Borderline Beauty

This week marks a year to my second 7 month admission to hospital for mental illness, after trying to take my own life; though then it was hard to look forward, I can safely say I am genuinely happy today that I have the ability to look ahead in life. I also (with the help of some really cool people) have the ability to keep from going back to the “stuffs” I left behind, even just a couple months ago. Experiencing life and living is something I finally look forward to, and it’s lovely.

Good therapy session. I am VERY lucky to have these people on my side who go above and beyond to give me the chance to better my life. I am feeling blessed and hopeful because even though it’s been a tough two weeks and I’m really struggling, I will keep getting up and trying again and these supports are right there with me.

I am not a failure I am just learning how to triumph.


Nanodaisies Can Kill Cancer

NC State researchers have developed a potential new weapon in the fight against cancer: a daisy-shaped drug carrier that’s many thousands of times smaller than the period at the end of this sentence.

Once injected into the bloodstream, millions of these nanodaisies sneak inside cancer cells and release a cocktail of drugs to destroy them from within. The approach is more precise than conventional methods, and it may also prove more effective. By ensuring anti-cancer drugs reach their target in controlled, coordinated doses, nanodaisies could cut down on the side effects of traditional chemotherapy.

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Rebooting the brain

In 1990, Oregon Health & Science University neurosurgeon Kim Burchiel pioneered the use of a technique called Deep Brain Stimulation in the United States as a last chance therapy for patients with Parkinson’s disease. Burchiel implanted a thin electrical wire into the brains of Parkinson’s patients who had lost much of their ability to control their bodies and for whom therapeutic drugs no longer worked.

By hitting just the right spot in the brain with 180 electrical impulses a second sent from a battery pack implanted near the patient’s shoulder, Burchiel was able to help his Parkinson’s patients regain motor control, some for five or more hours a day.

“This is a success story,” Burchiel says. “It’s a rare procedure in surgery that has proved to the highest level of evidence. There are very few procedures that are proven to this level.”

Throughout the world today, more than 100,000 people afflicted with Parkinson’s and similar movement disorders have received brain implants, about one-tenth the number who might benefit, according to Burchiel. But the idea of hitting tiny targets in the brain as a means of overriding misfiring neurological circuits created intriguing possibilities for neurosurgeons everywhere.

As scientists have begun mapping the brain, experiments using brain implants for people suffering from depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, obesity, addiction and Alzheimer’s disease have begun to proliferate. But for the last 24 years, Burchiel, the pioneer, was forced to watch as scientists in other states and countries pursued new uses for brain implant.

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Please fire me. I work at the front desk of a pediatrician’s office. Today, I received a panicked phone call from the parent of a 7 year old who has “been around his grandfather who is currently going through chemo.” When I asked the parent why she felt the need to bring the child into the office for a visit for simply being around a chemo patient? “Well, I’m scared my child is catching the side effects of the chemo.”

A 20-Year-Old Went to Rehab and Came Home in a Body Bag

Ted Jacques enrolled his son, Brandon, in what he thought was the “best treatment center money could buy”—A Sober Way Home in Prescott, Arizona—in February 2011, not long after Brandon’s mother, Kim, discovered the 20-year-old sprawled out and unconscious on the bathroom floor. He had just sucked down a red Solo cup filled to the brim with Crown Royal, and the booze sent him reeling to the ground. It didn’t help that Brandon’s belly was likely empty from forced vomiting. Kim rapidly unlocked the door after hearing the sound of her son’s body smack the linoleum. The shower was still running, Brandon’s eyes had rolled into the back of his head, and blood was trickling out of his mouth. It was a horrifying wake-up call, but just one of the many wrenching episodes related to Brandon’s years of bulimia and alcoholism.

For $14,500, A Sober Way Home assured the family that it could treat Brandon’s dual disorders. His particular condition required a high level of care and monitoring because of the debilitating effects of purging, which can cause the body to have an imbalance of essential electrolytes that can impair the functions of the heart. Substance abuse like alcoholism, which affects about 50 percent of all people with eating disorders, and binging and purging can be a fatal combination.

Despite A Sober Way’s assurance that it could care for Brandon, his vomiting continued, and his drinking was just barely kept at bay while he was in its care. After he spent a month at A Sober Way, the organization admitted to the Jacqueses that it could not properly treat their son’s eating disorder. Instead of recommending that he get medical care at a hospital, A Sober Way officials beseeched the Jacques family to send their son to another residential rehab facility in Newport Beach, California.


Nebraska Ebola Method for Clinicians online course now available from The University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine at

The purpose of this activity is to enable the learner to better understand the pathogenesis and epidemiology of Ebola, safe treatment practices, public health management, and subsequent systems change that result from an Ebola outbreak.  This dynamic and evolving course will provide videos, media, and guidelines as used in Nebraska to care for Ebola patients.  The course will be updated frequently to reflect the most current practice processes and disseminate lessons learned.