The diseases of inflammation.
An important learning while a pneumonia patient in the University of Homburg Hospital in Germany, September 2016, was the importance of the inflammation number. My container for understanding and connecting the dots is expanding and all the implications are yet to be discovered.
My initial discovery came about indirectly. The three German doctors were very regular with the morning visit. Standing at the foot of my bed in long white coats without a stethoscope around their necks the chief resident would ask me questions. By the third day I was starting to feel better so I had a question for them. “How can you listen to my lungs when you are standing at the foot of the bed?” They reached in their deep pockets and pulled out a stethoscope. All three listened to my lungs and that was the last time I saw the stethoscopes. They did this American a favor.
Now I had some questions for them and in the process the chief resident began to instruct me. They follow the inflammation number. I came in with a very high number. They were aiming for a number before I would be discharged. And then there was a difference of opinion on my discharge plan. The chief resident won out and we went to Basel, Switzerland, to board the Viking Rhine cruise to Amsterdam.
Back home to learn more about the inflammation number I went to a doctor friend to continue my learning. My journeys with a word or pattern usually seem more like that of a detective. Where will this lead? How will the dots connect? Life-long learning becomes an exciting adventure that is always beginning. I was informed by my doctor friend that a discussion was in progress about the best way to treat pneumonia. The German doctors had not given me a steroid and I think my strength came back faster. The inflammation number reflected the infection in the lungs
The next dot came from friends of Annie who were following the Whole30 way with food. Whole30 addresses the effect different foods have on inflammation. We went on a thirty-day commitment to eating as prescribed. As a result, I lost 14 pounds. The daily menu has plenty of food. I can have what I call a farm breakfast every morning. The bacon is sugar free. The potatoes are fried in an omega 3 olive oil. And there are the two eggs on the side. Along with a bowl of fruit I am satisfied until lunch. The foods eliminated are significant, sugar is one of the five. Amazing how many processed foods have sugar added.
As featured in the New York Times bestselling book, The Whole30.
Add to this a change is in how we talk about disease from an inflammation understanding. The Cleveland Heart Clinic newsletter will call cardio vascular disease a disease of the inflammation.
This puts all of us on the front lines of the health care delivery system in the way we eat. I will also show in future blogs how we are all on the front lines of the health care delivery system in how we listen.
To be continued.
Begin to train your eyes and ears to be open to information on inflammation as the future unfolds.