Tag Archive: Jennifer Bell


June is National Headache awareness month.  Did you know there are categories of headaches including primary and secondary?  Let’s look at the differences between them.

Primary headaches can affect the quality of life. Some people have occasional headaches that resolve quickly while others are debilitated. While these headaches are not life-threatening, they may be associated with symptoms that can mimic strokes. [1]

A migraine headache can cause intense throbbing or a pulsing sensation in one area of the head and is commonly accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.

Tension headaches are the most common type of primary headache. Tension headaches occur because of physical or emotional stress placed on the body. Physical stressors include difficult and prolonged manual labor, or sitting at a desk or computer for long periods of time concentrating. Emotional stress also may cause tension headaches by causing the muscles surrounding the skull to contract.

Cluster headaches are headaches that come in groups (clusters) separated by pain-free periods of months or years. A patient may experience a headache on a daily basis for weeks or months and then be pain free for years.

Secondary headaches are those that are due to an underlying structural problem in the head or neck. This is a very broad group of medical conditions ranging from dental and sinus pain to life-threatening conditions like bleeding in the brain or infections like encephalitis or meningitis.

This group of headaches also includes those headaches associated with substance abuse and excess use of medications used to treat headaches (rebound headaches). [1]

The National Headache Society lists categories of secondary headaches.  Some causes are listed below (this is not a complete list)

Head and neck trauma, concussion, tumor, blood vessel problems in the head and neck (aneurysms),

medications and drugs (including withdrawal from those drugs), changes in the body’s environment (such as dehydration, hypothyroidism and high blood pressure), psychiatric disorders.

It is important to remember that OTC medications, while safe, are medications and may have side effects and potential interactions with prescription medications. [2] Remember, not all headaches are created equal.  Call Valley Healthcare today to discuss the cause and best treatments for your headaches.

[1] http://www.medicinenet.com/

[2] http://www.headaches.org


Jennifer Bell

Jennifer Bell has managed many specialty areas of healthcare including, kidney transplant, physical therapy and surgery. She combines her expertise in patient relations with her love of writing to bring awareness of health related issues. In her blog, Dreamlife Moments, she writes about mindfulness of time and recognizing more of the positive moments happening around us every day that creates a more positive life experience. Jennifer and her husband Byron are recent empty-nesters who enjoy traveling with their bichon Aissa, geocaching and volunteering wherever they go. Who is this chickie anyway? Connect with Jennifer on her Facebook Page, Blog and Twitter to find out more.

Diverticulitis

It’s not all that uncommon to develop small bulging pouches in your digestive system as you age. If these hernia-like pouches or diverticula become inflamed in the intestinal track, you have diverticulitis.

Moderate to severe cases may require intravenous antibiotics and hospitalization. Sometimes surgery to remove the portion of the diseased colon is needed, especially if this is the second time.

There are ways to reduce your risk of diverticulitis:

  • Eat high-fiber foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Respond to bowel urges
  • Exercise regularly

Diverticula usually develop when naturally weak places in your colon give way under pressure. This causes marble-sized pouches to protrude through the colon wall.

 

Exactly how diverticula become inflamed or infected isn’t clear. One theory is that the increased pressure in the colon can weaken the wall of the diverticula, leading to infection. Another is that the narrow openings of diverticula may trap fecal matter, which can lead to infection. Or an obstruction in the narrow opening of a diverticulum may reduce blood supply to the area, which leads to inflammation.

RISK FACTORS

  • Aging. You’re more likely to get diverticulitis if you’re over 40.
  • Too little fiber. Diverticulitis is rare in countries where people eat a high-fiber diet that helps keep stools soft. But it’s common in industrialized nations, such as the United States, where the average diet is high in refined carbohydrates and low in fiber.
  • Obesity. Being seriously overweight increases your odds of developing diverticulitis and diverticular bleeding.
  • Smoking. People who smoke cigarettes are more likely to experience diverticulitis.

