August 30, 2013
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When people hear the word meningitis they get concerned. Rightfully so. It can be serious, especially bacterial meningitis. Fortunately, it only affects 1,000 to 1,200 people in the United States each year.
As we age, we lose strength. According to Zack Johnson, MSPT, manager of the Physical Therapy Department at The Memorial Hospital, we start losing muscle strength starting at age 25. Yet he’s quick to add that we can combat this natural breakdown of muscle by staying active — and even get stronger as we age — with regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
A breast cancer diagnosis often turns your life upside down, forcing you into the unknown world of doctor’s appointments, treatment and endless decisions that never come easy. Keep these five tips in mind to help you cope with medical appointments and treatments.
September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month
There are five different gynecologic cancers, and each is unique with different signs and symptoms. Did you know bloating is exclusive to ovarian cancer and itching and burning are unique to vulvar cancer? Since there is not a reliable screening test for most gynecologic cancers, knowing the signs and getting an annual exam are your best defenses.
In honor of National Prostate Cancer Awareness month, how about gaining some insights into the signs, symptoms and causes of prostate cancer? Better yet, learn ways to prevent it.
For the greater good, Medicare representatives are urging its recipients to be astute with their Medicare transactions. Medicare fraud is a big industry and the more everyday people help watch for it, the better the Medicare program will run. Less fraud equals lower overall costs and better access to care. It’s a win-win.
From a dislocation playing football, dull pain after painting the house or aching pain with weather changes, shoulder problems can affect people of different age groups and walks of life. Shoulders are unique in that there can be multiple causes for discomfort.
With the start of school right around the corner, practices are starting soon. Is your student athlete ready? Don’t let a twisted ankle or muscle sprain ruin his or her plans. Promote warming up, learning correct exercises, and keeping a strong core to avoid injuries.
Are “bad knees” keeping you from doing the things you love to do? Maybe in the past you were an avid hiker and today you are lucky to make it around the neighborhood. If so, it may be time to consider knee surgery.
Are you starting to get sore in a hip or knee joint after a hike or feeling more and more stiff in the mornings? Is pain in a joint affecting your sleep? Do you feel like old Uncle Charlie who knows the weather is changing because your knee joint aches when it rains? If so, you may eventually need a hip or knee replacement.
A stoke can cause people to act strangely, and sometimes their behaviors are misinterpreted as intoxication or mental illness. There’s the story of a woman who boarded a plane, and after take off she had a stroke. Those around her assumed she was drunk because she slurred her words and her face was lax. Had someone recognized these symptoms as stroke, her outcome would have been much improved.
Each year, stroke accounts for 1 in 20 deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Since it’s National Stroke Awareness Month, it’s the perfect time to learn more about stroke and how it’s treated. TMH has recently improved stroke services in your area.
If you haven’t had “the talk” and you’ve got a teen, it’s time to do so. In fact, don’t stop at just one talk — keep it an open discussion. While the rate of teens having sex or getting pregnant hasn’t increased in recent years, the rate of teens contracting STDs has. It’s as good of time as any, as April is STD Awareness Month.
When your child is sick you want to do whatever you can to get them better — fast. You bundle them up and take them to the doctor, expecting to get something to get rid of the illness, but you end up with a list of ways to treat the symptoms instead.
In honor of National Thyroid Awareness Month, take a minute to consider how a low-functioning thyroid can affect you. Hypothyroidism creates several vague symptoms that may go unnoticed. While it can occur at any age, hypothyroidism is much more common in women, especially those over the age of 50.
Unless you or someone you know has urinary incontinence, you’ve probably never heard of the term urodynamics. It’s a common phrase used by urologists and gynecologists alike. Urodynamics simply refers to a series of tests that assess how well a person’s bladder and urethra are working.
Early data from the Centers for Disease Control suggest that this year’s flu season could be severe. If you haven’t received your flu shot consider getting one now.
