Monday, November 8, 2010

Medical Mondays: Your Lonely Spleen and an Interview!

First up, the very sweet Lisa Gail Green at Paranormal Point of View is posting about yours truly today! So if you want to learn some random factoids about me, go check it out!

And on to today's Medical Monday question. Clara at Pinches of Madness is looking to give one of her characters a hard time! She asks:

What are the symptoms of a ruptured spleen? I've checked the web and I saw that it causes blurry vision, lightheadness, but also quick heart pacing as well as abdominal and shoulder pain. Is this correct?

A ruptured spleen is often seen in blunt trauma to the abdomen, especially the left upper belly area just under the ribs, where the spleen lives. People with large spleens (because of certain blood cancers or anemias, for instance) have a bigger risk of traumatizing their spleens.

The symptoms of a ruptured spleen are:

-abdominal pain in the left upper belly area
-pain in the left shoulder (this is called "referred" pain, similar to why people having heart attacks have pain in the left arm...will need to do a whole post on this later, I think!)
-symptoms related to bleeding internally from the ruptured organ. Bleeding steals blood from your blood vessels. As a result, you don't get enough blood supply to your head, causing dizziness, blurry vision or a darkening sensation of your vision, which happens before you pass out. Your heart compensates by pumping faster, and thus you may feel like your heart is racing.

A few other questions may pop up from all this spleen talk, so I thought I'd head them off.

Can you live without a spleen?
Yes, you can. But you will be susceptible to certain kinds of bacterial infections (some very severe and life threatening) and would need special vaccines if you lost your spleen.

What the heck does a spleen do besides take up bodily space, like an uninvited house guest?
Ah, the hopelessly under-appreciated spleen. Here, have a hug. (*squish*). Okay. The spleen does more work than a loafing guest. It clears away old and dying red blood cells, and it's a bit of a garbage collector. Bacteria that have already been "marked" by your immune system for death are picked up here and disposed of. Other cells coated with antibodies are also removed here.

Hope you found this interesting, and everyone with a spleen, please pat your upper left belly and say thanks to a rather under-appreciated chunk of your body.

Please keep in mind this post is for writing purposes only and is not to be construed as medical advice! (See sidebar disclaimer)

If you've got a fictional medical question, let me know! Post below or email me at


All I ask in return is that you become a follower of my blog and post a link on your blog when I post. Easy peasy.

Also, don't forget to check out Mental Health Mondays at Laura's Blog!


61 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'll try to hang on to my spleen then!

KatieO said...

Love your Medical Monday posts!

Funny spleen moments: Right after college, I lived in a houseful of comedians - no, real ones, members of an improv comedy troupe in Boston. One late night, the discussion turned to what is the funniest body part? They decided to "test" their theories in the next few weekend shows. Spleen won, hands down. Probably because no one really knows what it does. Or because it sounds funny onstage. Not sure. But it consistently got the most laughs.

Jennee said...

I've learned so much about my spleen now and I'm appreciative that it takes care of that bacteria!

Clarissa Draper said...

This is really great info. Thank you so much for posting this.

CD

Paul S said...

Thanks for another enlightening post Lydia.
There used to be a fairly commonly used expression "To vent your spleen" when you're angry about something.
Does anyone know the origin of this?

Lloyd said...

I really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I would like to invite you to come on over to my blog and check it out. God's blessings. Lloyd

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

And here I thought the spleen wasn't important. I gave mine some coffee this morning for being such a good spleen! Great post Lydia!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Very interesting facts! I think my mom had her spleen out eons ago, but I never aksed her why or if it had ruptured. Need to find that out now!

Old Kitty said...

Hello!! I think this is my first time on your lovely blog!!

Awww the spleen!!! Let's all hug our spleens!! :-) I for one am flying the flag for it!! :-) Take care
x

storyqueen said...

I love the squishy spleen hug!

(And I think I must be tired, because the hypochondriac in me just felt all of the symptoms.....)

Shelley

Roland D. Yeomans said...

We only have one so we should be very kind to our spleens, right?

As for referred pain ... can I refer mine to my supervisor?

Going to check out your guest visit right now.

Bossy Betty said...

Patting and thanking it right now! Thanks!

Deb Salisbury said...

LOL! Three cheers for my spleen!

Lisa Gail Green said...

I'm really glad you liked my post. Interesting stuff as always. Thanks!!

Angela Felsted said...

Oh, I love your angle. Fictional medical questions, very cool.

lbdiamond said...

Ah, yes, the poor spleen. Over-worked and under-appreciated--the classic sympathetic character.

Great post!

Holly Ruggiero said...

Poor little unappreciated spleen- let’s make today appreciate your spleen day.

Matthew Rush said...

A kid at school had his spleen ruptured when I was in Middle School. His name was Spencer. Apparently you can live without it but it's very painful when it gets damaged like that.

Great post! Thanks Lydia.

Taryn Tyler said...

A ruptered spleen does not sound like much fun

Shannon O'Donnell said...

My spleen thanks you for your kind words. I have now given it some love and appreciation. :-)

Munk said...

I just searched this page for the word "spleen". At 9:10 PST there were 35 references, mine is 36. Let November 8th, 2010 go down as a banner day for the little blood filter.

Colene Murphy said...

huh. I never knew a spleen did so much needy things! Sorry for the neglect spleen!

Jai Joshi said...

