GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- After she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer five years ago, Teri Behr began reading about a genetic mutation that greatly increases one's risk for breast or ovarian cancer. She struggled with the question of taking the genetic test which would reveal whether or not she carried the mutation.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- BRCA1 and BRCA2 are "tumor suppressor genes," meaning that, when normal, they make proteins that keep cells from growing abnormally, according to Cancer.org. "The way I explain it to patients is, they act like a stop sign.
You don't need to hire an attorney to prepare an advance healthcare directive, said Moriah Opp, patient education coordinator at Altru Health System in Grand Forks. "You can go online and print out the forms," said Opp, who teaches a class, offered quarterly, on advance healthcare directives. "The directive becomes a legal document when it is notarized." The questions listed on the advance directive forms "are very broad--and they are meant to be," she said. "They give the provider and the care team a sense of who you are and what you believe in.
On a November morning in 2011, Kraig Lee was hit with the worst headache of his life. The 58-year-old Wannaksa, Minn., farmer took several over-the-counter pain pills. They didn't help. He called his wife, Bonnie, who was at work at the family's hardware store in Wannaska. By the time she got home, he was lying on the floor. He needed to go to the emergency room in Roseau, Minn., he told her.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Norman Roberts, 61, of Grand Forks has lived with schizophrenia since he was 15. Schizophrenia, a severe brain disorder which causes people to abnormally interpret reality, may result in hallucinations, delusions and extremely disordered thinking and behavior, according to MayoClinic.com. "I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia by chemical imbalance," Roberts said. Sometimes he hears voices. "Mainly they say things like, 'Look out' or 'What are you doing?' Sometimes they criticize me." At times, the voices are distorted a bit, he said.
MINNEAPOLIS -- At 4 days old, Jozy Austreng did not act like a typical newborn. She was exhibiting early signs of the health crisis that was to come. "Her breathing changed. Her temperature had dropped to 92 degrees, and she had lost about one pound," said her mother Megan Goulet, 23, of Grand Forks. "She'd open her eyes but they wouldn't stay open," Goulet said. "She wouldn't feed from her bottle.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Bill Rivard, 76, used to be very fast at everything he did and said--so fast "it bothered my wife," he said. "Now I have to concentrate more." He has to consider what he's doing--like getting up from a chair--before he does it. "I have to take five seconds and think about it. It's like there's a short there." That "short circuit" in his brain can be traced to Parkinson's disease, which the Grand Forks man was diagnosed with a few years ago. He suspects he had the disease several years before that. "I wondered why I was aging so fast," he said.
Mother's Day HOOPLE, N.D.—In the summer of 1989, Karen Midgarden of rural Hoople, N.D., was staying at her family's lake cabin in Minnesota when she noticed that she was unusually tired. Not so strange, though, she said. "Teachers are tired in the summer." She wasn't sick, but, "I thought, maybe I'm pregnant." At a clinic in Detroit Lakes, Minn., when her pregnancy was confirmed, "I was stunned--absolutely stunned," said Karen who was 40 at the time of this, her first pregnancy. "I had no clue I was pregnant.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—At age 38, Tanya Knodle has endured more than most people could begin to imagine—kidney failure, partial amputation of her foot, temporary blindness, double mastectomy, persistent bone infection and bouts of depression.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Ashley Magner, regional care consultant for the Alzheimer's Association, offers the following tips and insights for families who are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease: - Take notes about changes you see in a "caregiver's notebook." Then you can go back and track changes. -Practice in advance what you're planning to say to the person who may be experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer's, so you can feel prepared.