UPDATES: Bret Michaels, Michael C. Hall, Burt Reynolds

Poison singer Bret Michaels remains in Intensive Care in critical condition at an undisclosed hospital after his brain hemorrhage on Friday. According to his website, www.bretmichaels.com:

“At this point Bret remains in ICU in critical condition. He is under 24 hour doctors care and supervision. We are hopeful that further tests will locate the source of the bleeding, which has still not been located. As we all know Bret is a fighter and we are hopeful that once all is complete the slurred speech, blurred vision and dizziness, etc., will be eliminated and all functions will return to normal.”

It is also reported that Michaels had the sudden onset of severe headache which he described as like “being hit with a baseball bat over and over again.” This most likely refers to the classic “thunderbolt headache” of a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage which we blogged about earlier. Doctors are still performing tests in an attempt to  find the source of the bleeding, which is most likely caused by a small brain aneurysm, or arteriovenous malformation (a small cluster of blood vessels). If an aneurysm is found, treatment is typically placement of a metal clip to isolate the aneurysm, or an endovascular procedure, where a catheter is threaded into the artery and small metal wires are inserted into the aneurysm. These wires coil up into a mesh ball and encourage the formation of a blood clot, which prevents the aneurysm from bleeding. We will continue to follow this story.

Good news for Dexter fans! Actor Michael C. Hall has been declared cancer-free and is back at work on the next season of Dexter. This news was delivered by his wife, Jennifer Carpenter, who plays Dexter’s sister Debra Morgan on the hit show. Hall was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma late last year and went public in January. The 38 year old actor, whose character Dexter is a “vigilante” serial killer, went into remission and finished his treatment at a LA health facility.

Hodgkin’s Disease, otherwise known as Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, is a cancer of the immune system, specifically lymph cells (lymphocytes) found in lymph nodes, spleen, liver and bone marrow. It is most common in two different age groups- 15-40 year-olds, and those over 55 years old. In Hodgkin’s Disease, lymphocytes are transformed into much larger cells called Reed-Sternberg cells, which have the ability to divide in an uncontrolled manner, thus spreading throughout the body.

Smokey and the Bandit and Evening Shade actor Burt Reynolds told People magazine on Friday that “I was a heart attack waiting to happen,” and that after his quintuple bypass in March, he now “feels fabulous” and wants to” live to be 199.”  People reported that Reynolds was out of the hospital and exercising five days after his surgery.

According to the National Heart Lung Blood Institute:

Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) is a medically supervised program that helps improve the health and well-being of people who have heart problems.

Rehab programs include exercise training, education on heart healthy living, and counseling to reduce stress and help you return to an active life.

Cardiac rehab helps people who have heart problems:

  • Recover after a heart attack or heart surgery.
  • Prevent future hospital stays, heart problems, and death related to heart problems.
  • Address risk factors that lead to coronary heart disease (also called coronary artery disease) and other heart problems. These risk factors include high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, overweight or obesity, diabetes, smoking, lack of physical activity, and depression and other emotional health concerns.
  • Adopt healthy lifestyle changes. These changes may include a heart healthy diet, increased physical activity, and learning how to manage stress.
  • Improve their health and quality of life.
Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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