A recent study shows that a single poor night’s sleep can cause symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. Many nights in a row have even worse effects. We all know how important good sleep is to our general wellbeing.
The Philips Lifeline device helps over a hundred Moffat County residents live independently in their homes. Lifeline provides the assurance that if your elderly or disabled loved one needs medical care or feels unsafe they can reach help — or you — with the touch of a button. Now, that button can be brought along wherever they go with a simple device called Go-Safe. It’s only a small fee — $5 more — to pay for a lot more independence.
We’ve just finished up an election and we will soon celebrate the results of an election from years past. It wasn’t too long ago that the people of Moffat County voted to bring improved healthcare services to the area. The result? A new hospital that is much more than a new building. That crucial vote on Nov. 6, 2007 got the wheels turning to bring physicians and specialists to our community and to expand healthcare services offered near home.
Likely you’ve seen a recent newscast on enterovirus 68. It’s an especially aggressive strain of a common set of bugs that cause upper respiratory symptoms each fall in children and adults alike, and it’s been especially active in Colorado. This year, the virus morphed into something more severe and less recognizable by our immune systems.
Ovarian cancer is one of those sneaky cancers — it doesn’t give a lot of signs that it’s around. That’s why annual check ups are so important for women.
You know that gynecologists are specialists in women’s health, but what warrants a visit? In other words, when should you see your gynecologist rather than your regular physician besides during pregnancy? Here are some tips to help you decide
When we think of our hearts, we often consider them the engines of our bodies. They are, literally, what keeps us ticking. That’s why making sure our hearts are healthy is so important.
If you are planning to have a baby or are already pregnant, it’s a good idea to think about options for your delivery day. Do you want to use a birthing ball? Is there a plug-in for your music player? What’s the room like, and is there a reclining chair for your partner? Once you start thinking about it, the list grows.
Are you noticing that you are not sleeping as well as when you were younger? Do you wake up during the night and have trouble falling back to sleep? Does your spouse’s snoring or snorting wake you up? If you answered yes to any of these questions you, or your spouse, might have a sleep disorder.
During the day, we often notice our physical body’s aches and pains, or if we are clear-headed or tired, and more. Rarely do we stop and notice our lungs, yet along with our heart they are in constant motion — working whether we feel good or not.
As a parent, it’s important for you to go out once in a while and leave your children with a babysitter or grandparent. When you go, don’t forget to leave behind a medical consent form. If something happened while you were gone, you’ll need it for your caregiver to initiate medical care quickly.
Mayo Clinic tests available through TMH
It’s hard to accept that one decision you made when you were 17 or 18 could affect your health and quality of life today. But that’s what many baby boomers are finding out. Maybe back in college or high school they snorted or injected a drug once or twice and today they have Hepatitis C, a nasty virus that is hard to get rid of and can lead to liver cancer.
Ever wanted to know your cholesterol numbers but didn’t want to have to make a doctor’s appointment first? At The Memorial Hospital’s Lab Direct you can. And it won’t cost you much either. Several walk-in, direct pay tests are available seven days a week.
It’s the peak of summer and we all want to get out and soak in the rays of the sun. Enjoy the outdoors, but remember the intensity of the sun is stronger than when we were kids. That’s because ultraviolet rays penetrate our thinning atmosphere more easily and make us more vulnerable to sun damage.
You likely know someone who has tried a high-protein diet to control his or her weight. There are many of them out there, including the popular paleo (paleolithic) or caveman diet as well as the old standby that’s getting a new makeover — the Atkins diet. Before jumping on the bandwagon, learn the possible drawbacks of a high-protein diet. Local Registered Dietitian Lindsey Hester shares her perspective.
Happy Father’s Day to all fathers, including expectant ones!
When it comes to pregnancy, it’s not just the woman who is expecting. So is her partner. While moms-to-be carry the load, literally, during pregnancy and delivery, fathers also have important work to do.
The Memorial Hospital offers infusion therapy and has visiting oncologists available.
