THIS MONTH’S PROFESSIONALS

Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D.

Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D.

Clinical Psychology

Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D. Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist, family therapist and the author of the book, The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers—Looking After Yourself and Your Family While Helping an Aging Parent (Guilford, 2006). As a clinician, he specializes in helping families cope with serious and chronic medical illnesses. As an educator, he works as the Director of Behavioral Sciences for the Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program in Springfield, PA and has had adjunct faculty positions with the Temple University School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and the Department of Psychology of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Latonya Law

Dr. Latonya Law

Family Nurse Practitioner

Dr. Latonya Law is a Family Nurse Practitioner, board certified by the American Academy of Nurse Credentialing Center (AANCC) and licensed by the state of Georgia. She is devoted to the advancement of medicine and contributes by holding memberships to the American Nurses Association, Black Nurses Rock, and Georgia Nurses Association.

Choose a condition

This Month’s Questions & Answers

  • OneOmega
    OneOmega, SUPPORT NETWORK Member Asks
    Q.

    "Why when speaking with my physicians (prime, cardio, nehp), QOL discussions rarely include anxiety, depression and isolation, why? This has got to be as important as the count of steps or grams of sodium."

    A.

    You make an excellent point. Exercise and diet are very important for managing heart disease and for ensuring a high quality of life. But social isolation, anxiety and depression are also associated with decreased quality of life and must be addressed as assiduously as lifestyle modifications. I suggest you raise these emotional concerns directly with your physicians. I don’t think they will dismiss your questions, though they may feel more comfortable referring you to a mental health professional to best address them. Be your own best advocate and bring up what most matters to you, rather than only what your physicians ask about.—Barry J. Jacobs, Psy.D., AHA volunteer, co-author of AARP Meditations for Caregivers

  • namaryvar
    namaryvar, SUPPORT NETWORK Member Asks
    Q.

    "Is it common for a stoke survivor to be unable to eat , not due to swallowing but due to getting the food passed her nose. She will,only take one little bite and no more. She has lost 50 lbs in 3.5 months. Also vomits at least 3 times a day, mostly just liquid"

    A.

    Most individuals after a stroke eat well. Difficulties with swallowing can be alleviated with feeding tubes positioned through the nose, mouth or directly into the stomach or intestine. This woman weight loss and vomiting are concerning for other conditions. I would take her to her primary physician as soon as possible to find the cause for her gastrointestinal plight. Thank you, Dr. Hanna

  • angelinaA728
    angelinaA728, SUPPORT NETWORK Member Asks
    Q.

    "Hello: I have two grand daughters (twins) who were born 9 weeks early. They both have heart murmurs. One of the twins Angelina had surgery at CHOP. She was just released on Nov 18, 2018. She has a feeding tube and receives 1/8 of oxygen. Both twins suffer from acid reflux and feeding must be done very care fully. How long does it take to recover from surgery for a heart murmur?"

    A.

    Heart murmurs are sounds, not heart disease. Sometimes a murmur is innocent, with no heart disease associated with it. It would be important to know the heart disease that was treated with surgery at CHOP to answer the question. Thank you, Dr. Breinholt

  • OtterAnnie
    OtterAnnie, SUPPORT NETWORK Member Asks
    Q.

    "My husband had a stroke 4 yr ago that affected use of his left arm and leg. He can't use his arm and can walk short distances with a leg brace and cane. He his terrible "tone" (spasticity) in his left side and leg that comes and goes. He describes it as burning and tightness. Everyone we've talked to (PT, primary, neurologist) says there's nothing that can be done for that. Is that true? It keeps him in bed and wheelchair for up to a week when its bad. Affects his ability to sleep and makes him miserable. Is there anything to help this???"

    A.

    Your husband’s stroke recovery seems to have been incomplete leaving him with both tone alteration and sensory disturbance on his left side. The tone problem can be addressed through therapy, pharmacology and surgery. The optimization of motor recovery should be individualized using all three modalities to allow him to perform daily tasks. The “burning” and tightness may be part of a post-stroke pain syndrome. This can be managed through therapy and pharmacologic approaches. Sometimes a refresher course guided by a stroke rehabilitation specialist helps improve the quality of life even years removed from the initial stroke. Thank you, Dr. Hanna

  • IvetteRam
    IvetteRam, SUPPORT NETWORK Member Asks
    Q.

    "How common is it to see stroke patients go backwards in their recovery process instead of getting better?"

    A.

    The grand thing about stroke survival is that nearly all get better in some degree as time passes. A period of deterioration within the first several days surrounding a stroke can be from extension of the incident stroke. Clots extend into additional vessels stealing blood from viable brain. Hemorrhage into the brain extends disturbing the surrounding environment even further. Later deterioration may be from a variety of medical conditions including infection, poor oxygenation and perfusion, additional brain swelling, blockage of the ventricular drainage system in the brain and depression to name a few. Thankfully, each of these causes for neurologic decline has a treatment and your clinicians have been trained to be watchful and to intervene early and optimize recovery. Thank you, Dr. Joseph Hanna

Previous Questions

dark overlay when lightbox active
dark overlay when lightbox active
dark overlay when lightbox active
dark overlay when lightbox active