And rarely, what appears to be diverticulitis may be colon cancer. Because of this, your doctor will likely recommend a colonoscopy after you’ve recovered from a bout of diverticulitis. [1]

Call Valley Healthcare today to talk with a doctor about the pain you may be having associated with diverticulitis.  Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

 

[1] mayoclinic.org


Jennifer Bell

Jennifer Bell has managed many specialty areas of healthcare including, kidney transplant, physical therapy and surgery. She combines her expertise in patient relations with her love of writing to bring awareness of health related issues. In her blog, Dreamlife Moments, she writes about mindfulness of time and recognizing more of the positive moments happening around us every day that creates a more positive life experience. Jennifer and her husband Byron are recent empty-nesters who enjoy traveling with their bichon Aissa, geocaching and volunteering wherever they go. Who is this chickie anyway? Connect with Jennifer on her Facebook Page, Blog and Twitter to find out more.

Hepatitis

WHAT IS HEPATITIS?

In the simplest term, hepatitis is defined as inflammation of the liver.  A more complex definition includes causes of hepatitis like autoimmune hepatitis (a disease occurring when the body makes antibodies against the liver tissue) and hepatitis that occurs as a secondary result of medications, drugs, toxins and alcohol.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 4.4 million Americans living with chronic hepatitis, and many more are unaware that they have it.

RISK FACTORS & TYPES

Did you know you can get Hepatitis from contaminated food or water?  It’s important to know if have been exposed.  The 5 types of hepatitis are:

Hepatitis A

This type derives from an infection with the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). This type of hepatitis is most commonly transmitted by consuming food or water that has been contaminated by feces.

Hepatitis B

This type is transmitted through puncture wounds or contact with infectious bodily fluids such as; injection drug use, unprotected sex with an infected partner, or sharing razors with an infected person is activities that increase risk.

Hepatitis C

This type is transmitted through direct contact with infected bodily fluids also.

Hepatitis D

This type is contracted through puncture wounds or contact with infected blood. This is a rare form of hepatitis that occurs in conjunction with hepatitis B infection, and it is very uncommon in the United States.

Hepatitis E

This type is a waterborne disease mainly found in areas with poor sanitation and is typically caused by ingesting fecal matter. [1]

Note: Both Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C have contributed to the increase in rates of liver cancer in recent

decades. [1]

 

VACCINE PREVENTABLE

Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B can both be prevented with vaccines. Cases of Hepatitis A have dramatically declined in the U.S. over the last 20 years largely due to vaccination efforts. [2]

Call Valley Health Care today and schedule your full physical including a blood panel.  The more share with your health care providers about your health history, the better equipped they are to develop the best plan-of-action to treat illness and disease.

[2]Cdc.gov

[1]Healthline.com


Jennifer Bell

Jennifer Bell has managed many specialty areas of healthcare including, kidney transplant, physical therapy and surgery. She combines her expertise in patient relations with her love of writing to bring awareness of health related issues. In her blog, Dreamlife Moments, she writes about mindfulness of time and recognizing more of the positive moments happening around us every day that creates a more positive life experience. Jennifer and her husband Byron are recent empty-nesters who enjoy traveling with their bichon Aissa, geocaching and volunteering wherever they go. Who is this chickie anyway? Connect with Jennifer on her Facebook Page, Blog and Twitter to find out more.

Schizophrenia is a chronic, disabling brain disorder affecting about 1% of Americans. People with the disorder may hear voices other people have a certain level of paranoia and therefore have difficulty holding a job or caring for themselves.

Positive Symptoms

People with positive symptoms often “lose touch” with reality. These symptoms can come and go. Sometimes they are severe and at other times hardly noticeable.

Negative symptoms

Negative symptoms are associated with disruptions to normal emotions such as the “Flat affect” (a person’s face does not move or he or she talks in a dull or monotonous voice).

Hallucinations are things a person sees, hears, smells, or feels that no one else can. “Voices” are the most common type of hallucination in schizophrenia.

Delusions are false beliefs that are not part of the person’s culture and do not change. The person believes delusions even after other people prove that the beliefs are not true or logical.

Thought disorders are unusual or dysfunctional ways of thinking.

Movement disorders may appear as agitated body movements. A person with a movement disorder may repeat certain motions over and over.

Psychosocial Treatments

Self-help groups Self-help groups for people with schizophrenia and their families are becoming more common. Professional therapists usually are not involved, but group members support and comfort each other.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or focusing on thinking and behavior. CBT helps patients with symptoms that do not go away even when they take medication.

Rehabilitation emphasizes social and vocational training to help people with schizophrenia function better in their communities.[2]

 

Caregivers

You are not alone!  Check out Schizophrenia24/7.com to watch videos of caregivers sharing their experiences of loving someone with schizophrenia.