Facing chemotherapy is daunting for cancer patients. Add on a long drive both ways and it can become downright overwhelming. Having infusion services close to home is vital in making it feel manageable.
TMH now offers comprehensive occupational therapy
Do you have an elderly parent who has arthritis and struggles to complete daily tasks? Has a loved one had a stroke or traumatic brain injury and needs to regain skills to remain independent? Does your child have a disability and need to improve her fine motor and self-care skills?
Expecting a baby? Now see your little one in 3-D
In most health care facilities, 3-D ultrasounds are reserved for high-risk pregnancies or used by perinatology experts only. Yet The Memorial Hospital wanted to improve the ultrasound experience for all expectant patients and their families, so it upgraded its current equipment to 3-D.
Identifying asthma symptons and triggers, with help from The Memorial Hospital staff.
It’s easy to put off making decisions about end-of-life care. With nothing to make it urgent we can delay it for years, sometimes until it’s too late. That was the thought behind National Healthcare Decisions Day in April — a movement to inspire, educate and empower people about the importance of advance care planning.
Have you been putting off getting important health screens? Do you want to adopt healthy lifestyle habits but are unsure of where to start? Come to the second annual community health fair from 7:30 a.m. to noon on April 26 at The Memorial Hospital and get both done at once!
If you could take a supplement that likely would guard you against some cancers, the common cold and other viruses, would you? Many people are saying yes and taking daily supplements of vitamin D.
Does it seem like people around you are mumbling more than usual? When you are in a loud, busy restaurant, do you find it hard to understand what people are saying? Are you noticing that friends and family are hearing little noises, like an alarm going off in the other room that you don’t hear? Do others complain that you have the volume too high on your television, stereo or ear buds?
Death by accident or natural causes is rarely welcome, but when it happens, knowing some good came out of a loved one’s passing is comforting. Eye, organ and tissue donations are “gifts of life,” as the Donate Life Colorado website pronounces. Craig serves as an area eye donor site, thanks to Rebecca S. Warren, R.N., chief quality officer with The Memorial Hospital.
Likely, you know a man who has had prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It’s the second leading cause of death from cancers in the United States. In fact, half of men in their 80s have prostate cancer. While this may sound daunting, the good news is that prostate cancer is usually slow growing and if caught early on, can be treated and stopped.
March is National Colorectal Cancer month
It’s reassuring to know that as long as you get recommended colon cancer screening tests you will most likely avoid colon cancer. That’s because colon cancer starts out as a benign polyp in your colon. Once removed, your cancer risk at that site is gone. Screening tests don’t usually treat problems they only detect problems. An exception is a colonoscopy — colonoscopies allow physicians to both detect suspicious polyps and remove them all in the same visit.
Calling all men! Have you had your car in for an oil change lately? How about a tune up? Well, now it’s your turn. Get in and get your motor (and all its parts) checked during the March MANness event.
Your total cholesterol is made up of three numbers, your LDL (low-density lipoprotein), HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and triglycerides (a type of fat increased by sweets and alcohol). You’ve probably heard that there’s bad cholesterol and good cholesterol, and the bad guy here is LDL.
As women, we have been trained to watch for certain foreboding signs — like a lump in the breast or vaginal bleeding after menopause — but we often miss something that’s less talked about but more threatening: the signs of a heart attack.
Babies with bronchiolitis — and their parents — are breathing easier these days, thanks to an innovative new clinic at The Memorial Hospital. Nothing is scarier than watching a baby struggle to breathe, which can happen when they are sick with a cold or flu.
Some health topics are hard to talk about — even to a doctor, it seems. Urinary incontinence is one of them, even though it is common among women in their later years. Despite feeling embarrassed, there are easy solutions for this uneasy ailment.
Screening tests save lives. When caught early, most diseases and cancers can be treated. That’s why women’s health experts at the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend the screening tests featured in the box for women through the years.
