Top: with Jeremiah; Bottom: with Kamden

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! Christmas was fun visiting my grandmother and a host of cousins, aunts and uncles in Augusta, Georgia. Spending the holidays with family is what I value the most.

Watching my younger cousins opening their gifts is a fun experience. Their eyes light up as they rip off the wrapping paper and discover what’s inside! Seconds later, they’re ready to explore the next gift in their stack. It’s important not to take these moments for granted because it is these moments that keep us focused when times are tough and the road ahead may seem difficult.

Just a couple weeks ago, I had a minor surgery on the top of my right foot for a pressure sore  at the ankle. The tendon was exposed and caused a lot of spasms in my foot. Even before the pressure sore formed, my foot would spasm often and cause me to sweat, which is my body’s way of reacting to pain.

Before going to the doctor, I was wondering if there was a procedure that could be done to help my foot relax. Spasticity medicines, like Baclofen, weren’t helping, so I went to the same vascular surgeon who did the surgery on my left foot three years ago. Dr. Jacob Robison agreed that I may need to have the tendon removed, but he wanted to make sure there wasn’t any infection in the pressure sore. Fortunately, there was no infection and he was able to remove the tendon and close the pressure sore at the same time!

The surgery was a success and I haven’t had any spasms or severe sweating since the surgery!

Patient Advocacy

I share my medical experiences to let people know that you know your body better than anyone else. If you are having signs or symptoms that something isn’t right, be sure to let your doctors and medical professionals know. Dr. Robison is a great physician and emphasizes patient-centered care.

I have been to some medical facilities where the doctor didn’t say hello or acknowledge me before beginning to talk about my care. I’ve been around the medical community enough to know when I have or haven’t received good care. Plus, it doesn’t hurt having Dr. Mom in the house.

"Ethics Under the Knife" by Dr. Matt Koepke

“Ethics Under the Knife” by Dr. Matt Koepke

My friend, Dr. Matt Koepke, has recently written a book titled Ethics Under the Knife: Patient “Care” and Disservice in the Medical Industry. Matt is a 2016 Oral Maxillofacial Surgery graduate from MUSC and shares his experiences as a dental student. He emphasizes the importance great bedside manor for surgeons and other medical professionals.

Matt says, “I want medical professionals to understand how to act in front of patients, how to maintain professionalism in line with the Hippocratic Oath, and more importantly, how to have the courage to speak up for the defenseless patient without being intimidated by hospital hierarchy.”

Matt’s book is not only for medical professionals. I believe all patients should be aware of the type of care they’re receiving and become an integral part of the process.

Here’s to a Prosperous New Year!

Since my surgery, I’m feeling a lot better and I’m looking forward to a happy and healthy new year!

No matter what has happened this past year, you can overcome the adversities and make 2017 your best year yet!

happy-new-year-2017

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About Tuesday Talk With Alex

Born in Charleston, SC, I was injured in a motor vehicle accident when I was nine months old. I acquired a C5-C6 spinal cord injury. I'm now 30 years old and I do not let my disability deter me from acheiving my goals and enjoying life. I will be sharing my experience of living with a spinal cord injury.
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