Archive for November, 2011

Up Date On The Foundation

This seems like an appropriate time to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and to let you know what is happening with the foundation. Two years ago we decided to start this website. We really didn’t post until January of 2010. I was scared to death.

Today, I am really proud and extremely thankful for you, our readers. We are proud to say, we are now in 122 countries around the world. We have had over 200,000 hits on a topic many who we talk to say they have never heard of.

In fact, when I was first diagnosed with Charcot Foot, we went on line to research the topic. It was nearly 6 weeks before my husband found an article on Charcot. Just recently, we found over six pages with over twenty listings on each, of articles on Charcot Foot written by knowledgeable Podiatrists, Foot and Ankle Surgeons and others well versed in this area of medicine.

Thanks to you for asking about Charcot Foot, because you have caused this information to surface. Thus you are helping others. We have had e-mails thanking us for our stories and information that has helped them find answers.

Charcot Awareness Education Foundation is here to inform and educate the public concerning Charcot Foot, a devastating bone deterioration disease made worse by Diabetes, Alcoholism and 22 other diseases. Hopefully, this knowledge will help individuals avoid amputation.

We have given out hundreds of brochures on Charcot and we visit with individuals everyday about Charcot. We have done presentations to diabetic groups and seniors. We even sat a bazaar recently to raise money for our cause. One thing that is really exciting is the fact that high school and college students are writing papers concerning Charcot Foot. Recently, Bonnie was interviewed for such a paper by a nursing student.

We would appreciate it if you would continue helping us get the word out about Charcot. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation. If you would like to help us, you can send your donations to Charcot Awareness Education Foundation, P.O. Box 3902, Silverdale, WA, 98383-3902

Again, Thank you for your help and Happy Thanksgiving!!

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

A Happy Prescription

Humor is something most of us seem to have so little of at this time of year. Something which will make us laugh has the ability to help remove stress for a short time. Not many of us will take the time and effort the Norman Cousins did to heal.

Laughter is a good form of medicine, in fact one of the best. Put a smile on someone’s face and many problems disappear. We found this to be true when my husband, Max, was undergoing his x-ray treatments for prostrate cancer. Walking into the waiting room finding everyone in doom and gloom, he decided to bring in some jokes and give them to the nurses. They hated to see him leave after his thirty fifth visit. They said his humor had really made a difference both for them and the patients.

Ken Shaw My father was one who loved to laugh. His ability to remember jokes was amazing. He was a farmer in Nebraska, an occupation that had lots of times when a mental pick up was needed. He had heart surgery in Seattle, his grandson, Justin, told a joke to his surgeon that turned a frown to a smile.

The entire time I worked with Dr. Roukis and his staff with my Charcot Foot, we exchanged humor, including teasing. This always seemed to eliminate any stress that might have been.

It has been proven that laughter is very good medicine. Norman Cousins (1912-1990) was editor-in-chief of the “Saturday Review”, advocate for world peace and later dealt with the issues of illness and healing. Cousins, himself, faced numerous health issues. In 1964 doctors discovered the connective tissue in his spine was deteriorating. The condition was called Ankylosing Spondylitis. Chances of survival approximately 1 in 500. Faced with this, he needed to figure out his roll in his own recovery. He eventually did three things, not necessarily what the medical community wanted to hear.

First, researched all the drugs he was on. They were depleting his body of Vitamin C. Doctors of Norman Cousins agreed to take him off several of the drugs and inject him with large doses of the Vitamin C supplement.

Second, he decided to check himself out of the hospital and go to a hotel. All of the hospital practices he determined was not an environment that would contribute to his healing. I believe, because of Cousins actions, Cousins found after laughing so hard many things changed in the hospitals, such as hygiene practices, over medication, as well as, negativity.

Third, He got a movie projector and a large supply of funny films, including Candid Camera tapes and old prints of Marx Brother’s movies. Cousins found after laughing so hard at the films the first night in the hotel, he slept several hours pain free. when the pain returned he simply turned on the projector.