Reach out to your VHcS physician today and begin the journey of helping your loved ones get the treatments they need to live a happy, healthy life.

 

[1] redorbit.com

[2] Nimh.gov


Jennifer Bell

Jennifer Bell has managed many specialty areas of healthcare including, kidney transplant, physical therapy and surgery. She combines her expertise in patient relations with her love of writing to bring awareness of health related issues. In her blog, Dreamlife Moments, she writes about mindfulness of time and recognizing more of the positive moments happening around us every day that creates a more positive life experience. Jennifer and her husband Byron are recent empty-nesters who enjoy traveling with their bichon Aissa, geocaching and volunteering wherever they go. Who is this chickie anyway? Connect with Jennifer on her Facebook Page, Blog and Twitter to find out more.

Valley Healthcare

We’ve all heard about the childhood obesity epidemic in America.  Today, about 1 in 3 American children and teens are overweight or obese which is causing a range of health problems that previously weren’t seen until adulthood such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and elevated blood cholesterol levels.  During Every Kid Healthy Week, Valley Healthcare is encouraging you to bring your child in for a full well-exam.

Childhood obesity rates have soared over the past four decades. Today, more than 23 million kids and teenagers — nearly a third — are overweight or obese. We can do better for our children!

If we fail to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic, we’re in danger of raising the first generation of American children who may live sicker and die younger than the generation before them. Preventing obesity during childhood is critical because habits formed during youth often last well into adulthood. Take action and help power the movement to prevent childhood obesity.

Fast Facts

  • Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. In a population-based sample of 5- to 17-year-olds, 70% of obese youth had at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
  • Obese adolescents are more likely to have pre-diabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels indicate a high risk for development of diabetes.
  • Children and adolescents who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem. [1]

What’s at Stake?

Childhood obesity threatens the health and well-being of future generations. More than 23 million children and teenagers in America — nearly one in three young people — are now obese or overweight, putting them at higher risk for life-threatening health problems. They are at higher risk than their healthy-weight peers for a host of serious illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, asthma and certain types of cancer. [2]

There are six key issues that focuses on the reversing of  the childhood obesity epidemic, including school foods and beverages, healthy affordable food, physical activity at school, pricing strategies, physical activity in communities and marketing to kids.

Reversing childhood obesity is within reach, but to achieve success, significant policy and environmental change is needed to give children the opportunity to lead a healthy life. [2]

At Valley Healthcare, we are dedicated to making sure that your child has a healthy, safe childhood.  Your child is our top priority.   We offer same day appointments for children who don’t feel well and regularly offer tips and advice to parents ranging helping you establish a healthy lifestyle for your child, both in school and out of school to proactive behavior techniques.

While Every Kid Healthy Week runs from April 21 -25, we don’t want it to end at the end of the week. Let’s keep our kids healthy always by taking what we learn during this week in April and transferring it into your child’s lifestyle.

[1] http://www.cdc.gov

[2] http://www.preventobesity.net/


Jennifer Bell

Jennifer Bell has managed many specialty areas of healthcare including, kidney transplant, physical therapy and surgery.  She combines her expertise in patient relations with her love of writing to bring awareness of health related issues.   In her blog, Dreamlife Moments, she writes about mindfulness of time and recognizing more of the positive moments happening around us every day that creates a more positive life experience. Jennifer and her husband Byron are recent empty-nesters who enjoy traveling with their bichon Aissa, geocaching and volunteering wherever they go. Who is this chickie anyway? Connect with Jennifer on her Facebook Page, Blog and Twitter to find out more.

Valley Healthcare

While nicer weather signals the beginning of many sports related activities, springtime also signals an increase in the dangers of eye injuries related to sports.  Every season, far too many children and adults sustain sports related eye injuries that could be prevented with the right safety measures. Protecting your eyes while participating in sports is important especially in contact sports or those that expose you to the sun such as basketball, softball, cricket, tennis, fencing, soccer, or fishing.

