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Make the Call: Wait ‘Til Morning or Head to a Walk-In Clinic?

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, ExpressCare, Memorial Medical Center | Posted on 24-09-2014

Hispanic-Mother-with-Sick-ChildWe’ve all been there with our kids, an aging parent or even a spouse: a mystery fever takes hold after dinner; stomach cramps increase in intensity before bed; or maybe a disturbing cough refuses to quiet.

Of course you’d rather wait until morning to call your primary care physician and talk with a nurse who’s familiar with your family history. But when symptoms worsen, so does the worry.

“That fever won’t break. Should we take him to see a doctor tonight?”

“She just can’t keep anything down.”

Sometimes peace of mind is worth an evening or weekend trip into a walk-in clinic, especially for worsening symptoms surrounding ailments like cough and flu, sore throat, fractures and strains, nausea, vomiting or even uncomfortable skin rashes.

“We see so many different types of illness and injuries, it can be hard to narrow down absolutes,” said Dr. Calvin Bell, medical director of Memorial’s three ExpressCare clinics. “I suggest people call their primary care physician for instructions if there is ongoing concern.”

However, Dr. Bell provides four “tipping points” to look for when making the decision to go to a walk-in facility like ExpressCare: Read the rest of this entry »

Super Survivor Overcomes Breast Cancer for Third Time

Posted by | Posted in Be Aware Womens Fair Super Survivors | Posted on 18-09-2014

Barb-Reynolds-Super-SurvivorBarb Reynolds will never forget her first words when she learned that she had breast cancer for the first time.

“I’m only 39 years old,” she told her doctor in October 1997. “My youngest baby is only 4.”

Since that day 17 years ago, Barb has battled breast cancer three times. She learned a year ago that breast cancer had once again reared its ugly head.

“I just couldn’t believe that after all these years I was going to have to go through it all over again,” said Barb, a speech-language pathologist at Lee Elementary School in Springfield, part of Springfield School District 186, with three grown children and two adult stepchildren.

Barb is one of three women who were randomly chosen as Super Survivors to be honored at this year’s Memorial’s Be Aware Women’s Fair. The fifth annual event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, in the Orr Building at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Read the rest of this entry »

Alzheimer’s and Dementia: What to Do When It Happens to Your Loved One

Posted by | Posted in Neuroscience | Posted on 16-09-2014

Adult-Children-with-Elderly-ParentWhile it’s hugely prevalent, with one in three seniors ultimately dying with the disease, most people don’t know much about Alzheimer’s and dementia. We’ve already learned from Dr. Therese Meyer-Cox, a neuropsychologist with Memorial Medical Center’s Neurosciences department, about what dementia and Alzheimer’s are. In this installment of our two-part series, she shares the most important information families need to know in order to cope. Read the rest of this entry »

What You Can Do to Prevent Suicide

Posted by | Posted in Mental Health | Posted on 12-09-2014

National-Suicide-Prevention-LifelineSuicide is a scary subject that many people don’t talk about often. However, when you worry that someone you know is thinking about committing suicide, it’s hard to know what you can do to help them.

Ben Yamnitz, director of the West Lake Center at the Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois shares important information on what you should look for and what you should do if someone you know is considering suicide.

What are the warning signs to look for?

Warning signs can be expressed verbally or through behavior. Someone thinking of suicide may make statements about wanting to die, life not being worth it or other statements about being hopeless and having no reason to live. They may talk about feeling trapped or believe they are a burden to others. They may increase use of alcohol or drugs. They may start isolating themselves. There may be drastic changes in sleeping patterns, sleeping too much or too little. Read the rest of this entry »

Eat Your Way to the Finish Line: 5 Nutrition Tips for a Successful Race Day

Posted by | Posted in Biathlon, Exercise, Expert Tips, Nutrition, SportsCare | Posted on 10-09-2014

Finish-LineYou’ve made the decision: You’re going to run a marathon, a half marathon, a 5K, 10K or any other major fitness event, like the upcoming Memorial SportsCare Women’s Biathlon. Good for you! That’s a huge undertaking. And, while training, you might hit hurdles or hard times. You might feel like giving up. But, with the right training and some healthy efforts, you can do it. Go you!

