Monthly Archives: April 2015

Anatomy of Violent Crime

Recently in my research I became familiar with the crime -prevention system of Marc MacYoung and his 5-Stages-of-Violent-Crime. This system checklists what criminals go through before performing a violent attack. What caught my eye are the labels for the five stages. I like labels; labels help objectify  what we should be looking for . Having an awareness of how criminals think and try to set up a potential victim usually by some type of distraction is crucial in avoiding  a confrontation and becoming a victim of violence.

This is on what the Refuse To Be A Victim seminar program is based. Early recognition of an evolving crime within the first 2 to 3 stages usually allows the target to divorce themself from the situation relatively easily and safely. In the later stages when the criminal has gotten “close” either physically and/or emotionally, or has initiated the actual crime it is more difficult to escape from the scene safely.

The book Gift of Fear by Gaven DeBecker was recommended by one of my teachers. In addition to discussing the gift of intuition and how we should “listen” to it, the author discusses 8 Pre-Incident Indicators. These are actually distractions which, if used on you by a stranger, should raise the red-flag that you’re possibly being set-up for a crime. And it would be during the first 2 to 3 Stages of a Violent Crime that the predator would use these strategies. Prudence would dictate that you leave the scene while there are still other people around and you can do this safely and expeditiously.

I invite you to learn more about Marc MacYoung’s 5 Stages of Violent Crime and the 8 common distraction strategies used by criminals in the commission of a crime at my next Refuse To Be A Victim seminar at the B H Wellness Center, 842 Clark Ave., Bristol, CT, on Saturday, May 16, 2015 from 9 AM to 1 PM. Tuition is $30 per student .  Please call  860.582.4388 to register or for more details.

Bronchitis: (Un)Usual Symptoms

Bronchitis: (Un)Usual Symptoms.

Bronchitis: (Un)Usual Symptoms

While speaking with a friend the other day he mentioned how his spouse had had some surgery and how she had come down with a bad case of bronchitis afterward. Although she has since gotten somewhat better, she now seems more susceptible to recurrent bronchitis attacks and other infections.

It’s been my experience that many bronchitis cases are undertreated. Specifically, medications to “open” the bronchial tubes (bronchodilators) are under-utilized and/or stopped prematurely. As a result it takes longer for a bronchitis episode to resolve and the chance for repeat attacks is increased.

I asked my friend whether his wife was on a bronchodilator and he said “no.” Because she wasn’t having any wheezing the doctors did not prescribe any ongoing treatment with a bronchodilator spray inhaler. Although he did say that she was treated with steroids. Steroids act against bronchial inflammation to improve symptoms but inhaled bronchodilators usually work much faster.

Having had bronchitis myself and having seen many patients with the illness, I mentioned that  often times bronchial inflammation is clinically underestimated and incompletely treated. It starts with recognizing the symptoms; everyone looks for the wheezing not realizing that cough, chest tightness, and shortness of breath can be independent signs of the disease also. Sometimes people with frequent “clearing of the throat” from mucus do this because of low-grade bronchitis.

Although my friend’s wife was not a smoker, she was exposed fairly frequently to her brother who was a heavy smoker. She was therefore at risk for second-hand smoke-induced bronchitis, especially if exposed to an additional respiratory irritant trigger. Bronchitis can get better without bronchodilators, but the patient will get better faster and stay better longer with a somewhat prolonged prescription of the inhaled spray(albuterol is the most common one). I would tell my patients that when the symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, tight chest) got better, the serious healing was starting. But it takes 4-6 weeks on the average to “reline” the bronchial tubes. Side-effects  of the spray include possible palpitations and some insomnia if taken close to bedtime. However, if the inhaler indeed helps the breathing, the quality of sleep is improved and the insomnia is non-existent. The dose of medication can also be modified if the side-effects are bothersome.

A relatively simple test called spirometry is available in many physicians offices, or it can be obtained in a pulmonary (lung medicine) laboratory. This test may objectively make the diagnosis but sometime a bronchodilator trial when the patient has symptoms is necessary. My friend said he would share the information with his wife and they will discuss the issue with her physician. I hope she has as good a response as I have had with maintenance bronchodilators! Fewer attacks, less laryngitis and sore throats, less mucus production and secondary infections may result.