All sports have a range of needs and risks, so it’s important to let your eye care professional identify your specific needs and suggest the right eyeglasses or contact lenses that best fit your vision. [2]

Those with low skill levels, often found in the younger athletes, are at a greater risk. About 44% of the reported injuries were to children under the age of 14. Thus, young children should be protected, as any eye injury could permanently end ones future in sports. Also, those with pre-existing eye conditions are at a bigger risk. For instance, if one is playing with low vision in one eye and good vision in another, precautions should be taken to protect the good eye, as injury to the good eye could result in vision loss, reducing the overall vision of the athlete. [5]

Decrease your risk of a sports related eye accident by wearing the correct protective eyewear suited to the type of physical activity you’re participating in. The right eyewear will keep you injury-free and will often also have additional protection to block ultra-violet light for when you’re outdoors. Sports eyewear is made to protect your eyes from frequently occurring conditions. Everyday glasses usually won’t provide full protection, which means that even just a minor collision can mean a serious risk to eyesight. [3]

Among all eye injuries reported in the Eye Injury Snapshot, more than 78 percent of people were not wearing eyewear at the time of injury. Of those reported to be wearing eyewear of some sort at the time of injury only 5.3 percent were wearing safety or sports glasses. [1]

90% of all sports related eye injuries could have been prevented.  If a sports-related injury does occur, the athlete should be referred to a medical facility or to an eye care professional (ophthalmologist or optometrist) immediately if they experience:

  • blurred vision that does not clear within a few minutes,
  • loss of all or part of their field of vision,
  • eye pain that does not subside in a few minutes,
  • double vision,
  • flashing lights or
  • bleeding on or inside the eye.

Wearing protective goggles is an efficient method of protecting your contact lenses. Fitting perfectly on your eyes it bans bacteria and microbes getting on your lens’ surface and also prevents your contact’s dislodging from your eyes. Choosing disposable and soft lenses instead of hard, traditional lenses can be a good option for you. Not only because you can throw them after swimming, but having a larger circumference, they fit firmly to your eyes, not letting bacteria and toxins get into your eyes harming them. [5]

Immediate and proper action in an emergency can be the difference between blindness and saving someone’s sight.  Of course the best medicine is prevention and with some planning and proper equipment, most injuries can be avoided. [4]

[1] http://www.geteyesmart.org/

[2] http://www.american-eyecare.com/

[3] http://www.drreid2020.com/

[4] http://www.lindamojer.com/

[5] http://www.sporteyes.com/


Jennifer Bell

Jennifer Bell has managed many specialty areas of healthcare including, kidney transplant, physical therapy and surgery.  She combines her expertise in patient relations with her love of writing to bring awareness of health related issues.   In her blog, Dreamlife Moments, she writes about mindfulness of time and recognizing more of the positive moments happening around us every day that creates a more positive life experience. Jennifer and her husband Byron are recent empty-nesters who enjoy traveling with their bichon Aissa, geocaching and volunteering wherever they go. Who is this chickie anyway? Connect with Jennifer on her Facebook Page, Blog and Twitter to find out more.

A late spring and high pollen count could have many people suffering from both allergies and asthma like never before.  Allergic reactions could develop at any age and, in the most severe cases, turn into asthma.  Let’s talk about the differences.

ALLERGIES

Tree pollen allergies are the most common trigger of breathing difficulties.  Pollen triggered asthma can be treated using an inhaler. Other long-term asthma-control medications, such as steroids go a long way in helping to keep symptoms under control.

FAST FACTS

  • There are no cures for allergies. Allergies can be managed with proper prevention and treatment.
  • Allergies have a genetic component. If only one parent has allergies of any type, chances are 1 in 3 that each child will have an allergy. If both parents have allergies, it is much more likely (7 in 10) that their children will have allergies.
  • More Americans than ever before say they are suffering from allergies. It is among the country’s most common, yet often overlooked, diseases. [1]

ASTHMA

What is it exactly?

Asthma (AZ-ma) is a chronic (long-term) lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning.

Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood. In the United States, more than 25 million people are known to have asthma. About 7 million of these people are children. [2]

SYMPTOMS of ASTHMA

Asthma symptoms can differ for each person, but here are some of the most common:

  • Wheezing. You may notice a wheezing sound when you breathe.
  • Frequent Cough. This may be more common at night. You may or may not cough up mucus.
  • Shortness of Breath. This is the feeling you can’t get enough air into your lungs. It may occur only once in a while, or often.
  • Chest Tightness. Your chest may feel tight, especially during cold weather or exercise. This can also be the first sign of a flare-up.

 

How is Asthma Diagnosed?

