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Showing posts from 2016

Oh no! The dreaded flu!

If you get the flu, odds are you will survive.  About 1000-3000 die annually out of over 300 million patients so you will likely be fine.  If you have fragile health or getting worse instead of better, then you should seek care.  Otherwise stay home and do some self care.  Here are the tips I would do  (and have done the one time we had it) for my family.

First of all, there is no need for Tamiflu.  Studies show it may shorten the flu by 3/4 of a day.  It isn't worth the risk of psychiatric side effects for such little benefit.  Several studies show no benefit at all.  So here are several things you can do.  I recommend to get these items before flu season just in case so you don't have to go out sick and share it with everyone.  See my flu prevention blog to try to ward it off.

Elderberry syrup is a great anti viral.  Email sweetsyrup@gmail.com or call 704-98902156 for some organic, locally made elderberry syrup by one of our best, Stephanie Rickenbaker.  They have some low…

Migraines

Any blog on migraines could be a mile long but we are going to focus on some easy tips for your common migraine.  This does NOT apply to the worst headache of your life (go to the ER) unless it is established as your normal migraine.  Also if you have worsening headaches, you need to see your doctor.

For your occasional, standard migraine -light sensitivity, nausea, one sided or all over headache, here are some easy things to do.  First, you must treat any migraine ASAP!  Try peppermint oil to the temples (avoid the eyes completely) and back of the neck and just a dab under your nose.  Do the bicycle exercise where you lay on your back and put your feet in the air but try to touch the floor.  That stretches your whole spine.  When sitting, do good, slow head rolls.

You can try acupressure which is where you squeeze the web of your hand between your thumb and forefinger for several minutes until it resolves.  There are several more points but you can look for those online.

For any head…

Ear infections- self care

In general, most parents are worried about ear infections in kids.  There are inner, middle, and outer ear infections and this blog is referring to mostly middle ear infections.

Most middle ear infections are viral and will resolve themselves but that doesn't help the worried parent watching their child suffer in pain.  So I will tell you the tricks used by many parents to avoid the need to see the doctor.

During summer time with swimming pools, the outer ear or swimmer's ear infection is more common.  Just tug on the ear and if it hurts, it is probably swimmer's ear.  You can use colloidal silver ear drops or mullein garlic ear drops and that can often do the trick.  Best is to do prevention with a little alcohol in the ear after swimming to dry up the ear.

If that is not the issue and they are complaining of pain, then it may be a middle ear infection.  With my kids, I would do the wet sock trick http://bastyr.edu/news/health-tips/2009/11/dive-feet-first-wellness-natura…

Insurance is for sickness, not wellness

Insurance.  Oh the quandary we are in.  Insurance is a God-send for a crisis and there is no other country I would rather be in for a crisis whether it be due to a severe infection, trauma, heart attack, strokes, or any other crisis.  However, how are we for chronic diseases though or the average day to day? We ranked 34th in the world per JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) 2014 for quality of health care systems in the world! We are number 1 for Infant and Maternal Mortality.

We have to realize that insurance is a system set up for a crisis of your health care but not wellness. With the ever shortening visit to your doctor (often 5-15 minutes), we have to consider what can be done during that time.  Doctor's have a check list of quality care measures to complete to qualify for future bonuses or lose them if they do not complete them.  Sounds great until you realize that your lack of sleep, digestive issues, quality of nutrition, exercise, financial constraints, and…

Fever! No need to fear!

Fever is totally normal with illness and is the body's way of healing the body.  It should not be suppressed as that slows healing by stopping the action of fever which is the body’s natural response to sending the little healing factors.  I would reserve use of ibuprofen (not tylenol-longer story there) for when they are miserable and you can’t get them comfortable by other means.  Ibuprofen is not recommended under 6 months of age.  Don’t even put tylenol in your house.
Reasons to worry about fever where you should go to the ER:   *Fever in an infant under 2 months of age.   Fever is 100.4 rectally *Fever with mental status changes.  Most kids get sleepy with fever and want to sleep more but this refers to strange behavior or strange eye or limb movements.   *Fever with seizure- febrile seizures alone are not dangerous generally but the first time, you need to be checked out and to make a plan with a doctor. *Fever over 105 *Fever with purple spots like blood under the skin.  Rashes p…

Restless Legs! I just can't stop running in bed!

When I was in high school, I had this horrible discomfort in my legs that drove me bonkers!  At that time, I was super flexible so I blamed it on not being able to feel the stretch enough.  It would be worse around my periods but would bother me daily enough that I would have to leave the classroom to stretch. I remember it was worst in my first class of the day with Ms. Drye. Sorry Ms. Drye but now I have a reason!  I am sure she didn't know what to do with me.   At night, I would literally feel like I had to hit my legs to get them to calm down.   I never told anyone because it was just weird and hard to explain.  Now that I know it was restless legs, I realize that back in the 90's they probably wouldn't have known what it was anyway. I am not sure it was even a diagnosis at that time.  When I got married and went on birth control it totally resolved and I was so relieved.  Once I learned about it in medical school, I learned that one cause is anemia and I probably had …

The Primary Care revolution! Getting back to being a country doctor like I dreamed of being!

Who longs for the days of the family doctor having time to spend with you and actually listen to your issues?  How about those home visits you remember as a child when you were too sick and the doctor actually came to your home?  Those were the romantic days of family medicine and what many of us dream of when we sign up for medical school.

These days, thanks to corporations and insurance companies, the clinic has become a patient mill where patients see the doctors for 8 minutes to squeeze in their concerns.  It isn't the doctor's choice to do this but they are owned by companies dictating their schedules.    More and more insurance companies and especially Medicare are dictating medical choices and doctors have to choose the path of least resistance to survive so they give up the fight.  The patients become the diabetic with the ulcer or the sickly kid instead of Mr. Johnson who has diabetes and suffering from an ulcer and little Jay who is having recurrent ear infections d…

Don't leave your loved ones alone in the hospital!

I am thankful for Western medicine for acute issues.  It is life saving and life prolonging many times.  Thankful for everyone who works in a hospital all the way down to the person who cleans the room as this can be just as important as the medicine they get.  However, I am not thankful for a system that tries to squeeze blood from a rock.  To save the almighty dollar, it seems every hospital is short staffed for the true needs of good patient care.  Saving this almighty dollar sets us all up for failure and risk and contributes to the statistic in the JAMA article about western medicine being the third largest killer of patients behind heart disease and cancer.

Due to shortages, a lot of mistakes are made.  I hear so many cringe worthy stories from my patients of the wrong medicines being given or the wrong doses given.  I have seen a few die due to medical errors.  None of us are perfect and it is terrifying to have a medical error or over look an allergy but it happens more when…

My Poor Grandpa just wanted some good food!

My grandpa Virgil died a few years back.  He had 9 lives for sure but one time was more due to imposed dietary restrictions. This guy was hardcore.  He survived a ruptured abdominal aneurysm that should have killed him.   He had survived a dense stroke many years ago that affected his speech and the use of the right side of his body.  That slowed him down but he found creative things to do to still be productive.  He was an illiterate genius with a third grade education who was tough as nails and could fix anything
.  He finally got diagnosed with lung cancer near the end and had broken his hip.  This starts the part of the story I want to share.

He was found on the floor at the front door when he broke his hip waiting on someone to check on him.  Plug for lifeline here for anyone left alone that is at risk for breaking hips even if someone checks on them regularly.  The typical story I have been trained is that once a feeble grandparent breaks a hip, that often signals the end.  The …