One aspect of training that gets lost in the shuffle but is an important, necessary part of your preparation is food. Nutrition training is as important as physical training–it can make or break your experience. Angie Sebree, a registered dietitian with Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center, offers her top five tips for training nutrition.

1. It’s not what you eat, but when you eat.

Sebree offers this tip to those in training: Figure out what time your event will be. While training, eat two hours before that time every day.

“Train your gut,” she said. “Treat every training day like it’s race day. If you plan to eat one or two hours before the event, eat that way when you train in that timeframe so you will feel the same way when training as you will on race day.”

2. Make sure what you’re eating is substantial.

If you have the ability to eat a meal two hours before the event, do that. Sometimes, however, that may not be feasible.

“If the race is at 7 a.m., you might not want to eat a large meal at 5 a.m., so eat a snack an hour before,” Sebree said.

Sebree’s rule of thumb for race day nutrition: About an hour to an hour and a half before the race, eat 20-30 grams of carbohydrates and 10-15 grams of protein. You can hit these numbers with a serving of chocolate milk, a Luna bar, a Nature Valley protein bar or a hardboiled egg with two pieces of toast.

3. Decide if you’re training for speed or weight loss.

You will need to choose, as both might not be possible.

“If you’re training for speed, you shouldn’t be losing weight,” Sebree said. “But if you’re training for weight loss, you should know your speed might not be your best.”

Either way, it is still important to eat within that structured schedule. You might simply need to adjust your calories. That said…

4. Be sure you get enough calories.

“If you don’t eat enough calories or get adequate nutrition, you’re going to get very fatigued,” Sebree said. “Your weight loss might stall. There is a fine line between eating and physical activity.”

Sebree suggests tracking your caloric input and output using MyFitnessPal or a Fitbit device.

5. Hydration is everything.

“About a week before your event, make sure you’re very hydrated–overly hydrated even,” Sebree said. “A standard 64 to 80 ounces per day plus what you’re losing during your workout.”

Not sure how to quantify how much water you’re losing? Here’s a good rule to follow: For every 30 minutes of physical activity, give yourself 10-16 ounces of fluid.

The day of the race, two hours before event, drink about 16-24 ounces of fluid, with 12 of those ounces within an hour before the event.

“After an hour of physical activity, start using Gatorade or other electrolyte replacing fluids,” Sebree said. “Shoot for 10 to16 ounces every 30 minutes.”

Senior Life: Smoothing Over Life’s Rough Patches

Posted by | Posted in Taylorville | Posted on 08-09-2014

Senior-Life-Solutions-DulakisResponsibilities seemed to be piling up for Marilyn Dulakis, 65. She was battling Parkinson’s disease; her mother was in failing health in a nursing home; a family member was venting to her daily; and her daughter’s family was living with Marilyn and her husband, Gus.

Her primary care physician, Dr. Pavi Gill, referred her to Taylorville Memorial Hospital’s Senior Life Solutions, a program that equips participants with skills and resources to better handle challenges associated with aging.

Marilyn looked forward to finding a place where she could go and talk. She attended the program three times weekly for 12 weeks and enjoyed the interaction with others. During the program, her depression lifted and she felt more confident and assertive.

Read the rest of this entry »

Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Facts to Know

Posted by | Posted in Neuroscience | Posted on 03-09-2014

DementiaAccording to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans—two-thirds of them women—are living with Alzheimer’s today. One in three senior citizens dies with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia. The organization estimates that, by 2050, the number of people 65 years or older could conceivably triple.

For such a common disease that affects so many, most people don’t know much about Alzheimer’s and dementia—other than how much they fear it. We spoke to Dr. Therese Meyer-Cox, a neuropsychologist with Memorial Medical Center’s Neurosciences department, about what exactly dementia and Alzheimer’s are—and how families can cope. Read the rest of this entry »