Internal Decapitation: An Amazing Story of Survival and Determination
Judy, a 53-year-old mother of two and grandmother of three, was rear-ended in a car collision, and the impact caused a delayed reaction that ultimately dislocated the base of her skull from her cervical spine.
“The Doctors at the hospital told me it was whiplash, but I was in so much pain that I knew they were wrong,” Judy says. “But they wouldn’t do an MRI because they said my insurance wouldn’t cover it.
“I got down to 98 pounds," she adds. "And in my sleep, I accidentally took my [neck] collar off. When I woke up, my chin was on my chest and I couldn’t pick my head up.”
The initial damage from the car accident served as a catalyst for Judy's skull to detach from the top of her spinal column. Remarkably, the spinal cord and nerves remained intact, which kept Judy from becoming permanently paralyzed.
Judy underwent a high-risk surgery to have her skull reattached to her spine.
“Judy and I both understood that there was a chance that she may not survive the [three-stage] surgery or [it could] leave her paralyzed,” Vanderbilt University neurosurgeon Dr. Matt McGirt explains. “When she woke up and moved her arms and hands, we were all very relieved.”
Dr. McGirt explains how Judy's neck was reconstructed with titanium hardware.
Natural Remedies for Migraines
“Migraine headaches are thought to be caused by the dilation of blood vessels that surround your brain,” E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says. “When those blood vessels dilate, little nerve fibers that coil around those arteries [become] irritated, and that can cause debilitating, throbbing pain. There are actually some positions that have been shown to help with migraines.”
Dr. Alan Rapoport, UCLA neurologist and president of the International Headache Society, reveals his top three, R-word positions to relieve migraine pain naturally.
• How migraines affect vision
• Symptoms of a silent migraine
• Neuro-Stim surgical procedure for migraines
Spider Vein Solution
Does crossing your legs contribute to unsightly varicose and spider veins?
Spider veins and varicose veins are caused by venous insufficiency, when the one-way valves that pump blood to the heart are weak or faulty. Excess blood can pool in the vein, enlarging it and creating twisted, swollen veins that appear close to the surface of the skin. The condition is most prevalent in the foot, ankle and legs. Approximately 50 percent of women over the age of 50 will develop them.
“Varicose veins are not related to crossing your legs,” plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon explains. “Heredity, pregnancy, carrying extra weight and standing on your feet [too long] can aggravate varicose veins.
“Spider veins, [however], may be related to crossing your legs,” Dr. Ordon says.
Dermatologist Dr. Sandra Lee demonstrates a new sclerotherapy treatment, in which a foaming polidocanol solution is injected through a very fine needle, directly into the vein. The results of the injection are immediate and permanent. “It’s the gold standard in which to treat leg veins,” Dr. Lee says.
• Asclera injection for spider veins
• Veinwave spider vein treatment
• Laser treatment for varicose veins
• Bulging varicose veins
• 5-minute fix to mask spider veins and stretch marks
Do sex positions determine sex selection? Joana, 36, has three daughters and wants to conceive a baby boy. She asks OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson if any sexual positions or timing of intercourse can assist in the conception of one sex over the other.
The concept of sexual positions and timing of intercourse in relation to the gender of offspring is known as The Shettles Method, named after OB/GYN Dr. Landrum Shettles.
“It’s the daddy that actually decides the sex,” Dr. Lisa says. “[The] mom can only contribute the X [chromosome], whereas the dad can contribute X and Y [chromosomes].”
The Y (male) chromosome-bearing sperm will move faster, but only live for about two days, while the X (female) chromosome-bearing sperm will move slower, but have a longer life span.
• Dr. Lisa explains which sex position can increase the risk of a urinary tract infection.
Other fertility and artificial reproductive techniques:
• Sperm mapping
• Help for infertility
• In-vitro fertilization
• At-home fertility tests
• Fertility 411
The daring new sport of slacklining is used for both sporting and meditative purposes. A flat, nylon band is attached between two anchor points, similar to a tightrope, and slackliners will perform incredible stunts, while maintaining balance on the narrow, elevated surface.
Slacklining has been shown to strengthen core muscles and improve balance, as well as promote good posture, flexibility and focus.
Professional slackliner Frankie Nejara of Gibbon Slacklines and world slacklining champion Mike Payton show The Doctors some slacklining tricks, and pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears attempts some basic balancing moves!
Alzheimer’s disease, the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and cognitive skills. Symptoms often begin to appear after age 60 and can make performing even the simplest of tasks difficult. It is the most common cause of dementia among the elderly, leaving one in 10 men, and one in six women at risk.
“Because of the loss of mental capacity, [Alzheimer’s] destroys a patient’s physical functioning, identity and sense of self,” Dr. Travis explains.
Dr. Travis illustrates how Alzheimer’s disease affects the brain.
Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer, joins The Doctors to further explain the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s.
“Alzheimer’s is a very difficult disease, even to diagnose,” Dr. Lewis-Hall says. “The microscopic changes [in the brain] happen long before any of the signs and symptoms [occur]."
“And there are six key symptoms that doctors will look out for [and] that you should think about,” Dr. Travis adds.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease:
- Memory loss that disrupts daily life
- Challenges in solving simple problems
- Difficulty in completing tasks that are familiar
- Confusion of time and place
- Unexplained changes in mood or personality
- Withdrawal from work or social activities
“A lot of people avoid the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s because of the stigma that’s associated with it,” Dr. Lewis-Hall says. “But an early diagnosis allows you to have everyone involved in making those key decisions – the medical decisions, the financial decisions and the personal decisions.
“There are [also] things that mimic [Alzheimer’s],” Dr. Lewis-Hall continues. “Things like depression, poor nutrition and drug interactions. These are things that you need to have checked out."
Dr. Travis explains how caregivers for Alzheimer's sufferers are twice as likely to develop heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.
“It’s really challenging because [Alzheimer's] is a very isolating disease – for the person who has it and for the people who care for them", Dr. Lewis-Hall explains. "So, it’s especially important for people who are caregivers to really make their own health a priority."