Archive for the medicine Category

Amy Oestreicher: Gutless and Grateful

Posted in art, medicine, theater with tags , , on March 5, 2016 by shewalkssoftly

This is a bit of a deviation from my typical posts, but story is very close to my heart. I don’t often talk about my chronic illness on this blog, but I’ve been ill for over 20 years, culminating in total incapacitation.

a3

Amy Oestreicher has come through the profound darkness of a truly unbelievable illness. She’s an artist, actress, musician and motivational speaker who has alchemized her challenges into all kinds of profound, creative outlets. Her story is the quintessential Hero’s Journey and (as a soul sister whose guts have also exploded on numerous occasions) I’m grateful to her for publicly spreading the positive messages I’m still too ill to do myself. We are all about, as she puts it, “finding beauty in the detours!”

a1

a2

I encourage you to search through all of her projects, but if you’re able, please check out her one woman show, Gutless and Grateful (coming to NY on 3/11, for my local friends!). Amy is infectiously sweet and positive. I’m grateful to have met this ray of light!

Amy Oestreicher

Passed the Halfway Mark!

Posted in announcement, cats, medicine with tags , , on February 29, 2016 by shewalkssoftly

When my dad began a fundraiser to save my life, I never in my wildest dreams believed that a little introvert who has been largely unable to communicate or set foot outside the house for years due to illness could have friends and strangers from all over the world rallying for her like this. We’ve passed the halfway mark, and I’m unbelievably grateful!

g

Feeling triumphant…

tumblr_muxba4VPOR1rd8qzho1_1280

I’ve spent over 20 years flailing around in a medical system that could not (or would not) help me…and there is finally hope that I can make it. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for making this possible. PLEASE keep this link circulating!

Survival Quest!

Posted in announcement, medicine with tags , on February 8, 2016 by shewalkssoftly

It’s been a long time since I’ve given a health update on this blog because I’ve wanted the focus to be on interesting and entertaining content. But the truth is, I’m quite literally in a fight for my life.

My amazing father created this page, which gives a great summary of the story and status:

Help Bring My Daughter Back to Life

GFM

As I said to some of my friends recently, I love this planet…I know some really great people on this planet…and I’d like to stay on this planet a while to make, do, and help things. The medical system gave up on me for 21 years, then miraculously diagnosed me, then found a cure, then denied me the cure. Time is now of the essence.

__by_blackfurya-d5qh69d

I know times are tough, so no pressure to donate. If you feel comfortable doing so, it would really help to share the link via social networking (and/or personal email if possible since things get lost in the FB shuffle). If you do donate, please make sure I have your mailing address. When I’m able, I want to send a handmade/written token of gratitude to everyone who helped make my recovery possible!

Much love and thanks…

Help Bring My Daughter Back to Life

Dr. Mutter’s Marvels

Posted in Books, macabre, medicine, oddities, wish list with tags , , , , on December 10, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

If you’re looking for a holiday gift for lovers of oddities and medical marvels, Dr. Mutter’s Marvels might be perfect.

dr_mutters_marvels_book_1

The book is a mesmerizing biography of the brilliant and eccentric medical innovator who revolutionized American surgery and founded the country’s most famous museum of medical oddities.

Even having been to the museum a few times (it’s an incredible place), I still don’t know very much about Dr. Mutter himself. I’d definitely like to read this. Have you been to the museum? Read this book?

Dr. Mutter’s Marvels

Twist of Lyme: My Diagnosis at Last!

Posted in announcement, medicine with tags , on April 24, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

lyme-disease-bacteria

Anyone who has followed this blog for a while probably saw me allude to my failing health. What I’ve represented here in the occasional post is not even the smallest fraction of my daily experiences. I wanted this site to be about creative discovery, not my own maladies.

Another reason I was not so forthcoming: I ran the gamut of dozens upon dozens of debilitating symptoms, but an actual diagnosis beyond my myriad nutritional/hormonal deficiencies, strange blood anomalies, and seemingly discrepant individual conditions eluded every practitioner.