When thinking about protecting themselves against cervical cancer most women, rightly so, think of the Pap test. Since its inception, the Pap test has caught cervical cancer early and saved many women’s lives. Yet there is another player that contributes to cervical cancer risk — HPV, or the human papillomavirus. It’s linked to about 70 percent of all cervical cancers.
Lowering your risk for cervical cancer is pretty straightforward: Get regular Pap tests. Cervical cancer is preventable if detected and treated early. Regular Pap tests detect cervical cancer before it develops. In fact, most women who get cervical cancer had not had a Pap test in the past five years, or ever.
Are you setting resolutions to get in shape in 2014? Resolutions don’t always last past January, but here’s a little insurance that you’ll stick with it, offered by Luke Geer, P.T., D.P.T., physical therapist and manager of the Physical Therapy Department at The Memorial Hospital.
Holidays are often filled with joy and fun, but also stress. For many people, holidays create a long list of obligations and interrupt comfortable routines. For other people, holidays bring up hard memories or accentuate feelings of loneliness.
Here’s another reason to stay active as we age: it keeps our bones strong. Just a little bit of weight bearing exercise each day can make the difference between breaking bones and landing in a hospital or nursing home, or staying independent and healthy at home.
It’s hard to imagine that the cute throw rug Aunt Elizabeth bought for her back porch could bring her harm. Yet it’s just the thing that might cause her to slip and fall. Falls are a major health risk and a leading cause of disability in people older than 50. If you have an elderly relative, prevent falls by making simple changes in the home and in your loved ones' health habits.
A buzzword we keep hearing these days is “health care reform.” As you know, it refers to changes the government is requiring of health care facilities to improve the care they give. Despite the problems with the launch of the health care exchange, the overall intentions of health care reform are good — to make health care more comprehensive and accessible for everyone. Simply put, to make sure that when people need care, they get it fast and that it’s effective and affordable. One specific area of hospital services that’s mandated to improve is emergency departments (EDs).
Holidays are about celebrating friends and family but let’s face it, they are also about eating. For diabetics, the focus on large portions and lots of sweet goodies can be challenging. Here are some tips to maintaining a healthy diet — and glucose control — during the holidays.
What better time to talk about diabetes than Diabetes Awareness Month? If you have a family history of diabetes, or you struggle with maintaining a healthy weight, read on to learn the basics about diabetes — and most importantly, how you can prevent it.
With the enactment of the Affordable Health Care Act on Oct. 1, many people have questions on what it all means. Will you be forced to buy health insurance? Will it cost more, or less? For whom is it designed? We spoke with Keith Velardo, patient financial counselor for The Memorial Hospital in Craig to get some answers to common questions.
If you, or someone you love has gone through cancer treatments, you know what a complicated and confusing journey it can be. Answers around treatment are never obvious: you are always weighing benefits and drawbacks. Should you, say, get a mastectomy or a lumpectomy? Should you then get both radiation and chemotherapy? How about genetic testing? Add in the shock a cancer or other challenging diagnosis brings and no wonder you feel you can’t think straight. On top of all that, you don’t feel good.
Let’s face it. For women, getting a mammogram is right up there with getting dental work. It’s a procedure we endure rather than enjoy. But it feels great to walk out the door and know we can check it off the list for at least another year — or two.
In honor of National Prostate Cancer Awareness month, how about gaining some insights into the signs, symptoms and causes of prostate cancer? Better yet, read on to learn ways to prevent it.
Starting Sept. 10, if you’re admitted to the hospital you most likely will be given a few different wristbands, one bar-coded for scanning. While it might seem like overkill, it’s good protection against medication errors. TMH is implementing barcode scanning at the bedside. It means a safer visit for you.
Have you or your kids put on a few extra pounds of late? Are you continually trying new diets but nothing seems to work? If you find yourself avoiding mirrors, it’s time to drop the idea of dieting and adopt a healthy attitude toward eating, instead. For real and lasting change, make eating well a part of your lifestyle. It’s less painful than you think.