What the Health?!
The Doctors discuss recent head-turning health headlines.
Living with “Suicide Disease”
Following a routine surgery to remove a cyst from behind her ear, Tyler, 15, began to experience pressure and pain in her face that became increasingly agonizing over time. As the pain flare-ups became more frequent, it became impossible for Tyler to stay in school. Doctors were baffled, and some assumed Tyler was just making it up to avoid going to school.
“It makes you so hopeless, and it feels like there’s nothing that will work and you’re just done,” Tyler says.
Tyler was eventually diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, a condition in which blood vessels become wrapped around the trigeminal cranial nerve as it exits the brain stem, triggering chronic and severe pain. Listed as a rare disease by the Office of Rare Diseases of the National Institutes of Health, the condition affects less than 200,000 people in the United States.
Rethink Your Ink
Roberta, 44, got her first tattoo 20 years ago. She followed all the care instructions she’d been given to help the tattoo — located on her lower right leg — heal properly, but the area remained scabbed, swollen and itchy. An emergency room physician diagnosed her at the time with cellulitis and sent her home with medication. She says that shortly after she started using the medication, several small bumps popped up all over the tattoo area. Assuming she was having an allergic reaction, she stopped taking the medication. Now, 20 years later, the area remains discolored and bumpy, much to Roberta’s embarrassment.
The Doctors send Roberta to dermatologist Dr. Glynis Ablon, who biopsies the area. Find out what Dr. Ablon discovers about Roberta’s condition
and the course of treatment she recommends.
Paying It Forward
When Joey and his mother, Chrystal, joined The Doctors in February 2013, Joey shared that due to a rare birth defect, he had been born without legs, and that at 20 years old, he was still walking on the prosthetic legs he had been fitted with at 8 years old. Finally fitted with a new pair of adult prosthetic legs, Joey walked across The Doctors’ stage as his mother tearfully looked on. Today, Joey shares how his life has changed since receiving the new prosthetics, and explains how his charity, Grace’s Lamp, helps equip children around the world with the prosthetic limbs they need to live fuller lives.
“In my opinion, I don’t think prosthetics [are] an option — it’s mandatory,” Joey says. “You have to have legs, and arms too, to be able to equip yourself and continue on with life.”
• Learn more about Joey’s charity, Grace’s Lamp.
Health Care Savings
The Doctors are joined by Michelle Katz, author of Healthcare for Less, who shares three secrets to help you spend less on health care. Follow these steps to potentially save thousands on your medical expenses:
1. Be a hospital detective. For every visit, be sure to obtain a copy of your medical records and request an itemized bill, so you can compare the two.
2. Shop around and compare prices for procedures, especially elective procedures.
3. Check for pharmacy discounts. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your physician if the medicine he or she wants to prescribe is necessary, or if there is an alternative treatment.