This post was fun. I remember how, back in the day, they used to think that the spleen was the seat of anger and so whenever someone was angry people would say: "He needs to work off his spleen."

The spleen cleaning up dodgy cells sounds much more rational! I'm glad to have learned something today.

Jai

Valerie Geary said...

Now that I know what the spleen does, I think I shall try to appreciate it more. Thank you! :)

Phoenix said...

I'll give my spleen a great big (gentle) bear hug later. The spleen is mentioned in Shakespeare a lot too as being important in keeping the humors and the body clean. :)

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Wow. I've never felt so much appreciation for my spleen as I do today. This was interesting, thanks!

Talli Roland said...

Aw, poor spleen. I always wondered about it! Thanks for the spleen appreciation session. :)

Carol Kilgore said...

And here I thought it was a lazy do-nothing body part. Thanks.

The Red Angel said...

What excites me is the fact that I remember some of this knowledge from my old AP Biology class! :D Haha love your Medical Monday posts!

~TRA

http://xtheredangelx.blogspot.com

Wendy aka Quillfeather said...

Spleens and the craft of writing? What an interesting blog! A bit like Aladdin's Cave.

Will have to stick around :)

Lynn said...

I hear of spleens being pierced in car accidents and it is a big deal! But now I also know why. I'm happy people post these questions to you. I also learned what anthroscopy is as that is how my ligaments were clamped in my shoulder last week. But honestly the details can make me sqeamish! You write how our bodies work in a fun way that doesn't make my head begin to swim.

Amy DeTrempe said...

What a great blog, so glad I came across it. I now appreciate my spleen so much more. Wish I had known about this when I was trying to figure out how to treat my heroine and/or bring her out of shock in 1802 :).

Kelly said...

Thanks for expainin the spleen!

LTM said...

*snort* omg, Lydia, you are so funny. Have a hug, *squish*... BAH!!! :D

Helpful info, thanks~ ;p

Susan Fields said...

Very interesting post! I never really knew what a spleen did. They are underappreciated!

C. N. Nevets said...

Spleens were fun to compare in gross anatomy, too. lol Lot of anatomical variation. :)

notesfromnadir said...

I've heard the term venting one's spleen, which is similar to what Jai wrote about working off one's spleen.

Glad to know what is does and that it needs a hug!

Thanks, Lydia, I always enjoy reading your Medical Monday blogs.

SAMUEL PARK said...

So many good posts in recent days, I don't even know where to begin. Dominatrix? Let me see... I guess I liked the way you reiterated the importance of 3-act structure, which I'm very fond of, and never deviate from. And that is very cool to learn about paramedic's response to suicide. All wonderful details that'd make a scene come alive. Thanks for all the good posts.

Krispy said...

LOL, I knew the spleen had to be good for something - just wasn't sure what until now.

Slamdunk said...

Ha, doing some patting and then off to follow your link...

Rachna Chhabria said...

I have heard of spleens rupturing during accidents.
Will follow your link after I visit few blogs.

Rachna Chhabria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Samantha Vérant said...

Ha! Everything I wanted to know about a spleen. And more.

salarsenッ said...

I read Lisa's post. Awesome. I've highlighted her contest--which should give you a little exposure--tomorrow on my blog. Can't figure out why I wasn't following you. Well, I am now. Great post, BTW.

B.E. Sanderson said...

And here I thought my spleen was only good for venting. I should take better care of it, since I use it so much. ;o)

Thanks for another awesome post, Lydia.

Karen Lange said...

I love your illustrations! They add such personality to your posts. Thanks for the info. :)

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Great info! Thanks for the post.

Diana Mieczan said...

Totally loved reading this post..and so much great info:)
Have a great Tuesday,kisses

Jonene Ficklin said...

Wow, the spleen's an impressive organ. I had no idea. Last night I just learned from a child that women come from liver. But I'm kind of on the fence about the validity of that one. : )

Thanks for the info! Very good to know.

Heather said...

I had no idea the spleen was so interesting! I'm not giving it a squishy hug though. I have to draw the line right there.

Ally-chan said...

Hey! First, thanks for following me.
Second, I love your medical posts. Very educative (I love medical anything! so this is great!)
Third, Are you also doing Nanowrimo!?

Lydia Kang said...

Hi Ally-chan and new followers!
Welcome and I'm glad you enjoyed the post.
Alas, I am not doing Nano this year. My timing is off! Maybe if they can do a NaJa for January I'd join in.
:)

Lo said...

These Medical Monday posts are amazing! I almost want to throw some kind of crazy accident into my current WIP just so I can use the information :-)

Ally-chan said...

Lydia! They do a NaNoWrimo for January. I joined last year and won! I am planning on doing it this year too. Hopefully, you will be able to join us this time!

Lydia Kang said...

What? They do? I may have to do that if I can get my outline all done in time!

Shellie said...

In your Paranormal Point of View, you forgot to mention how funny you are. Spleendid post!

covnitkepr1 said...

I like all my body parts...don't want to lose any of them.lol

I have added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit my blog and become a follower also.

Ally-chan said...

They do! I will make a post of it sometime in December :] Like that you can set up your outline if you have time!
:D

Jen Chandler said...

You know, I've never thought much about my spleen. Thanks for this information!

Off to read the Paranormal interview :)

Happy Thursday,
Jen

Nick said...

This was a spleendid post.

The Words Crafter said...

I'm going to file this post away...I may be able to use it in my other wip, so thanks!

 
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