On February 1st 2014, our Redwood City location is moving from 801 Brewster Avenue, Suite 240 to:
Our phone number will remain the same: (650) 366–4542
Don’t hesitate to get a hold of us if you have any questions about the new office. Thanks to all our patients, and we look forward to seeing our patients at our new location!
When has a vibrant, young thirteen year-old girl truly died? That is the great debate raging on inside the walls of the independent, free-standing Children’s Hospital Oakland after an elective tonsillectomy procedure tragically ended in brain death – and technically, an actual death as well, under California law – for Jahi McMath.
Undeniably, a death has occurred when the heart has stopped beating and cannot be revived. However, just as the Terri Schiavo case that polarized the nation proved in 2005, controversy and confusion stands in the way and continues to fuel debate surrounding sensitive end of life issues. Specifically, Jahi’s situation polarizes the issue of when a person’s heart is still beating while the brain has died about what to do.
So how did we get to this point and what is next?At this point Jahi’s family can either accept the shared opinion of the physicians who have declared her irreversibly brain dead or cling to their faith and strong religious beliefs for a modern day miracle. It is an emotional and almost incomprehensible tragedy that began with tonsils being removed. It’s been reported that complications by obstructive sleep apnea led to heart attack. And then directives by nursing staff to provide direct, bedside care to their daughter.
Apparently the medical concerns about having any family member suctioning blood from their daughters throat did not herald the need for an even more urgent intervention. Bleeding after tonsillectomy procedures is relatively common and sleep apnea patients also carry a higher risk of complications with surgical procedures.
It appears that given the role the family may have played in assisting with their daughters medical care and the unfortunate outcome that resulted, that there are too many unanswered concerns and too much mistrust to allow the family to reject hope and their fundamental rights as parents and replace it with technical definitions of death. Wouldn’t millions of parents feel the same way under these circumstances?
The individual right of a patient – or their parent – to control medical decisions for their children is a fundamental cornerstone of the medical establishment.
The role of the physician is to care for the patient, explain the options and let the patient or next of kin decide. However, in this case, the independent Children’s Hospital Oakland has chosen to press the issue of McMath being brain dead.
What will happen to Jahi now that there has been an agreement for her to leave Childrens Hospital remains unclear. However, if there is one lesson to be learned from this tragedy, and there are several, it is to plan.
Discuss your wishes in advance if you are about to have surgery and prepare an Advance Directive. This document can easily be found on line and helps communicate your wishes to your loved ones and to your physician.
This article was featured on healthyblackmen.org.
A new excellent study featuring sham knee surgeries has shed doubt on the effectiveness of the invasive procedure for acute knee injuries, specifically meniscus damage that causes bone-on-bone contact. On this KQED podcast, I join Dr. Jeffrey Halbrecht and Dr. Kevin Bozic in a discussion about this new study and it’s implications. I come in at the 25 minute mark, but it’s worth listening to the entire show to learn about the knee’s important role to our body, the power of the placebo effect, who benefits most from knee surgery, and how this study can lead to a better dialog between medical professionals and patients. Whether or not your an athlete, here a few knee care tips you can start this new year:
If you have an interest in knee surgery, knee health, and more specifics on this study,
listen to the podcast above or on the KQED website.
It’s time for another healthy and delicious recipe, just in time for the holiday season. This recipe is great for the health-conscious who are looking to complement Thanksgiving and Christmas meals that tend to be delicious yet meaty and fat laden. This recipe makes four services.
Ingredients for pomegranate vinaigrette dressing:
And for the rest of the salad:
Hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving and holiday season. If you get the opportunity to try this recipe, let us know if you like it!
The Pain Chronicles — available on kindle, iPad, iPhone, paperback, and audiobook — beautifully summarizes our past and current understanding of pain through personal stories and medical research. Melanie Thernstrom has written a 4.5 star rated affordable book focusing on pain throughout history, art, and religion and how people have perceived it. With its captivating narrative and the use of metaphors, The Pain Chronicles is a very informative and comforting read for those with chronic pain and is still on my highly recommended to-read list.
Tapping the center of your chest bone for 20 seconds can release the body’s energy-boosting T-cells.
Getting sunlight not only produces the necessary vitamin D levels for our body, it also elevates mood and enhances productivity.
Green tea has many health benefits, and it’s healthy dose of caffeine is sure to perk you up.
