C2 THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 1998 HEALTH THE SALINA JOURNAL Down/ Van to provide more freedom FROM PAGE C1 "I went from total support to hardly any support," Farney said. "I put a lot of pressure on my parents. We had our moments." When Farney's mother, Donna Munsey, watched a plane take Farney away that spring to the KU Medical Center, she felt relieved and thankful he would receive up-to-date medical attention. Now, three months later, Munsey and Barry, her husband of 21 years, would be picking up where professionals had left off. "Sometimes he wanted to be babied, and sometimes he wanted to be left alone," Munsey said. "It was hard to know what mode he was in. Anytime you have that level of dependence thrust upon you. it's hard for the person, but it's hard for the person taking care of him, too. You don't know how much to do, but you don't know how much not to do." Farney stayed with his parents for 18 months, then moved into the house he bought before the tingle moved up his right arm. He moved back in Super Bowl Sunday 1997. He was on his own again. His independence was wonderful and terrifying. "I felt alone," he said. Living for another day Now Farney moves freely about in his home. Renovations have given him a new bathroom; the cords on his ceiling fan hang down to where he can reach them; his. doorways are wide, and there isn't much furniture to get in his way. He gets around pretty well, but he remembers trying to get used to his new home a little more than a year ago. There were a lot of times when he just sat at home with only TV and the Internet to entertain him. The Internet, at least, has opened new doorways, and he talks with other people suffering from paralysis or anyone willing to chat. It takes everything out of Jeff just to get through the day. It takes him two hours to get out of bed, shower and dress for the day, and that's with the help of an attendant who assists him in the morning. It takes a half-hour to fix a sandwich and peel a piece of fruit for lunch. And it takes Photos by KELLY PRESNELL / The Salina Journal On his way to the only rest room large enough at Carrico Implement in Beloit to accommodate his wheelchair, Jeff Farney finds his path blocked by a display tractor. Below, Farney grins at a coworker as the two share a joke. He works part time, answering the phone and doing computer work. him an hour to get ready before he can climb into bed, exhausted, and do it again the next day. "I've opened stuff with my teeth a lot," he said. Farney works afternoons in the Carrico office and is grateful his employers stuck with him. The company employs 60 in its Beloit shop. "It would be more difficult if we were smaller," said Joan Ellenz, who co-owns the business with her husband, Ron. "But he is just a great help, and he works really well in the summer, when it's just wild here. We just figured it would be an adjustment, but he was a valued employee. We hoped there was a way where it could work out for both of us, and it has. It's really worked out." New wheels Farney also serves as an activist for the Occupational Center of Central Kansas in Salina, and sometimes lobbies legislators as an advocate for the disabled. Farney is excited about a new stage in his independence. He soon will receive a new van with $30,000 worth of modifications. The van, funded with state assistance, means he won't have to rely ori someone to drive him places. On a test drive of the van, he drove circles in a parking lot and puttered down empty residential streets like a shaky teenager, learning how to drive with his arms. "It will mean that everything I was doing, I will be doing now," he said. "Now I can go to the store on my own. There's so many movies I've wanted to see, and now I can go to the movies. I felt so trapped on the weekends." His mom couldn't be prouder. "You always hang on to hope," Donna Munsey said. "We would hope that he would gain a lot more than he did. But where he is now, he is tremendous. He is always pushing toward his independence. I'm very proud of him, and I know that he's working and trying and doing the best he can." Farney's original plans for his house didn't include modifications for awheelchair. But when he moved in last year, he went ahead with his original ideas, including the sports room. He's proud of that room with its layers of baseball cards, autographed pictures and baseball trinkets in a glass case. It's his sports room, and it's just the way he always pictured it. T MEDICINE Bile ducts help liver function properly DR. PAUL DONOHUE Wort/i America Syndicate Dear Dr. Donohue: We are with our daughter, who recently was diagnosed with primary bil- iary cirrhosis. We would appreciate any information you can give us on this problem. — J.J. Dear J.J.: In primary biliary cirrhosis, the tiny bile ducts within the liver become scarred. Backed-up bile destroys liver cells. As cells die, they are replaced by scar tissue which, in time, leads to cirrhosis. Primary biliary cirrhosis is an autoimmune disease. Why the body's immune system turns on the bile ducts has not been explained. Women between * the ages of 35 and 60 are the usual targets — another unexplained fact. Itching and overwhelming fatigue are early signs. As time goes by, the skirt yellows. Diarrhea is another common symptom. The abdomen can swell with retained fluid. Bile facilitates the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K. Deficiencies of those so-called fat-soluble vitamins are often a part of the primary biliary cirrhosis picture. A lack of vitamin K leads to bruising. A vitamin D deficiency brings on osteoporosis. Night blindness results from diminished vitamin A stores. No crystal ball can foretell your daughter's progress. Many patients, however, require a liver transplant. The medicines colchicine and ursodiol can slow bile-duct destruction. Neither is a cure, however. Dear Dr. Donohue: Help! My mother has been on oral diabetes medicine for two years. Her sugars have been running between 250 and 425. She has her own monitor. She refuses to go on insulin because she lives alone and is afraid of an insulin coma. She already has had small strokes and has heart disease. Isn't this high sugar level dangerous for her? — T.L. Dear T.L.: "Dangerous" is; aft understatement. Not only does your mother have uncontrolled diabetes, she has had strokes and has heart disease. Her" high blood sugars are paving the way for her to have a large stroke or a heart attack. Stringent control of blood sugar prevents the