Patience as practice

“Patience may seem like a superficial virtue, but actually it embodies a deep insight into the nature of things: they’re intertwining, messy, imperfectible, and usually not about you.”  – Rick Hanson, Ph.D., neuropsychologist and author

Patience, is the quality caregivers and partners share most frequently when asked what they need and Handsfeel to be well and balanced in their caregiving role. Reliable and abundant patience is what they desire most in their relationships and in their daily lives. They express deep concern, and even shame, regarding their transient feelings of patience, especially towards the person they are caring for. The direct experience of “lost” patience combined with subsequent self-criticism and feelings of guilt can become a hamster wheel many care partners find themselves circling for years on end. This is a dangerous cycle that not only erodes the bedrock of caregiving confidence, but the health, well-being and safety of all involved.

Here are a few practical tips for nurturing patience as a caregiver: Continue reading

Don’t go to bed tonight until you read this

Tips for out-smarting Daylight Saving Time -- from a U-M sleep expert

Your alarm clock and your body clock CAN be in sync for Daylight Saving Time

Your alarm clock and your body clock CAN be in sync for Daylight Saving Time

It’s that time of year again – time to ‘spring forward’ with our clocks even though there’s still snow on the ground.

Time to lose an hour of precious sleep that most of us can’t afford.

Time for a super-groggy Monday morning.

Or is it? U-M sleep specialist Cathy Goldstein, M.D., says you don’t have to suffer – if you pay attention to your body’s natural sleep-wake rhythm, and adjust it starting a few days ahead of the clock change. She’s a sleep neurologist at the U-M Sleep Disorders Center.

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Shaky hand, stable spoon: High-tech help for essential tremor

U-M doctor tests shake-canceling device invented by U-M engineering grad

spoontremor.fwImagine picking up your spoon to enjoy a nice hot bowl of soup – only to find that your hand seems to have grown a mind of its own. Instead of bringing your spoon to your lips, your hand shakes and jerks, spilling soup everywhere.

For people with the nerve condition called essential tremor, which makes their hands shake uncontrollably, that frustrating, embarrassing scenario could happen any time they try to eat. And that leads many of them to shun restaurants, parties or even family meals.

But a new handheld electronic device can help such patients overcome these tremors when they eat – and potentially other tasks that involve holding something in their shaking hands.

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Be a link in the chain of Alzheimer’s research

Now is the time to join our discovery team

Currently, there are over 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease. To prevent or delay the illuminated stone headonset of the disease, we need to do research and discover new treatments.

We’ve all been asked to lend a hand with something or donate a little time for a good cause.  It is quite eye opening how we benefit from volunteers who have helped improved our lives and enriched our culture – including medical discoveries that we rely on every day.

Research volunteers, who generously give up their personal time to become part of an Alzheimer’s research study, play a crucial role in the discovery of improved treatment options and cures for this disease. These do not just get discovered by scientists working in a lab, but also because people and families who are Continue reading

Protecting Olympic brains from concussion & more

U-M sports neurologist Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher heads to Sochi as part of Team USA

Concussion expert Jeffrey Kutcher, M.D.

Jeffrey Kutcher, M.D. has been named part of the U.S. Olympic medical team

On February 7, as the world’s eyes turn toward Sochi, Russia and the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, a U-M doctor will take to the snow and ice alongside America’s athletes.

Jeffrey Kutcher, M.D., is a sports neurologist whose expertise in concussion care has earned him a place on Team USA’s medical staff – and a role watching over the brains of any National Hockey League player on any Olympic team.

These roles – and his role as director of the U-M NeuroSport program for patients, as a team physician for U-M Athletics and a leader in American Academy of Neurology’s sports neurology section – are keeping him super-busy. But he stopped long enough to answer a few questions.

Q: Did you ever dream of going to the Olympics?

A: Growing up, I played hockey and thought about what it might be like to go as an athlete. As the limits Continue reading

Answers to your questions about flu vaccination and prevention

Bottom line: it's not too late to get your vaccination

We reported our first case of influenza this season to the public health department in Oct. 2013 and have since hospitalized hundreds of patients with suspected or confirmed flu.  Flu

Many of those patients are young and otherwise healthy, and some were transferred to U-M from other hospitals because their flu was so severe. Most cases are the H1N1 strain of flu.

Estimated flu activity level in Michigan has been upgraded to ‘widespread’ activity to reflect recent increases in lab-confirmed influenza cases in the southwest and central regions of Michigan.

Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the flu:

Q: What are the symptoms of H1N1? Are the symptoms for the H1N1 strain different than a seasonal flu?
A: The symptoms of H1N1 are not different from other strains of influenza. These include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.  The onset of symptoms is frequently rapid. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea as well as respiratory symptoms without a fever.  Continue reading