Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Popping-Corn Rhythm

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“Every once in a while, my heart seems to be jumping out of my chest, I get a weak feeling and short of breath,” the patient explained. When I listened with my stethoscope, his rhythm was different than the usual lub-dub, foot-tapping, sounds, which are regular as a band marching through town on a summertime parade. Instead his heart had the irregular rhythm of popping corn, chaotic and unpredictable, and I couldn’t tap my foot to it.

As predicted, the EKG showed the rhythm of atrial fibrillation, with the atrial rate running at three to 400 beats per minute, and the ventricular rhythm chaotic, as the experts say, irregularly-irregular at about 150 beats per minute. Atrial fibrillation, or A Fib, is the most common abnormal heart rhythm condition. It afflicts about one percent of the total population, more than two million people in the U.S., and eight percent of all those older than 80 years of age. 

There are many causes for A Fib, including long standing high blood pressure, coronary artery blockage, sleep apnea, too tight or leaky heart valves, too much or too little thyroid hormone, blood clots to the lung, an inherited conduction system or wiring condition, excessive amounts of tobacco, coffee, alcohol, or amphetamine, a viral infection involving the heart, stress of any kind, or just an old and weak heart.

There are two main reasons we need to do something about this rhythm abnormality. Most devastating can be the clots that can form in the atria since they are not emptying effectively, resulting in something like 10 to 25 percent of all strokes to the brain. Second, the ventricles are not efficient pumps when atria are fibrillating and even worse so when the ventricles are beating at 150 beats a minute.

So, with A Fib we must slow the heart down, thin the blood to prevent strokes, and sometimes even bring the rhythm back to normal when we can. While we are at it, in each case, physicians need to study why A Fib happened. It is a complex and interesting condition, and there is a lot of debate about what kind of blood thinners to prescribe, what kind of rhythm-control drugs to use, and when to use surgery and pacemaker treatments.

But the bottom line about A Fib is that good treatment by your general or cardiology physician can prevent problems and allow a normal life, even with the heart rhythm as irregular as popping corn.

DOC

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - The Cost of Health Care

Health care costs too much. The U.S. spends twice as much as other wealthy nations and yet we have poorer outcomes. Patients in this country visit physicians less frequently and spend less time in hospitals than residents of other wealthy countries. So, why such high costs? It’s... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - A Tall Drink of Water

What if there was something you could drink that could help you live longer and was free? Would you drink it? What if I offered something else to drink that could shorten your life and would cost you one dollar? Would you want to buy it? As you might have guessed, the initial... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Historical Trauma

Starting in 1805 through 1858 the Dakota Indian people living in Minnesota were, by U.S. government treaties, gradually cut out of their traditional hunting areas. In 1861, crops failed, winter was severe, meager federal payments were late and Dakota children were starving. By... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Blood Vessel Disease

For years I cared for a young gentleman with recurrent leg swelling associated with redness, fever, pain and open sores between his toes and lower legs and the rash of athlete’s foot. Once again, the emergency room doctor admitted the patient, and started him on intravenous... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Preparing for a Good Death

In 40 years of practice, I have seen how the final moments of one’s life can be inspiring or agonizing, no matter the manner of death. As I see it, the fear of death is a greater enemy than death itself. This has brought me to make the following recommendations for approaching... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Understanding Dementia

Over a six-month period, a 78-year-old businessman with a clever wit and superb leadership skills became less able to talk. He gradually became more confused and lost his ability to learn new things. In the end, he lost his capacity to swallow well and started inhaling some liquids... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - Organ Donation: The Gift of Life

A dear physician friend of mine who practices in Florida developed renal (kidney) failure a few years ago at the age of 60. He was initially treated with peritoneal dialysis which involves repeatedly flushing special fluid into the abdominal cavity, letting it sit for a bit to... [More]

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Prairie Doc® Perspectives - The Value of Family Love

I appreciate how the old prayer goes, “Bless the food before us, the family beside us, and the love between us...”  A few years back, our youngest son, had a break-in at his home and they took his computer with all his pictures as well as his original created... [More]

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COURT

Traffic Court up to September 2019

Turner, Philip Russell II, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, deferred adjudication, court costs $108. Patton, Amanda, driving 93 mph in a 65 mph zone, deferred adjudication, court costs $108. Ramey, Tyler Ray, failure to stop or obey railroad crossing signal, fines $195, court... [More]

Wallace County District Court Sentencings

On May 15th, Vance Diamond Halsey appeared in the Wallace County District Court with court appointed attorney, Christopher Rohr, Colby for sentencing in the matter of case 2019-CR-03.  Halsey was charged with Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer on March 12, 2019, ... [More]

Traffic Court for May-June 2019

May Traffic Report Thomas, Dyami R, Bellingham, Wash, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $105, court cost $108. Araujo Pompa, Almedio, Coral Gables, Fla, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $105, court cost $108. Lennon, Jake Owen, Pittsburg, Penn, driving 93 mph... [More]

Traffic Court for April 2019

James Manuel Phillips, Gardner, Colo, driving 77 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $57 and court costs $108. Kenzie Marie Spreier, Colby, Kans, diving 80 in a 65 mph zone, fines $75 and court costs $108. Erick Edward Jarosz, Canon City, Colo, driving 84 mph in a 65 mph zone,... [More]