If you experience any of the symptoms above, it is important to see your healthcare provider to determine if you have asthma. There are several breathing tests your physician may perform. The most common test is called spirometry. (Spirometry uses a device called, a spirometer, to measure the amount and speed of the air you blow out.) This will help your healthcare provider to see how well your lungs are working. [3]

 

What you need to tell your healthcare provider:

  • What symptoms you are having or your peak flow reading.
  • How long your symptoms have lasted.
  • What you think triggered your symptoms.
  • What medicines you have taken.
  • Whether or not you think your asthma medicines are working.
  • Whether or not your medicines are causing side effects.

 

Make it a habit to start writing down the things you want to talk about with your healthcare provider. You can write down problems you are having or note any questions you want to ask about your medicines.  [3]

 

Talk to your Valley Healthcare provider if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. The sooner you begin treating your asthma and maintaining control, the less damage you will cause to your lungs in the long run. There are many resources available for people living with asthma and their loved ones.

[1] http://www.aafa.org

[2] http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/

[3] http://www.Lung.org


Jennifer Bell

Jennifer Bell has managed many specialty areas of healthcare including, kidney transplant, physical therapy and surgery.  She combines her expertise in patient relations with her love of writing to bring awareness of health related issues.   In her blog, Dreamlife Moments, she writes about mindfulness of time and recognizing more of the positive moments happening around us every day that creates a more positive life experience. Jennifer and her husband Byron are recent empty-nesters who enjoy traveling with their bichon Aissa, geocaching and volunteering wherever they go. Who is this chickie anyway? Connect with Jennifer on her Facebook Page, Blog and Twitter to find out more.

Valley Healthcare

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most expensive of all work-related injuries.

CAUSES

The overuse of the computer keyboard has been blamed for many patients developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Although there is no definitive proof that this alone causes the painful condition, it seems right that anyone who spends too much time at the computer familiarize themselves with appropriate ergonomic techniques.  Similarly, other activities that depend on wrist motion such as shop work, weight lifting, and racquet sports have been associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.  Carpal tunnel syndrome is most common in the middle aged and elderly, with over 80% of patients over 40 years of age. {2}

SYMPTOMS

According to doctor’s at the Mayo Clinic, pressure on the median nerve at the wrist, produced by bending the wrist, tapping on the nerve or simply pressing on the nerve, can bring on the symptoms in many people.

TESTS

Which tests can I expect from my doctor at Valley Health care?

  • Physical exam. Your doctor will want to test the feeling in your fingers and the strength of the muscles in your hand, because these can be affected by carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • X-ray. Some doctors may recommend an X-ray of the affected wrist to exclude other causes of wrist pain, such as arthritis or a fracture.
  • Electromyogram. Electromyography measures the tiny electrical discharges produced in muscles. A thin-needle electrode is inserted into the muscles your doctor wants to study. An instrument records the electrical activity in your muscle at rest and as you contract the muscle. This test can help determine if muscle damage has occurred.

Nerve conduction study. In a variation of electromyography, two electrodes are taped to your skin. A small shock is passed through the median nerve to see if electrical impulses are slowed in the carpal tunnel. {1}

 

CARPAL TUNNEL QUIZ (Write down yes or no each of the following questions)

1.  Do you frequently feel tingling or numbness in the palm of your hand and fingers (especially thumb, index, and middle fingers)?

2.  Do you frequently feel burning in the palm of your hand and fingers (especially thumb, index, middle fingers)?

3.  Do you frequently feel an itching sensation in the palm of your hand and fingers?

4. Does wearing a splint at night ease your symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome?

5. Do your fingers feel useless and swollen, even when no swelling is evident?

6. Even if you now experience symptoms in the daytime, do you recall your initial symptoms occurred at night?

7. Did your initial symptoms occur in one hand, rather than both hands?

8. Have you ever been awakened from sleep feeling you need to “shake out” your hand to ease symptoms?

9. Do you have decreased grip strength?

10.  Are you clumsy when handling objects?

11. Are you able by touch to distinguish between hot and cold?

12. Was your dominant hand affected first?

13. Have you ever experienced trauma or injury to your wrist which caused swelling?

14.  Do you one or more of the following underlying conditions?

a) Overactive pituitary gland
b) Hypothyroidism
c) Rheumatoid arthritis
d) Diabetes

15.  Have you experienced fluid retention during pregnancy or menopause?

16. Do you have a job which involves work-related stress of the hand (such as assembly-line workers, or working with a jackhammer)?