After 8 years of crippling pain, 70 different specialists, countless hospitalizations, hundreds of tests, medications and supplements, wacky alternative remedies, a host of complications in every system of my body, losing my ability to walk more than a few steps, type, speak/chew (due to jaw pain) and just about any other function required for daily life…one doctor solved the mystery two days ago.

I have late stage chronic Lyme disease.

I belong to the largely invalidated subset of patients that has had Lyme for so long (possibly 27 years!) that it no longer shows up in bloodwork; it hides in organs, tissues, and coagulated deposits. My doctor was savvy enough to examine a sample under a microscope himself, after many negative standard labs, and sure enough…he saw classic Lyme spirochetes (which I got to see squirming around on video of my own cells. Not the ideal home movie, yet somehow vindicating). They are kind of disgusting, but under extreme magnification look like they’d be delicious with butter.

I’m hovering somewhere between shock, regret, anger at the treatment I received during my past decades of suffering, and full-on Parasite Assassin/Lyme Advocate mode. As days go by, I expect to embrace the latter as I embark on a lifelong course of supportive care designed to keep the parasites at bay. These buggers damn near killed me…but they did not.

Spirochetes, your days in this host body are numbered.

Oddities Store

Posted in antiques, creatures, medicine, oddities, taxidermy, vintage with tags , , , , , on February 18, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

If it has “oddities” in the title, there’s a good chance I’ll go down a massive rabbit hole exploring it. Thus, Oddities Store was an enjoyable find indeed.

I desperately need these:
Vintage_Pharmacy__98858.1411717521.1280.1280

They have bisected animals…
mummified_pig__14285.1411717787.1280.1280

Bell jar skulls of all sorts…
3d_skull__75203.1411717235.1280.1280

Fish sticks (literally):
Taxidermy_Fish__99558.1411717257.1280.1280

Diaphonized beauties:
Diaphonized_Animals__35060.1411716822.1280.1280

Skulls on plaques:
os1

Lovely shadow boxes:
os2

And…Lung Salve!
os3

Browse the rest of the collections at the Oddities Store.

The Art of the Physician and the Surgeon, 1412

Posted in anatomy, antiques, medicine with tags , , on February 5, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

Morbid Anatomy has a fascinating post on De Arte Phisicali et de Cirurgica (The Art of the Physician and the Surgeon), an illuminated vellum scroll, 542 cm (17 feet 9 inches) by 36 cm (1 foot 2 inches). It is dated 1412 and resides in the National Library of Sweden.

Front1Fri

The manuscript is composed of six vellum skins sewn together. Morbid Anatomy guest writer Michael Sappol explains:

It features numerous painted color illustrations, along with a text written by John Arderne (1307-ca. 1390), a master surgeon who lived in Newark in the county of Nottingham, England. How it got to Sweden is a bit of a mystery, but experts believe that it traveled over the North Sea sometime in the 1420s, sent by King Henry IV of England to help his daughter, Princess Philippa. She had been married off to King Erik of Sweden in 1406 at the tender age of 12 (and died in 1430 at age 34 of a miscarriage).

Front2Fri.2

The text (in Latin) contains standard medical wisdom of its time: advice on diagnosis and how to treat various conditions in the form of a discussion of cases, along with helpful recipes. (A knowledge of astrology helps with all of this.) The scroll is also supplied with a large number of good-natured, even comical, illustrations. Mostly they show the usual diseases and problems (dysentery, dropsy, colic, pleurisy, belching, insomnia, bellyache) and the usual therapeutic methods (bleeding, cautery, purging and plastering). There are also pictures of surgical instruments, poisonous animals (watch out for toads!) and typical problems of delivering a baby.

2afri.5

What has attracted the most attention from scholars, and even the public, are the scroll’s painted illustrations of the anatomized body, split open like a book or a butchered animal. These occupy the middle of the scroll, between the two main columns of text (which makes no comment on them), and are very rare for the period, really quite astonishing.