Brandon and Fugate Sentenced

Jonathan Brandon appeared in Wallace County District Court on April 10th, 2019, with his court appointed attorney, Steve Cott, Garden City, for sentencing in cases 17 CR 51 and 17 CR 58. Each case charged Brandon with Distribution of Methamphetamine within 1000 feet of a school,... [More]

Traffic Court reports Apr 11, 2019

Chandler, Garrett Scott, Pueblo, Colo, driving 75 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $69, court costs $108. Palmier, Joshua Quayshun, Birmingham, Ala, driving 84 mph in a 65 mph zone, fines $99, court costs $108. Chavez, Brenda Icilice, Denver, Colo, driving 85 mph in a 65 mph zone,... [More]

March District Court

On March 13th, 2019 Charlene Valdez appeared in Wallace County District Court with court appointed attorney Leslie Beims, Goodland in the matter of case number 2017 CR 42. Valdez had been charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine, within 1,000’ of a school,... [More]

Traffic Court reports for February

Chandler, Garrett Scott, of Pueblo, Colo, cited for driving 79 mph in a 65-mph zone, ordered to pay $65 in fines and $108 in court costs. Palmier, Joshua Quayshun, of Birmingham, Ala, cited for driving 84 mph in a 65-mph zone, ordered to pay $99 in fines and $108 in court... [More]

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NEWS

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2019 Wallace County High School Fall Homecoming

The 2019 fall homecoming week was a whirlwind of a week. The annual parade was canceled due to the weather and the homecoming coronation took place in the high school gym after an improvised parade around the gym. Then the homecoming candidates were also recognized at half time... [More]

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Happy Birthday Dorothy Bussen

Happy Birthday Dorothy Bussen

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Cats Roared at Homecoming

Friday night the boys in blue came out ready to pounce. They were fired up being back at home for their homecoming after three weeks on the road. As it may have been cold outside it was definitely hot on the field.  The offense came out with a bang and showed the crowd... [More]

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FHSU Launches Enhanced Scholarship Program

  College-bound students will soon have another great reason to choose Fort Hays State University. Already the most affordable university in the region, the university will offer, effective Oct. 15, 2019, four new scholarships with award levels ranging from $15,000 to... [More]

A New Look In The Window At The Senior Center

The window display at the Senior Center has been changed from items representing School Days of the past.  These items had been the subject of conversation over the past month about the ‘good ole days’.  Stop by and check out the new display of beautiful... [More]

How does your garden grow? - Prolonging the Harvest

If you would like to continue harvesting frost-tolerant crops such as kale, collards and Brussels sprouts, you can do so with little or no effort.   These crops are tolerant of cold, sometimes surviving temperatures down to 20 degrees.  In fact, their flavor... [More]

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"Boo at the Mu" set for October 26

Bring your Halloween costumes and ‘Trick or Treat’ the Prairie Museum of Art and History spaces on Saturday, October 26 during the annual ‘Boo at the Mu’ fall celebration, taking place between 1:30-4:30 p.m. at the museum – 1905 S. Franklin Ave.,... [More]

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Walking In His Father’s Footsteps - The Story of Jim Weed and the Eastern Colorado Bank

For literally decades, much has been written about the differences that exist between life in the city and life in the country. In many ways, these differences are not nearly as great as might be portrayed, for, at our core, people are people. Certain commonalities exist. We... [More]

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BUGLE NOTES

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Bugle Notes - Oct 17, 2019

The Smoky Hill Trail Conference weekend is here, and we are excited to host folks from all over Kansas, Colorado and beyond! The theme of the weekend is “Fort Wallace - the Fightin’est Fort on the Smoky Hill Trail,” and presentations will explore the events,... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Oct 10, 2019

This Saturday night, we are delighted to welcome Rachel Garcia and Thu Tran “The Singer and the Songwriter” to the Fort Wallace Museum for an evening of live music at 7pm as part of the High Plains Public Radio Artists Series! The Singer and The Songwriter is the... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Oct 3, 2019

The Fort Wallace Memorial Association is truly excited about the upcoming Smoky Hill Trail Conference taking place on Friday, Oct. 18 - Sunday, Oct. 20. This year’s conference theme is “Fort Wallace - the Fightin’est Fort on the Smoky Hill Trail.”... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Sep 26, 2019

For anyone that loves history, the upcoming Smoky Hill Trail Conference is not to be missed!  This 2019 Annual Conference is being held right here at the Fort Wallace Museum, on Friday, October 18th through Sunday, October 20th. The title and theme for the Conference is... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Sep 19, 2019

As fall arrives, the Fort Wallace Memorial Association is looking forward to another season of events and programming.  On October 18-20, the Museum is proud to host the 2019 Smoky Hill Trail Association Annual Conference.  This organization connects communities,... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Aug 15, 2019

In mid-August of 1869, Fort Wallace found itself in a time of transition. Some of the more immediate dangers from Indian attacks had receded, but other obstacles such as disease, and the elements still created great challenges. The building of the Kansas Pacific Railway was still... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Jul 4, 2019

Here at the Fort Wallace Museum, we are gearing up for the “Trails to Rails” 2019 Summer Exposition, coming at us on Fri-Sun July 12-14, 2019. Once again, collaboration is the name of the game - this time, we will tell the story of the climax of stagecoach travel... [More]

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Bugle Notes - Trails to Rails

We are excited about the upcoming Summer Exposition “Trails to Rails,” which highlights the year 1869, when the Kansas Pacific Railway arrived in Wallace County and the era of stagecoach travel came to an end. In addition to our own local and regional talent, the... [More]

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