1 Smiling Cat Now off the drugs, taking Vitamin C and laughter, Cousins described being in a state of euphoria and as he continued to laugh. Within a few weeks he was back at work at the Saturday Review. He continued to heal.

There is much written on Cousins and laughter as healing. you could check out the web site TheHealingPoweroflaughter, His book Anatomy of an Illness is enlightening.

Keep laughing. Stay positive. Take charge of your own health.

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation.

What Is Charcot?

Charcot Foot (Neuropathic Osteoarthropathy) deformity is a serious progressive and disfiguring condition often unrecognized because of loss of sensation. The area of the foot most commonly affected is the mid arch. It can also develop in the rear foot and ankle.

Neuropathy often masks damage and pain from a trauma to the foot as one lacks feeling or sensation. This makes a diagnosis difficult. The trauma, however, could happen years before any sign of Charcot is present. It could be as severe as fractures in the foot from a fall to a seemingly minor incident as a can falling out of the cabinet hitting the foot, or walking, or jogging.

The end results are:

* a severely deformed and disabling foot that is difficult to shoe and brace properly.
* recurrent infections and ulcerations.
* amputation

Charcot Joint was discovered in syphilis patients in 1868 by Jean-Martin Charcot in France. Charcot and Charles Féré published the first scientific investigation of this condition in 1883. It wasn’t discovered in the diabetic patient until W. R. Jordan made the link in 1936. It is believed Charcot was not discovered earlier because diabetic patients didn’t live long enough. Some 24 diseases causes Charcot FootCharcot knowledgeable professional, a Podiatrist DPM, or a foot and ankle specialist (surgeon) DPM, FACFAS. Only after being in severe pain and having x-rays three times and being told I had arthritis, “Live with it.” I took my x-rays to a podiatrist. After looking at them briefly, he readily stated I had Charcot Foot. Because of my persistence, I was able to save my foot from amputation.

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

Who Might Have Charcot?

It has been brought to my attention that I need to say more about Charcot Foot. One of the questions was, Who might have Charcot Foot? and the other, What is Charcot Foot? I will address the first question here and the second next week and then have Bonnie up date her story on her latest experience with the Charcot in her right foot and how she deals with it.

Who might have Charcot?

There are some 24 diseases that cause Charcot Foot to become worse. The following list of diseases by Ali Nawaz Khan MBBS Riyadh, Saudi Arabia appeared in an article in e-medicine on Feb. 21, 2007.

* Diabetes
* Use of Corticosteriods
* Alcoholism
* Trauma
* Infection
* Amyloidosis
* Prenicious Anemia
* Syphilis
* Syringomyelia
* Spinabifida
* Myelomeningocele
* Leprosy
* Multiple Sclerosis
* Congenital Vascular Disease
* Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease
* Cord Compression
* Asymbolia
* Connective disorders, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sclerodema
* Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
* Raynaud Disease
* Adrenal hypercorticism
* Thalidomide Embryopathy (Congenital Arthropathy in offspring of exposed mothers)
* Paraneoplastic sensory neuropathy
* Caudal Equina Lipoma

Since diabetes heads the list, diabetics need to be aware that this article says 15% of the diabetic population has Charcot Foot and a 2004 University of Washington study states that 1/600-700 diabetics with diabetes mellitus neuropathy has Charcot Foot.

Charcot is, apparently, difficult to diagnose and is often miss-diagnosed as arthritis. (This was my situation) One needs to find a Charcot knowledgeable professional. A Podiatrist DPM, or a foot and ankle specialist (surgeon) DPM, FACFAS who is able to diagnose correctly.

Since Neuropathy is a loss of sensation in the foot, one is unable to detect painful sensations. A doctor once told me a patient came into her office unable to remove his shoe and couldn’t understand why. When she looked at the bottom of the shoe she found a nail. It had gone through the shoe and well into his foot. It was removed and the shoe taken off to reveal a traumatic situation. Because of Neuropathy much goes undetected that could save the foot and individual from pain and amputation

If you don’t have someone to help you check your feet, place a mirror on the floor that can be used to check your feet daily. Also, avoid going bare foot.

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation