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Heart Attack at 40: Young Mom Bouncing Back

Posted by | Posted in Emergency Department, Heart, Memorial Medical Center, Testimonial, Women | Posted on 26-02-2015

Cardiac-Rehab-PatientThe possibility that she might be having a heart attack only briefly crossed Becky Griffith’s mind. She was, after all, only 40 years old.

Last November, the mother of two began to feel severely fatigued and short of breath. While she had no fever and didn’t feel sick, something still didn’t feel right.

“It felt like I had run a marathon,” said Becky, who co-owns A New You Salon and Spa in Springfield with her younger sister.

After her exhaustion lingered for a week, Becky decided it was time to visit her doctor. That’s when she briefly considered a heart attack but dismissed it. She received an EKG, and her physician said she likely was experiencing acid reflux.

Any relief she felt from her doctor’s visit was short-lived. She awoke at 11:30 that night with severe pain in the middle of her chest and radiating down both arms and in her jaw. She stayed awake in a recliner through the night and finally took her blood pressure at 6:30 a.m. It was well above normal. Read the rest of this entry »

The 5 Most Memorable ‘Sharing Wishes’ Wishes – So Far

Posted by | Posted in Foundation, Home Services, Sharing Wishes Fund | Posted on 24-02-2015

Balloon-Ride-WishSince its establishment in 2012, the Sharing Wishes Fund has made a significant impact in the lives of many hospice patients and families in central Illinois.

Whether it is a special family-and-friends gathering or a visit from a distant loved one, the wishes Sharing Wishes that help  providing a meaningful touch to the hospice experience for those who benefit. As we near the granting of the 125th wish, we look back on some of the most memorable wishes so far.

Carol’s final wish takes her soaring ‘like an eagle’

On a warm summer evening, with a sky as blue and clear as it comes, Carol Cray set off in a hot-air balloon to fulfill a longtime dream.

“I’ve always wanted to glide and soar like an eagle,” she said as she watched the colorful balloon inflate on its takeoff spot — an empty plat of grass near the Wal-Mart in Lincoln. Read the rest of this entry »

Bullying Hurts: How to Protect Your Child from Cyberbullying

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Mental Health, Parents, Pediatrics | Posted on 18-02-2015

?????????????????????????????In the interconnected world we live in, bullying doesn’t stop at the playground. It’s happening 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the teen population is especially vulnerable.

Cyberbullying affects about 25 percent of teenagers and occurs when the offender uses electronic technology such as smartphones, computers and tablets to bully another person.

The effects of cyberbullying cannot be ignored—in fact, kids who are cyberbullied are more likely to use drugs and alcohol, skip school and have lower self-esteem.

So what can you do as a parent to protect your child from cyberbullying?

Read the rest of this entry »

Measles: Just the Facts

Posted by | Posted in Parents, Pediatrics, Physician Services | Posted on 16-02-2015

Girl-with-MeaslesWith the recent outbreak of measles across the United States, there has been a wealth of information published about the measles…and unfortunately some misinformation. Read on to learn what everyone should know about the measles.

Is measles really that big of a deal?

Yes. It spreads very fast and easily. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) considers it the most deadly of all childhood rash/fever illnesses.

The people most vulnerable to measles are those younger than 5 and older than 20.

“Measles can be spread through the air by coughing and sneezing with symptoms of fever, runny nose, coughing  and a rash,” said Gustavo Mosquera, MD, a Memorial Physician Services physician in Chatham. “Complications from the infection can be ear infection, hearing loss and pneumonia, which is the main cause of death in young children. It is important to understand that everybody needs to be vaccinated to prevent these complications.” Read the rest of this entry »

Trouble in Paradise? 3 Signs It’s Time to Talk to a Marriage Counselor

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Mental Health | Posted on 12-02-2015

Couple-Marriage-CounselingKeeping a marriage healthy is not easy; it takes two committed people to make it work. With everyday stresses like your children and your career, your marriage can get pushed to the backburner. It also doesn’t help that every day we are bombarded with messages of having a “soul mate” and that our life partner should be able to meet all of our needs. Best friend, confidant, perfect lover, provider, safety, and comforter—that’s a lot to expect from one person.

It is important to remember that we are each responsible for our own happiness; no one else is. However, if you are experiencing bumps in your marriage, assistance from a marriage counselor could be beneficial. Read the rest of this entry »

How an Exercise Buddy Will Help You Lose Weight

Posted by | Posted in Exercise, Expert Tips, Weight Loss & Wellness Center Patient Stories | Posted on 10-02-2015

Exercise-BuddiesLosing weight is hard work, but finding an exercise partner can help you stay motivated to shed your pounds, says Linda Crews, a physical therapist with the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center.

To maintain weight loss, the average healthy adult needs to exercise about 150 minutes each week, Crews said during a recent interview on the WTAX morning show. Most of that needs to come from cardio exercise, which helps with weight loss because it increases the heart rate, she said.

“The rest of us who really want to lose weight need to jack that up a little bit to 180 to 200 minutes a week,” Crews said.

While that may sound like a lot of time to devote to exercise, the key to success is to plan for it and set aside a little time every day. Read the rest of this entry »

Follow Your Heart: Arrhythmia 101

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Heart | Posted on 04-02-2015

stethescope-heart-imageMaybe your sweetheart sets your heart a’fluttering or maybe those flutters indicate a potential health issue.

Actually, it’s not just folks with a heart condition who can experience arrhythmia, which is a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. It’s actually fairly common. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm.

However, those with underlying heart disease are at the highest risk, whether they have symptoms or lead a normal life. Read the rest of this entry »

Life-Saving Procedure Gives “Grandpa” More Time

Posted by | Posted in Cancer Care, Memorial Medical Center | Posted on 03-02-2015

Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith whips up breakfast for his four adopted daughters. The sisters squirm in their assigned seats around the kitchen island, waiting for the morning meal. Joseph’s wife, Linda, selects their clothes for the school day.

After breakfast and dressing for school, the girls stand single file, ready for their turn to have “grandpa” brush their hair. Bear, one of the Smiths’ two dogs, finds a spot of sunshine pouring through the screen door, where he can lay on his side and escape the morning hubbub.

Joseph, a 74-year-old retired ironworker from rural Cantrall and a great-grandfather, never envisioned he would be the adopted dad of four energetic girls, from 4-year-old Abby to 8-year-old Elizabeth with Carly and Isabella in between. A large wall calendar off the kitchen is covered in pencil scribblings with the times of birthday parties, ice skating adventures and tumbling classes.

The calendar is a promise of the future memories that Joseph never knew he would have when he was diagnosed in January 2014 with a rare abdominal cancer that was already well advanced. He calculated that he had 18 months to live – at best. Read the rest of this entry »