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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 »

Diabetes Awareness Month: How To Tell If You’re at Risk for Gestational Diabetes

Posted by | Posted in Diabetes, Physician Services, Women | Posted on 25-11-2014

Pregnant-WomanOf all the hallmarks of prenatal appointments – the weigh-ins, urine tests and blood draws – the glucose screening is among the least popular with expectant moms.

Draining a cup of the super-sweet drink is a requirement at the 4- to 5-month mark to help obstetricians determine if the patient is at risk for gestational diabetes. A positive glucose screening can lead to a three-hour glucose tolerance test, which involves returning at a later date, fasting ahead of the appointment and drinking even more of the sugary sweet liquids.

While the screening and test may be a hassle, the condition they are designed to detect is a potentially harmful one. Gestational diabetes affects between 2 percent and 10 percent of expectant mothers and indicates an elevated (and abnormal) level of sugar in the blood. Read the rest of this entry »

Super Survivor Overwhelmed by Huge Support from Employer, Co-Workers

Posted by | Posted in Be Aware Womens Fair Super Survivors, Women | Posted on 19-08-2014

Super-Survivor-Sue-FaganThe day before her mastectomy, Sue Fagan, a loan document specialist at Bank of Springfield, got a call asking her to drop by work for a few hours.

No problem, she thought. She was glad to answer any last-minute questions before she was off work for a while recovering after her surgery. What was waiting for her took her completely by surprise.

Her desk was decorated with streamers and balloons. A large homemade poster of Katy Perry was on her desk (Sue had adopted the pop star’s song “Roar” as her theme in her journey to beat breast cancer). A large bag was filled with books, pajamas and things to do.

The entire department had dressed in pink. And then she noticed the other departments in the branch had dressed in pink, too. But that wasn’t all. Other branches were also clad in pink and emailed their photos to encourage her.

“It is still overwhelming to this day when I think about it,” Sue said. Read the rest of this entry »

Biathlon Participant: ‘I want to finish strong’

Posted by | Posted in Biathlon, SportsCare, Women | Posted on 14-08-2014

Deb Whitson, left, with her friend Deb Kerley, preparing for a ride on the Centennial Bike Trail in Springfield

Deb Whitson, left, with her friend Deb Kerley, preparing for a ride on the Centennial Bike Trail in Springfield

Deb Whitson had thought about doing the Women’s Biathlon before. But she didn’t.

“I always thought I couldn’t,” she said. “I thought you had to be a top-class athlete or something.”

This year, thanks to the invitation of her friend Deb Kerley (the two friends refer to themselves as “Deb Squared”), Whitson plans to participate in Memorial’s SportsCare’s annual Women’s Biathlon on Sept. 21. Biathlon participants will bike 12 miles and then complete a 5K (3.1-mile) run/walk.

Since December, Whitson has been working to get in better shape. With the exception of a few weeks this summer when she was directing a show at Theatre in Park in New Salem, she has gone to the YMCA several days a week. As a result, she has lost 30 pounds and increased her activity, strength and endurance.

“I thought about Deb Kerley’s suggestion, and I wanted a way to maintain a structured workout routine – which I can easily fall out of with work and other activities. And I thought it would be really cool to finish a biathlon,” Whitson said.

Deb Squared signed up for the Biathlon Brigade, a new 12-week training program SportsCare introduced this year to help participants train. Athletes meet twice a week and receive direction on how to safely and effectively get in shape for the event. Read the rest of this entry »

Kristi’s Story: Be Aware Women’s Fair Inspires Attendee to Quit Smoking

Posted by | Posted in Testimonial, Women | Posted on 03-10-2013

An avid hiker, Kristi is now able to climb without getting winded.

An avid hiker, Kristi is now able to climb without getting winded.

Kristi Kramp, like many, was a smoker. Unlike many, she had no desire to quit.

“I loved smoking,” Kristi said. “Quitting was the furthest thing from my mind.”

That is, until she attended the 2011 Be Aware Women’s Fair.

With a group of friends and family members, Kristi walked in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk that precedes the fair.

“I was walking in a cancer walk while smoking cigarettes,” she said.

After the walk, Kristi and her group visited the Be Aware Women’s Fair exhibition area. Her aunt brought her to an American Cancer Society booth where they displayed a pig lung, tarred and damaged by the affects of cigarette smoking.