Stand up and take a quick walk around your home. By stimulating your heart and muscles, your body becomes more physically and mentally energized.
Strangely enough, blinking more frequently gives your brain very brief moments of relaxation. Beyond blinking, giving your eyes a break from the computer screen will make you feel less fatigued.
If you’re a coffee addict, consider replacing some of the caffeine with a veggie and fruit cocktail made with your blender or juicer. By keeping the ingredients fresh, a healthy smoothy containing both fruits and vegetables in the morning has it’s advantages compared to other morning beverages.
Hanging out with active and high energy friends will lift your spirits and will in turn make you more energized. Get socializing!
Meditation is an amazing way to increase your mental energy, but simply taking a few deep breaths can instantly make you feel a lot better. Taking several full deep breaths in the proper posture will instantly unlock some of your body’s energy.
A proper upright posture can promote better blood flow increasing the body’s ability to distribute nutrients throughout up to the brain.
Eating more fruits throughout the day can provide short and long bursts of energy as well as reduce pain, fight cancer, reduce cholesterol, and a plethora of other health benefits that will make your life more prosperous. Skip the apple juice and other sugar waters and go with a satisfying apple instead.
Drink plenty of water so your body has an easier time with its routine tasks. You will notice mental impairment and fatigue when dehydrated.
For more details on these 11 immune boosters, visit at HuffingtonPost.com.
Why is it that loneliness is twice as dangerous as obesity, impairs immune function, and aggravates inflammation? Why is loneliness only increasing in modern populations? These questions are vital in understanding that contrary to popular perception, loneliness is not just a feeling in your head; it has also been correlated with serious health risks.
This phenomenon is known to bridge the gap between emotional and physical states. Those that are lonely do not sleep well, bringing about a situation that can cascade into a range of health issues since sleep is arguably one of the most important bodily functions. Loneliness also has the tendency to perpetuate itself, as those affected pursue further social evasion by avoiding those that can’t be trusted. On top of that, loneliness can be difficult to remedy because it has little to do with the number of people in one’s social circle, but rather the quality of those people. Jessica Olien from Slate writes of her own experience:
Over the winter I moved from New York City to Portland, Ore. The reasons for my move were purely logical. New York was expensive and stressful. Portland, I reasoned, would offer me the space and time to do my work.
Upon arriving, I rented a house and happily went out in search of “my people.” I went to parks, bookstores, bars, on dates. I even tried golfing. It wasn’t that I didn’t meet people. I did. I just felt no connection to any of them.
Once social and upbeat, I became morose and mildly paranoid. I knew I needed to connect to people to feel better, but I felt as though I physically could not handle any more empty interactions. I woke up in the night panicked. In the afternoon, loneliness came in waves like a fever. I had no idea how to fix it.
But it can definitely be fixed. Any method of finding people that you can share a connection with will work well. Specifically, online dating websites have yielded high success rates in relationship longevity, and in response, networks have sprung up geared towards just finding a friend. A real connection with someone is a great way to find happiness and fulfillment, and whether you would rather make it happen by joining a gardening club or reaching out on an internet site, you are also on the path to a healthier life.
If you’ve been working like a robot during the week and saving your weekends for your workouts, you just might be a weekend warrior.
Weekend sports and outdoor activities like team sports, hikes, and races, are good for the mind and the body. Plus you’ll feel alive again — until Monday rolls around. But using physical recreation as a weekends-only reward comes with its own set of risks.
Skimping on weekday workouts leaves muscles stiff and poorly conditioned for weekend performance, so you’re far more likely to get injured. Intermittent exercise quickly increases the risk of a muscle strain or ligament tear. Joints can easily be injured without the proper warm-up during the week. Repetitive stress injuries like plantar fasciitis or shin splints can occur, putting you in a walking boot for weeks.
A little bit of preparation goes a long way. You can excel at your weekend sports activities by optimizing your weekday routines. Here are six simple tips that can make your weekend performance better, safer and more fun.
Stretching should always be the first step in a warm-up routine. Basic stretching allows you to prepare the muscles for the work they are going to do, preventing muscle strain injuries. More advanced stretching exercises like yoga and strengthening exercises like Pilates improve your balance, back strength, and core conditioning for the spine. You can reap the benefits of stretching even if you are unable to take a dedicated weekday class — just devote 5 to 15 minutes to stretching a few days every week.