17.  Do you experience shooting pains which radiate from your forearm to your shoulder?

18.  Do your symptoms occur in your little finger? (The little finger is controlled by a different nerve than the median nerve.)

19.  Do your symptoms worsen when using your affected hand?

Your Score: If you answered YES to 13 or more of the above questions, there’s an excellent chance that you’re suffering from carpal’s tunnel syndrome, and may need to seek medical attention.  {3}

Call Valley Health Care today for any hand/wrist pain you may be experiencing because it’s not just going to ‘go away’ on its own.

{1} mayclinic.org
{2} orthopedicsabout.com
{3} sargentchiropractic.com


Jennifer Bell

Jennifer Bell has managed many specialty areas of healthcare including, kidney transplant, physical therapy and surgery.  She combines her expertise in patient relations with her love of writing to bring awareness of health related issues.   In her blog, Dreamlife Moments, she writes about mindfulness of time and recognizing more of the positive moments happening around us every day that creates a more positive life experience. Jennifer and her husband Byron are recent empty-nesters who enjoy traveling with their bichon Aissa, geocaching and volunteering wherever they go. Who is this chickie anyway? Connect with Jennifer on her Facebook Page, Blog and Twitter to find out more.

Anyone who has suffered a brain injury understands what it is like to be in a panic, to feel helpless. For many people, it’s like losing their keys to their lives – the ability to drive, to care for themselves, and to work a regular job.

As they go to therapies to learn how to regain what they have lost, they often find locked doors.  Places that are supposed to be familiar, feel cold and unwelcoming.  With the help of Brain Injury Services, some of these men, women and children are retrieving the keys that unlock their past. [2]

According to The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), 5.3 million people live with life-long disability as a result of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Brain Injuries can be defined as…

  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

TBI is defined as an alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by an external force.

  •  Acquired Brain Injury

An acquired brain injury is an injury to the brain, which is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma. An acquired brain injury is an injury to the brain that has occurred after birth.

No two brain injuries are alike, because no two people are alike.  For some people, brain injury is the onset of a deterioration process of the brain.  We’ve all known someone who’s suffered a concussion, either playing sports from an accident.  Some people downplay the seriousness of a concussion.  A concussion can be cause by both closed and open head injuries A It is the most concussion is the most common type of traumatic brain injury.   A concussion is caused when the brain receives trauma from an impact or a sudden momentum or movement change. The blood vessels in the brain may stretch and cranial nerves may be damaged. This can cause severe, long-term effects in memory, movement and ability to communicate effectively. [1]

According to the Centers for Disease and Control Injury Prevention Center, the leading causes of traumatic brain injury are:

 

 

Other types of brain injuries, such as Shaken Baby Syndrome or a Penetrating Brain Injury (i.e. when an object forces hair, skin and bones into the brain such as with a knife or bullet) are more obvious but any head trauma, no matter how slight, should be immediately checked by a doctor.  It is not wise to assume symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or dizziness after a head trauma are unrelated to a brain injury.

Call Valley Healthcare to find out about the programs offered or to schedule an appointment for a complete check-up including an EEG.

With the help of Brain Injury Awareness and programs designed to exercise your neurons, many people are once again enjoying the freedom of independent living and function while they slowly rebuild their self-confidence and sense of security.  Each key they rediscover is one less door closed to the world they understand.

[1] http://www.biausa.org/brain-injury-awareness-month.htm

[2] http://braininjurysvcs.org/


Jennifer Bell

Jennifer Bell has managed many specialty areas of healthcare including, kidney transplant, physical therapy and surgery.  She combines her expertise in patient relations with her love of writing to bring awareness of health related issues.   In her blog, Dreamlife Moments, she writes about mindfulness of time and recognizing more of the positive moments happening around us every day that creates a more positive life experience. Jennifer and her husband Byron are recent empty-nesters who enjoy traveling with their bichon Aissa, geocaching and volunteering wherever they go. Who is this chickie anyway? Connect with Jennifer on her Facebook Page, Blog and Twitter to find out more.

mel·a·no·ma ˌ/meləˈnōmə/

  1. a tumor of melanin-forming cells, typically a malignant tumor associated with skin cancer.