complications of diabetes, including stroke, heart attack and blindness. Before your mother eats, her blood sugar should range between 80 and 120 milligrams. At bedtime'- her blood sugar should not exceed 140 mg. . .", Your mother's fear of an insulin reaction is not unreasonable? However, with a few instructions, she can learn how to control her insulin needs and her blood sugars without suffering such a reac j tion. Many hospitals offer classes for people with diabetes. Get your mom enrolled in one quickly. Dear Dr. Donohue: Is mycoplas- ma pericarditis caused by a virus or a bacterium? Can someone suffer from this more than once? Dear Readers: Pericarditis is inflammation of the pericardium, the heart's covering sac. Usually the inflammation is caused by a virus or a bacterium. Mycoplasmas are distinct entities, whose place in the world of infectious agents lies between that of viruses and bacteria. Mycoplasmas are unusual caus : es of pericarditis. More often they cause pneumonia. Once the pericarditis infection has been eradicated with antibi; otics, it can be said with a good deal of certainty that the mycoplas-! ma pericarditis will not recur. ; One mycoplasma infection is more than enough. Si LAM CLliAiNLL) Carpets, Furniture & Drapery Cleaned on location " ' Fire & Water Restoration 24 Hour Emergency Service "The standard of American homes fir generations" (785) 826-9229 • 1-888-513-2538 ^^ g Since .WS Scotehgard VISA/MC/AmEx Discover > Y MEDICAL MEETING Allergies are a threat to many Allergies make some sneeze but can be life-threatening to others By JEFF NESMITH Cox News Service WASHINGTON — To err is human, but for "PZ" it was life- threatening. Hypersensitive to cow's milk, "PZ" ordered a double hamburger, without cheese, at a fast-food restaurant. After he had started eating it, he noticed "something yellow that wasn't mustard," Rochester, N.Y., allergist R.H. Schwartz said in one of more than 1,000 research reports being presented at a national conference of allergy therapists and researchers here. "It was cheese, hidden by mayonnaise, onion, lettuce and tomato," said Schwartz. "PZ" was in trouble, because he already had eaten part of the cheese. Such potentially fatal hazards are often encountered by persons with hypersensitive allergies, said Schwartz. Another milk- sensitive fast-food eater fell into anaphylactic shock because his hamburger had come into contact with a cheeseburger while it was being cooked. Despite two shots of an emergency drug he carried with him, "PZ" began to wheeze, and within minutes stopped breathing. Emergency crews manually ventilated him, and four days later he was taken off a mechanical hospital ventilator. More than 5,000 allergists, immunologists and other specialists attending the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology traded stories about patients like "PZ" and reviewing new research aimed at understanding and treating asthma, one of the country's fastest-growing and most mystifying diseases. Less severe than "PZ's" condition, but far more common, are the problems faced by everyday snifflers and sneezers who cope with everything from dust mites and cockroaches to tree pollen and mold — and El Nino. The Pacific Ocean's weather machine will likely bring a hard spring for allergy sufferers in some parts of the country, warns the drug company-funded National Allergy Bureau. A wet and mild winter could cause a bumper crop of tree pollen and mold spores, it says. The bureau has a toll-free number, 1-800-9-POLLEN, and an Internet site, www.allergy-info.com, with periodic updates on pollen and mold spore counts. Reactions to cockroaches have been implicated in the dramatic increase of asthma cases among inner-city children. Researchers at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago surveyed children with asthma and found 30 percent of them had become sensitized to cockroaches before they were 4 years old. And in Trinidad, which researchers described as a "warm, humid paradise for roaches," asthma among persons with roach allergies has become so common that the emergency room of one hospital treats up to 12 acute cases per hour, said researchers from Illinois. Heart disease costly to countries By Los Angeles Times Syndicate The developing nations, which include China and India, face an epidemic of heart disease and stroke that could devastate their economies, researchers report in Circulation, the Journal of the American Heart Association. And the lead author of the study, Dr. K. Srinath Reddy, goes so far to say he believes such an epidemic could "impede economic expansion within the countries." The epidemic mirrors that of the United States and other industrialized nations 30 years ago, says Reddy, professor of cardiology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. One reason for the epidemic is the surge in life expectancy due to declines in infectious and nutritional deficiency diseases and the THEATRES foi MOVIt Suluiliuii* and SHOW1IMES Cull 825 91O5 We ve yone wodd wide web' improved economic conditions in most developing countries. In India, for example, life expectancy rose from 41.2 years in 1951 to 61.4 years by 1996. These extra years provide a longer time for such risk factors as smoking and high-fat diet to set the stage for heart attack and stroke. Reddy warns that smoking, high-fat diets and other adverse lifestyle factors, which tend to accompany industrialization and urbanization, could make cardiovascular disease death and disability numbers rise at even more alarming rates than those predicted. NYM IH6WICK 4:45 7:00 4:45 7:00 9:00 2:00 4:45 7:00 2:00 4:45 7:00 0:00 Experience one of Kansas'finest ongoing traditions... -Annually since 1882 -Bethany Oratorio Society -275 voice chorus and orchestra THE AT MESSIAHXBEIHANY FESTIVAL \COULEGE HANDEL: MESSIAH PALM & EASTER SUNDAYS: APRIL 5 & 12,1998 BACH: ST. MATTHEW PASSION GOOD FRIDAY: APRIL 10,1998 CONCERTS/ RECITALS/THEATRE ART EXHIBITIONS TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Messiah: $17, $14, $8 St. Matthew: $11, $9, $5 For Tickets & Information call (785) 227-3380, ext. 8185 or 8132 B BETHANY COLLEGE Lindsborg, Kansas 67456 "Reading is the base for the building blocks of a successful future. Encourage your students to nourish their minds and enrich their vocabulary by reading a newspaper every day." -Jennifer Mize Salina Central Student Council President tbe Salina Journal To start a subscription, call us at 823-6363 or 1'800-827-6363.
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