Strength training is an essential way to build endurance for the weekend warrior. Muscles need resistance training to function at their full capacity. Use lighter weights with multiple reps initially to improve tone — even doing curls with a soup will help to tone your muscles for endurance-based activities like hiking or distance running. If you’d like to build strength and bulk, gradually move to higher weights with fewer reps.
Many of us are weekend warriors by necessity, not by choice — our routine simply does not permit a lot of time to train during the week. But if you can find the time for even a little bit of simple aerobic conditioning, you’ll see a huge change in both your weekend performance and your everyday energy level. Activities like light jogging, cycling, and dance are easy and low-impact ways to mobilize muscles in a very natural way, improving cardiovascular health and limiting damage to the cartilage and joints while burning calories.
From omega–3s to glucosamine or antioxidants to vitamin D, the right nutrition and dietary supplements can make a big difference in your athletic performance and your general well-being. Always consult your doctor, who can direct you to the appropriate supplements. Remember, a healthy diet, including adequate fluid intake, are essential to all athletes, professionals, and weekend warriors alike.
Good ergonomics, posture and even the wear of your shoes can make or break your technique. Take a page from professional athletes, who improve their technique with custom orthotics, proper shoes and correct body mechanics. Consider taking a few lessons from a professional trainer in your sport of choice. Also, consider seeing a podiatrist for advice on inserts and shoe wear, especially if you have foot pain. An investment in proper foot support is an investment in your long-term orthopedic health.
Most importantly, realize that exercise should be fun. This certainly goes for your weekend recreational events, but the fun doesn’t have to end Sunday night. It’s far easier to keep up on your regular conditioning if you genuinely enjoy it and look forward to it. If you’ve been having trouble jogging to prepare for your weekend pursuits, why not substitute rigorous swing dancing? Swimming? Dog frisbee? Or even aerobic gardening? Any weekday physical activity is better than none, and regular light activity will help your body to be acclimated for more strenuous activity.
Remember that whether you are a full-time athlete or a weekend warrior, physical activity that keeps you moving and having fun will keep you motivated and help you reach your fitness goals.
If you find yourself experiencing the winter blues or feeling down it could be seasonal depression. It is more common than you think but too often men ignore the signs and avoid help out of fear of the stigma. But there are several things brothers can do for self-care to help overcome depression and restore peace.
Even if going to a spa is out of the budget, there are chair and hand-held massagers available at stores like Wal-Mart and Target that can be used in the comfort of your own living room. If it’s just too cold to go outside, the next best thing to a massage is a hot bubble bath with some soothing music in the background as this helps to increase the blood flow to muscles and allows you to relax.
Chronic stress can produce too much cortisol, a hormone that can ramp up appetite — and lead to overeating. A simple exercise like walking, just 30 minutes every day helps to incorporate a great way to to minimize gaining weight and stress reduction all in one.
Nap time. Too little sleep causes slowed metabolism and increased appetite which risks overeating, unhealthy food choices, and inactivity. Most of us don’t get enough rest and curl up with a good book, have some hot cider or tea before lying down but it can help us fall asleep faster when one is just too stressed to relax.
Studies show that financial stress is one of the main reasons Black men worry. Don’t plan to make any large purchases on credit until you are out of debt. And pay yourself first, even if it’s only a dollar a week which you should put into an account at your local credit union to avoid fees.
Take up restorative yoga, tai chi or meditation! These mind-body strategies incorporate improving posture, relaxing, and stretching to improve balance and coordination while simultaneously decreasing stress. Take time to breathe deeply and say a prayer, or just sit down in a quiet place and simply meditate with relative peace and quiet.
Never underestimate the power of a good sex life and reconnecting with your significant other. And yes, it’s okay to masturbate. Enough said.
Comedy is good for the soul. Whether it’s rented movies, downloaded comedy sketches or even going to improv or karaoke, a good laugh goes a long way. Laughter lowers stress hormones and improves blood flow, which increases your energy levels. The more energy you have, the less likely you’ll be to be overwhelmed by depression that sometimes comes with the winter season.
It is said that exercise is the doorway to the fountain of youth. Although it is sometimes very difficult and time-consuming, it is critical for cardiovascular health, strength, and mobility. This time on Late Night Health, host Mark Alyn confesses he is not overly fond of exercising, and we discuss how it can possibly be so beneficial for the mind and body. You can watch the video below or see it on our YouTube channel.