Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dallas Support Group Meeting: June 6, 2015 (plus some handy handiwork)

Today's post will cover the most recent meeting of the Dallas Amyloidosis Support Group which occurred on June 6, 2015, followed by the always exciting monthly blog stats. But first I want to mention something totally off-subject that I finally had a chance to document after this particular meeting.

The Dallas support group meetings are held on the lower level of one of the hospital buildings at Baylor University Medical Center. Just one floor up, right there in the lobby, is the Adrian E. Flatt, M. D., Hand Collection. A collection of hands? That sounds gross, doesn't it? Well these are not actual hands, but rather bronze-coated casts of the hands of famous people. Dr. Flatt, who was chief of orthopedic surgery at Baylor from 1982 to 1992, began doing this as a hobby in 1952. His collection now includes more than 100 pairs of hands from people of many different professions such as sports, entertainment, medicine, politics, science, etc. Here is a picture I took of one of several walls of this display, to give you an idea of what it looks like:

Adrian E. Flatt, M. D., Hand Collection
Adrian E. Flatt, M. D., Hand Collection

It was difficult to get good pictures in there due to the glare of the overhead lights on the glass, but here is one of my favorites:

Wilt and Willie

Those are the hands of basketball player Wilt Chamberlain (7' 1") next to those of jockey Willie Shoemaker (4'11").

Anyway, here is a link with some more information and better pictures:  http://www.juliatexas.com/historichands.htm. If you are ever in the lobby of Truett Memorial Hospital at Baylor in Dallas, look for the hands. Somehow I was attending support group meetings there for three years before I noticed them.

Back to the main topic of today's post, the June support group meeting. The attendance at this meeting was rather low (19) compared to some previous meetings with over 40 attendees, but I suppose summer vacations can account for a lot of that. The guest speaker was Dr. B from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, who talked initially about AL amyloidosis and then briefly touched on the other types. Then he talked about the various clinical trials that are in process and how they differ in terms of the approach to treating amyloidosis, whether it's stopping the production of the misfolded proteins or helping the body eliminate them.

Of the 19 attendees, ten were patients and nine were friends or family members of patients (including two women whose husbands had lost their battle with amyloidosis). There were 4 AL amyloidosis patients and then one or two each with localized, ATTR, other familial, or wild type TTR. I believe there were only one or two patients who were attending their first support group meeting.

That's it for today's post, which is barely making it out before the end of June. Maybe the July post will be before July 31. Or not.

=====Monthly Blog Status Update===== 

As of May 31, 2015:

Total posts: 152 (1 in May)

Total pageviews: 26,700 (~800 in May)

Email subscribers: 12 (unchanged)

Total number of countries that have viewed the blog: 104

2 new countries visited the blog in May:


Edit 7-1-15: Corrected one month in Monthly Blog Status Update