Incredible find, indeed!

Desktop Goodies: 2/4

Posted in 80's, absurd, advertising, anatomy, anthropomorphic, art, Books, humor, medicine, oddities, robots, sea, skulls and skeletons, taxidermy, vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

You’re being welcomed into this post by anthropomorphic hotdog with breasts.
2b405bc5a69a955ac196ce67d2591092

As far as I can tell, this is a real vintage ad. Probably one of the most jaw-dropping examples I’ve seen.
10411961_10202771366379104_4679587690750782880_n

Imagine this is what you’re really standing on.
Coffe

I prefer my tables without testicles.
selection-du-weekend-125-56

Don’t miss the other title by this author on the bottom.
selection-du-weekend-125-65

For “elegant women of refinement and taste.”
tumblr_mtbts0Tz221r9tomvo1_500

Just your average note-wielding mouse on a lobster.
Lobster Jockey

I’m not sure what’s going on here. Is this a medical assistance device? Unless it’s equipped with some sort of pulley mechanism to lift bodies in need, I see very little purpose for lying on something LESS comfortable, a few inches above something designed for lying on.
tumblr_mzlwzzxc2Y1qzeqqeo1_500

And now, in today’s installment of unappealing instructional material…Meet the man who can tell you how to lick pimples.
25b519d099dab54835a2320904ebe5db

Haunted…
74a24f6d57fcf84bb763990d5ff385a6

In conclusion, cats are the cure for everything.
10373989_996277953734115_3949330538730942709_n

And Now, One of the Strangest Products Ever

Posted in absurd, medicine, products with tags , , on January 7, 2015 by shewalkssoftly

If you’re at all familiar with this blog, there are many contenders for “strangest product ever” featured here. But this one really surprised me. I was researching hyperbaric oxygen therapy for serious medical conditions (don’t ask), and for some reason that search contained…drumroll please…

The Decompression Chamber Pillow
decompression_chamber_pillow

I cannot envision any household or office in which this awkward photo of a gargantuan piece of diving equipment with a random stranger operating it belongs on a throw pillow. Maybe I’m just short-sighted.

Here is an “action shot” of the Decompression Chamber Serving Tray:
667_1a

And THIS is what graces the tray’s surface. Tell me folks, is this what comes to mind when you’re searching for the perfect wine and cheese serving option?
decompression_chamber_serving_tray_large

It’s times like this when I kind of love humanity. It brings me joy to know people are out there producing completely nonsensical items like this.

The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration

Posted in Books, medicine, wish list with tags , , on February 19, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration appears to be a very interesting book, though perhaps not altogether pleasant to thumb through. For me, this is not an issue, as fascination tends to trump aversion when it comes to how people process, depict and publish the daunting mysteries of an era.

51pJMAEjnxL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

The Sick Rose is a visual tour through the golden age of medical illustration. The nineteenth century experienced an explosion of epidemics such as cholera and diphtheria, driven by industrialization, urbanization and poor hygiene. In this pre-color-photography era, accurate images were relied upon to teach students and aid diagnosis. The best examples, featured here, are remarkable pieces of art that attempted to elucidate the mysteries of the body, and the successive onset of each affliction. Bizarre and captivating images, including close-up details and revealing cross-sections, make all too clear the fascinations of both doctors and artists of the time. Barnett illuminates the fears and obsessions of a society gripped by disease, yet slowly coming to understand and combat it. The age also saw the acceptance of vaccination and the germ theory, and notable diagrams that transformed public health, such as John Snow’s cholera map and Florence Nightingale’s pioneering histograms, are included and explained. Organized by disease, The Sick Rose ranges from little-known ailments now all but forgotten to the epidemics that shaped the modern age. It is a fascinating Wunderkammer of a book that will enthrall artists, students, designers, scientists and the incurably curious everywhere.

The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration