Fear of a Cure

Are Nutritional Bars Healthy?
If you don’t have time to eat, is it better to skip a meal or eat a nutrition bar? The Doctors explain that it’s important to eat regular meals so your glucose levels stay even throughout the day. If your only choice of sustenance is a snack bar, be sure to read the labels and avoid high fructose corn syrup, palm kernel oil and hydrogenated oils.

Overcoming Fear Saves a Life
Six years ago, Dennis was suffering from sinus problems which he believed to be the result of a common cold. After visiting his doctor, he learned his pain was being caused by a cancerous tumor. Since then, Dennis has endured 35 surgeries and has had a large piece of bone removed from his face, leaving a gaping hole. The radiation treatments administered to cure the cancer have damaged the tissue in his head so severely, it has not healed properly, and doctors are unable to close the hole. Dennis wears a facial prosthetic but feels so self-conscious about his appearance; he hasn’t looked in the mirror in years. Doctors are advising Dennis that he can accelerate the healing process using hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a treatment that infuses the body with pressurized oxygen and is oftentimes used by people with wounds that won’t heal. But Dennis also suffers from claustrophobia, and the tightly spaced hyperbaric chamber is too stressful for him to manage.
Dr. Ordon explains once the tissue in Dennis’ face heals, the technology exists to create a new, smaller prosthetic, using tissue from other parts of his body.
Dr. Ralph Potkin, an expert in hyperbaric medicine, adds that Dennis exhibits three indicators that respond well to hyperbaric oxygen: radiated damaged tissues that have impaired circulation, a bone infection and skin and muscle flaps that are compromised.
To help Dennis overcome his fear, The Doctors introduce him to Dr. Howard Leibgold, also known as “Dr. Fear,” a psychologist who has helped more than 15,000 people get past a variety of phobias. Dr. Leibgold teaches Dennis tools to overcome his fear of tight spaces so he can manage to enter the chamber. After working with Dr. Leibgold, Dennis faces his fear head on. He lies down and enters the chamber. When he finishes treatment, Dennis says, “I feel great. I could have stayed in there a lot longer.”

Stop the Fire
Recent headlines recount the tragic plane crash which killed four people and injured musician Travis Barker and DJ Adam Goldstein -- both allegedly suffered second- and third-degree burns on their body.
Dr. Ordon emphasizes the importance of extinguishing a fire as soon as possible, and lists actions to take when someone is on fire:
-  Roll on the ground so the flames do not move toward the face
-  Wrap the person in thick material, like a wool or cotton coat, rug or blanket
-  Do not pull his or her clothes off because you may remove skin with the clothes
Dr. Ordon explains that when skin is burned, heat hits the skin and continues to move deeper and deeper. If the heat gets below the dermis, it becomes a third-degree burn. When a person experiences a this type of burn, they are unable to re-grow the skin, and often lose fluids from their body rapidly. It is important to excise the dead skin as soon as possible and replace it with skin grafts.
And, meet Cindi, aunt of The Doctors Executive Producer, Jay McGraw, who suffered chemical burns when a stranger threw a vat of acid onto her car from a highway overpass. Cindi’s face and arms were severely burned, and she inhaled the acid, burning the inside of her mouth and throat. She shares her story of survival, including suffering through multiple painful skin grafts. “When I realized that I could live, I decided to live,” she says.
Cindi wrote a book about her experience called A Random Act: An Inspiring True Story of Fighting to Survive and Choosing to Forgive.

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OAD 10/1/08