My friend Misti shares her journey of finding out she has cancer and what she learned in the process.  In her own words:

When people ask me what kind of cancer I have they seem almost relieved it’s ‘only skin cancer’. But skin cancer is still cancer. It’s very real and can kill you. It has a low success rate of survival and the treatment is one if the longest and hardest treatments out there.

 

Recently someone said to me “you joke about cancer too much” and that got me thinking. So I decided to write a little about it. Here’s what happened.   A few years ago I had a funky freckle looked at by a dermatologist. He said, “It’s nothing now and never will be.  Don’t worry about it.”  So I didn’t.   Even as it became larger, his words lingered in my head.   “Don’t worry about it!

 

The Culprit

Two years later it was a big, ugly mole and I just wanted it off my body!  So I went to a free, cancer screening.  The mole had recently started bleeding and crusting over but I didn’t really ‘worry about it’.   After all, there is NO HISTORY OF CANCER in my family and I pretty much always expected to die of heart disease.   So I went and the doctor decided to remove it.

I didn’t ask about results because I didn’t ‘worry about it’.  I went in on a Friday and had it removed. I was left with a cute little scar with a story, right?  Wrong!

“Normal freckles and moles don’t change for no reason. If it starts changing, it IS a problem that needs to be addressed.”

That night, I made a delicious meal of rice, broccoli and some faux chicken.  I’ll never forget that meal.  It was nothing special, but what happened during dinner would change our lives forever. The phone rang, it was my doctor.  I figured he was checking on me to see how I was doing.  The conversation went like this:

DoctorMisti, your mole was tested and was shown to be a Clark level 3 melanoma.

Me: Oh okay, good!  ….pause…..Oh wait, you said it IS melanoma?  I have cancer?

There it was! The dreaded “C” word.  I was still in shock but we talked some more.

If you get just ONE bad sunburn before you’re 18 you are much more likely to get melanoma as an adult.

He’s an awesome doctor who took time after office hours to call me and explain stuff to me.  He asked me to come in his office the very next morning so he could go over the process.  I returned to the dinner table, clearly shaken but unable to speak.

I excused the kids and just stood there in the doorway.  It was hard to say that word to my husband, Paul.  I was so vague that he didn’t really understand what I was trying to say.  So I just said, “That was the doctor.  He says my mole was melanoma.  I have cancer!”  I have to admit, if they had tested the mole and somehow found that I had heart disease that would have made more sense to me than cancer!

I guess it was ok for me to start ‘worrying about it’.

Over the next few months I had 3 more surgeries. One more mole removed. Countless blood work, PET scans and MRI’s. I’ve been poked and injected with dye and radiation.  My entire life has changed forever.   At first, I didn’t want to become this disease. I didn’t want to be “Misti with cancer”. But, as it turns out, that is exactly who I am.

 

Just like other things I can’t change about myself like my skin color, my height, and my DNA.  I am Misti with cancer! I embrace it because it’s part of me now.  I have always loved humor because laughing feels good! So the two may not seem to go together but in my world they combine nicely. So, that’s why I joke about my cancer a lot! I am Misti with cancer and I’m doing my best to beat it.  I am not always chipper but as a self-proclaimed, hopeless cynic, I think I’m doing pretty well.

KNOW YOUR BODY

  • Get to know every freckle and mole on your whole body and check them regularly.  If you can’t see a spot, ask your loved one to check it out for you.
  • Be proactive with your health.  Get those moles removed before they turn into something that could kill you.  Now is the perfect time to call Valley Health Care for a complete skin checkup.

Jennifer Bell

Jennifer Bell has managed many specialty areas of healthcare including, kidney transplant, physical therapy and surgery.  She combines her expertise in patient relations with her love of writing to bring awareness of health related issues.   In her blog, Dreamlife Moments, she writes about mindfulness of time and recognizing more of the positive moments happening around us every day that creates a more positive life experience. Jennifer and her husband Byron are recent empty-nesters who enjoy traveling with their bichon Aissa, geocaching and volunteering wherever they go. Who is this chickie anyway? Connect with Jennifer on her Facebook Page, Blog and Twitter to find out more.

Valley Healthcare System, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Non-profit, Charitable Organization.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), in accordance with the Federally Supported Health Centers Assistance Act, as amended, sections 224(g)-(n) of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, 42 U.S.C. 233(g)-(n), deems Valley Healthcare System, Inc. to be an employee of the PHS which provides liability protection under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)

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