After her husband, NBC News correspondent David Bloom, died from complications of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) while covering the war in Iraq, Melanie Bloom felt the need to speak out.
Following David’s death in April 2003, Melanie became more aware of DVT and pulmonary embolism (PE), a potentially fatal complication of DVT. She learned about the risk factors for this condition—such as restricted mobility—that may have led to the development of David’s fatal blood clot. Melanie also learned that David had a silent risk factor, Factor V Leiden—an inherited blood coagulant disorder that can increase a person's risk of DVT. Having three or more risk factors for DVT may put someone at risk and could lead to a potentially fatal PE. David had four.
Most important to family caregivers, Melanie also learned that DVT can be prevented if you are aware of the risk factors, signs and symptoms, and speak to your doctor.
Melanie sat down with Editor-In-Chief Gary Barg to talk about some very important health issues of which family caregivers need to become aware.
Gary Barg: I was a big fan
of your husband's work on NBC and it was a shock
to hear how he died in Iraq. It was
actually the first time I heard about DVT.
Melanie Bloom: Gary,
me too. I had never heard of it before; so the
most important person in your life died from
something you do not even know about. It is
pretty hard to swallow that. And thank you
for saying you enjoyed his work. That
means a lot...continued
by Sharon R. McMurray
reaction was “He can’t live alone.” How could he
manage without her? She was his companion in the house
they bought the year after they married nearly sixty years
ago. A typical homemaker from the 50s era, she cooked for
him, washed the laundry, managed the finances, later drove
him where he needed to go, and did a hundred other things...continued
Laughter is the Best Medicine
By Helen Hunter, ACSW, LSW
When was the last time you had a really good laugh?
The scientific definition of laughing is a “successive,
rhythmic, spasmodic expiration with open glottis and
vibration of the vocal cords, often accompanied by
baring of the teeth and facial expression”. That doesn’t
begin to tell the story of what laughing does for us,
however. The bottom line is that laughing is medically
Bipolar Tips for Families
- Become as educated as possible on the different terms, symptoms, and causes of bipolar disorder
- Talk to doctors and look for any possible warning signs of worsening condition.
Sharing Wisdom - Caregiver Tips
From Diane in Fredonia, NY
has ALS and we are trying to restructure our house with a
minimum of effort and money to make it more accessible.
While trying to figure out how we can re-do the bathroom to
make the shower work for him, we came up with a neat
solution. We had a hot water faucet put on our garden hose
and I can shower him on the deck while he's seated in a
plastic chair. Luckily, our deck is very private; but if
you have close neighbors, even a shower in a bathing suit is
better than no shower at all! Of course, this only works in
warm weather. Winter sponge baths have worked well
since we discovered some great no-rinse soaps at our local
medical supply store.
From Jane in Kansas City
husband broke a bone in his foot, he needed a wheelchair for
whenever he left the house because he was not supposed to
put weight on the broken bone. Like a super-caregiver, I
rented a wheelchair and dutifully hauled it in and out of
the car each time he needed it. After four days of this, my
back hurt so much that I couldn't think straight! It dawned
on me that most places we go have wheelchairs at their doors. So I returned my rental wheelchair and started using
the available wheelchairs at the mall, the doctor's office
building, etc. It has saved my back often!
The best ideas and solutions for taking care of your
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and insights and we will share them with your fellow caregivers.
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