All ready to get away for vacation? Let’s see what you’ve packed.
Beach towels? √
Medical records? … Wait, what?
Many people make sure to take along their prescriptions and other medications when they get away from the daily grind for a week or more. Some even take their medical insurance cards and a list of important phone numbers, such as their physician’s office.
But how can you take your medical records with you?
Roughly one in five Americans struggle with tinnitus – typically described as a constant or intermittent ringing sound that people hear in one or both ears. It’s a problem that strikes our nation’s veterans particularly hard, according to the American Tinnitus Association.
“Tinnitus is a growing problem for America’s military personnel,” the association says on its website.
“It threatens their futures with potential long-term sleep disruption, changes in cognitive ability, stress in relationships and employability challenges. These changes can be a blow to a vet’s self-worth.”
Exposure to high levels of noise is one of the leading triggers of tinnitus, which could explain why many veterans struggle with it. But they’re not alone. Prolonged exposure to loud noise can damage the tiny sensory hair cells in your ear that send sound to your brain, according to the Mayo Clinic. That puts factory and construction workers, firefighters and musicians among the other high-risk groups.
Have you been here before?
Your doctor’s explains a troubling test result while you sit on the exam room table, its wide swatch of paper crinkling beneath you. You listen intently to his words, but you have no clue what he’s saying.
It’s like trying to read your iTunes agreement, but you can’t make heads or tails of it so you sigh and click the “I accept” button.
Well, we consider you a partner in your medical care at Memorial. Our “It’s OK to Ask” campaign encourages you to talk to their physicians, nurses and other caregivers about the care you’re receiving. We know it’s intimidating for many people to ask a physician to explain some medical jargon that they don’t understand, but we want you to.
The week of June 10-16 is Illinois Men’s Health Week. It’s common to hear about men’s health issues such as prostate and testicular cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes. One health issue that isn’t talked about as much is depression.
More than six million men in the United States suffer from depression each year. Genes, hormones and stress are the major factors that cause depression in men.
“Men often don’t recognize or admit they’re depressed, and unfortunately they are less likely than women to seek help for depression,” said Dr. Ray Redick, a therapist at Memorial Counseling Associates. “The primary cause of depression in men I see in my practice is when they feel a sense of failure in their lives. They have failed in their relationships and/or at work. Men feel they are not measuring up to their own expectations and the expectations others may have of them.”
Some of the results of exercise aren’t always pretty – sweat dripping down your face, an increased heart rate, flushed skin, fatigue. But none of that matters because your mood has improved!
Thanks to endorphins released during physical activity, many people experience a positive boost in mood and reduced feelings of depression and anxiety after exercising.
Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
“Exercise can be a powerful tool for people dealing with stress,” said Kenny Dunn, a personal wellness coach at Memorial Counseling Associates. “Typically, people who are under stress or are suffering from depression will use food as a coping mechanism. This leads to weight gain and an increased risk of health issues, further increasing depression and stress. By using exercise as a coping skill, people can reduce feelings of stress and depression.”
Because exercise can improve a person’s appearance, their confidence and self-esteem often increase as well. Cognitive functioning, or thought process, also can get better. This is beneficial for people who are feeling down or struggling with depression. When someone is suffering mentally, they are less likely to engage in physical and social activities. Instead they might turn to unhealthy coping skills such as binge eating, substance abuse and isolation to alleviate their symptoms.
“These coping skills tend to decrease a sense of self worth and put the individual at a higher risk of health issues,” Dunn said. “However, by increasing physical activity the person can work to reverse this effect, creating a better self image, sense of worth and more social interaction.”
More than 1,000 people from Jacksonville and the surrounding communities turned out for the open house for the new medical office building on the campus of Passavant Area Hospital.
Scheduled for its first day of operation on June 3, the new building will be the home to Memorial Physician Services – Jacksonville and the Jacksonville offices of Springfield Clinic, combining their respective medical practices – and more than 50 doctors, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants and affiliated ancillary services – into one convenient location.
Barb before surgey on left; after surgery on right
For many people who struggle with obesity, dieting and exercise alone are not enough to lose and maintain substantial weight loss to improve their health.
For some, bariatric surgery, in addition to lifestyle changes, may be the holistic approach to achieving and maintaining great health.
About 800 central Illinoisans have undergone bariatric surgery through Memorial Medical Center’s Bariatric Services program, all with the intended goal of living a more fulfilling, active life after shedding the weight.
One such success story is Barb, who has lost more than 120 pounds since her surgery two years ago.
Since her surgery, Barb’s blood pressure has seen a dramatic drop and her knees don’t hurt anymore. She has become a runner, has tons of energy and is truly enjoying life.
Barb shares, “This is not an easy journey or a quick fix, but if you use your [surgery] properly, it will change your life.”
Read her story in her own words below.
Epistaxis, more routinely referred to as a nosebleed, is a common complaint and has been reported to occur in up to 60 percent of the general population according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. They are rarely life threatening. In fact, most nosebleeds are typically harmless, self-limiting, and spontaneous, but some can be recurrent.
Nosebleeds are divided into two categories, depending on whether the bleeding is coming from the front or back of the nose.
Anterior nosebleeds originate toward the front of the nose and cause blood to flow out through the nostrils. These types of nosebleeds are common in dry climates or during the winter months when dry, heated indoor air dehydrates the nasal membranes and are not usually serious.
Posterior nosebleeds originate toward the back of the nose, near the throat. Posterior nosebleeds are less common than anterior nosebleeds, but they can be serious and can cause a lot of blood loss.
You should seek emergency medical care if your nosebleed:
While May has become known as Stroke Awareness Month, the importance of stroke awareness doesn’t end when the month is over. A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, occurs when a blockage stops the flow of blood into the brain or when a blood vessel in or around the brain bursts. Strokes can affect people of all ages and backgrounds, not just adults over the age of 65. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly a quarter of all strokes occur in people younger than the age of 65.
This Stroke Awareness Infographic provides some important stroke facts. For more information on stroke facts and treatmenttvisit Memorial Medical Center’s Stroke Center.
Trust can be tricky when it comes to teenagers and their parents. The teen wants independence and the ability to make decisions. The parents want to have boundaries and know what’s going on in their child’s life.
Earning trust is crucial on both sides.
Why Trust is Crucial
Because the teen years can be stressful, forming a trusting relationship establishes a safety net, said Ashley Mosely, a therapist at The Children’s Center, a program of Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois.
“When things become too much to handle or bad choices are made, having a parent, who they trust to help, reduces the likelihood of the issue escalating,” she said. “It is important for parents to let their teen know the door is always open for discussion. Don’t force it; allow the trust to develop naturally.”