“I didn’t think much of it,” Kristi said. “I actually gave them a hard time, asking, ‘Oh, did this pig smoke cigarettes?’”

Then, she and her group participated in the booth’s free bone-density screening. Everyone received positive results.

Everyone, that is, except Kristi. Read the rest of this entry »

Embarrassed to Discuss Incontinence with Your Doctor?

Posted by | Posted in Urology Services, Women | Posted on 26-09-2013

Woman Talking to Dr.Many women who suffer from incontinence, the involuntary loss of urine, find it embarrassing to discuss with their physicians. Yet being open with their doctors can put them on the path to finding a solution.

“Incontinence can vary between very mild to incapacitating,” says James Gildner, MD, with Memorial Physician Services – Women’s Healthcare. “Not only is it frustrating, it can be socially embarrassing or even debilitating.”

Up to 30 million women in the United States have experienced bladder leakage issues, according to the National Association for Continence. About one in four new moms experience leaking after normal delivery, and about one in six after a Cesarean section. Read the rest of this entry »

With Husband's and Co-Workers' Support, Super Survivor Refuses to Slow Down

Posted by | Posted in Be Aware Womens Fair Super Survivors, Cancer Care, Women | Posted on 23-09-2013

333-13-01When Vicki Simmons learned that she had Stage 2 breast cancer last October, it confirmed what she had suspected when she first discovered the lump in her breast a week before.

“That was a long day,” she recalled when she heard the news. “I sat and cried.”

But those tears didn’t last long. “I’m going to beat it,” the 57-year-old woman said. “I’m from the old school. I can tough it out.”

And with the help of her husband, Dale, as well as the support of co-workers, she has made it through her treatments and chemotherapy. “So far, so good,” she said.

Vicki, of Mount Auburn, 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 fourth annual event will be held from 9 a.online casino australia m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, in the Orr Building at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Read the rest of this entry »

Super Survivor Faces Loss of Loved Ones During Breast Cancer Recovery

Posted by | Posted in Be Aware Womens Fair Super Survivors, Cancer Care, Women | Posted on 07-08-2013

Kristen Becker Hoffman

Kristan Becker Hoffman

Kristan Becker Hoffman learned that the lump in her breast was cancer. It was a hard-hitting confirmation that would change her life and her family’s, but she was prepared to face it and seek the treatment to put her on the path to beat the disease.

She was 38 when she received her diagnosis in May 2012. What she couldn’t know was that two unimaginable losses would confront her in less than four months as she went through her treatment.

First, her father, Loren Becker of Jacksonville, would die of heart failure in August. About five weeks later, her husband, Bobby Hoffman, would die from a stroke.

They were a big part of her foundation as she went through treatment, and that foundation “was literally pulled out from under us.”

Kristan, of Jacksonville, 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 fourth annual event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, in the Orr Building at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Read the rest of this entry »

The Heart of a Woman

Posted by | Posted in Events, Expert Tips, Heart, Women | Posted on 07-05-2013

celebrate the heart of a womanMany women mistakenly think that heart disease primarily affects men. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. According to the National Institutes of Health, one in four women in the United States dies of heart disease, while one in 30 dies of breast cancer, and an astonishing 80 percent of women ages 40 to 60 have one or more risk factors for heart disease.

“Early identification and management of risk factors for heart disease through a healthy diet, weight management, exercise and stress management, can greatly reduce a woman’s risk for heart disease,” said Paula Harwood, RN, BSN, and manager of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation and heart failure at Memorial Medical Center.

 Harwood suggests women take these steps to reduce their chances of developing heart disease: Read the rest of this entry »

9 Tips for Better Bone Health

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Nutrition, Orthopedics, Pediatrics, Women | Posted on 30-01-2013

Often, the majority of adults, especially women, do not think about frail bones until they become older. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, millions of women already have, or are at risk of developing, osteoporosis, a disease of the bones where a break or fracture can easily occur.

 “The best way to prevent osteoporosis is to work on building strong bones as soon as you can,” said Randy Wise, RN, orthopedic research and outcomes nurse at Memorial Medical Center. “Building strong bones during childhood and teen years is one of the best ways to keep from getting osteoporosis later. Unfortunately, most kids and women do not get the recommended daily allowance of calcium in their diet.”

 “However, no matter how old you are, it’s never too late to start building stronger bones,” he said.

 The following is a list of recommendations to improve bone health that Wise shares with his patients. Read the rest of this entry »