My experience with Occupational Therapy

“I developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which caused numbness and discomfort in my hands. Dr. Lori Thompson, my primary care provider, referred me to Chad Royer, the occupational therapist and certified hand therapist at Premier Healthcare. We were hoping initially that therapy could help avoid surgery. The occupational therapy, along with non-steroidals, was part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

First, Chad evaluated me and did testing to determine how significant my carpal tunnel was, how much sensation I had lost and how much it was limiting my strength and mobility. His findings were much worse than I expected. He recommended exercises that are used to help create more space for the nerve and increase circulation to it. After the testing, we had a frank conversation about the amount of damage my nerves showed. He recommended that I make an appointment with Dr. Hoyer, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand surgery. I wound up having an EMG (Electromyogram), performed by Dr. Beck, that demonstrated I had severe changes in nerve impulse conduction due to carpal tunnel syndrome in both of my hands.

After Dr. Hoyer performed carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand, I had a follow-up visit with Chad Royer where he removed my dressing, did sensory testing again, and prescribed an exercise regimen to keep me from losing strength and mobility during the healing process. The exercises helped insure that the tendons did not scar together as I healed, decreasing my mobility. The sensory testing showed that in less than a week of my surgery, I had already clearly improved. Chad also gave me instructions on taking care of the wound and techniques to decrease scarring.

Now, 4 months later, I am back to doing my household chores, playing volleyball and baking bread pain free!”

Shared by Bloomington, IN, resident and Premier Healthcare patient, Ann.

I have heart disease. What do I do? Tips for living a heart healthy lifestyle.

As cardiologists, we look at risk factors for the development of coronary artery disease or heart artery blockages. These risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes mellitus, and family history of heart disease.

On the other hand, if you have had a heart attack, stent or bypass surgery, we look at what got you into this trouble in the first place and try to modify those risk factors as well as we possibly can.

First, and foremost, if you are a smoker you need to quit.  Smoking injures the lining cells of your arteries, called the endothelium, and makes you much more likely to build up cholesterol blockages called plaque. This plaque buildup slowly blocks blood flow of the arteries. To treat the cholesterol that is circulating in your bloodstream, we use medications that can drop levels by 50%.

Second, if your blood pressure is high, it is important to get it under control. There are several lifestyle changes that can help lower your blood pressure:

  1. Weight Loss
  2. Exercising regularly
  3. Eating healthy
  4. Reducing sodium intake
  5. Limiting alcohol intake
  6. Cutting back on caffeine
  7. Reducing stress.

Third, if you are diabetic, get your blood sugar under as much control as you can achieve. Premier Healthcare has two Endocrinologists who can help patients with Diabetes control their blood sugar levels. Visit: http://premierhealthcare.org/specialty.endocrinology.html or call 812.333.5976 today.

Finally, though you can’t choose new parents and therefore change your health history, you can take steps now to effectively reduce your future risk of heart disease. Visit: http://premierhealthcare.org/specialty.cardiology.html or call 812.331.3401 or 812.331.3402 today.

Written by Premier Healthcare Cardiologist, David Blemker, MD, FACC

What is Angina? Common Chest Pain Misconceptions

What is Angina? Common Chest Pain Misconceptions

Many of my patients are surprised that cardiac chest pain is not a sharp stabbing pain. It is more often described as a pressure, ache, or squeezing discomfort. Patients commonly label it as a pressure like someone or something, i.e. an elephant, is sitting on their chest. The take home message is that if your chest hurts in any way, no matter how seemingly insignificant, you should go and have it evaluated because it could be your heart.

Especially in February, for American Heart Month with events like Go Red for Women, we address heart disease in women. The need for this month of awareness is because females often have atypical symptoms that may not include chest discomfort. They can often present with indications like shortness of breath during exertion, or easy fatigability. Also, women may have discomfort in their back or in their abdomen. The bottom line is, if you feel some or any of these symptoms, I would rather you seek attention repeatedly for a false alarm than have you ignore the symptoms and wind up regretting it.

Written by David Blemker, MD, FACC, Cardiologist at Premier Healthcare, LLC

National Family Health History Day

Today is National Family Health History Day, which just so happens to fall on Thanksgiving! Just as you are spending time getting to know your loved ones and sharing a meal together, you should also take some time to learn about your family’s health history and what sort of genetic predispositions you may share.

Knowing your family’s health history can help you learn about any genetic health risks you or your loved ones may have and what are the best ways to prevent these. To learn more visit: http://www.hhs.gov/familyhistory/index.html

We know its time for our annual flu shot, but when is it time for another Pneumonia shot?

“I know I need my annual flu shot, but is it time for another pneumonia shot?” This question is very common from patients this time of year and we all need to be aware that pneumococcal vaccine recommendations for patients 65 and older have recently changed.

In August, the Advisory Council on Immunization Practices recommended and last month the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published these new guidelines, thus making them official. The widely used Pneumovax 23 (PPSV23) vaccine is now being used in conjunction with a newer pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13). The new PCV13 covers 13 subtypes of Streptococcus pneumonia as compared to the PPSV23 which covers 23. However the PCV13 has been shown to have as good or better immune response (i.e. protection) than the PPSV23. Obviously using just the new PCV13 would leave one without protection to some strains of Streptococcus pneumonia (i.e. pneumococcus). Therefore, the recommendation is that patients 65 or older should receive both of these vaccines in series, separated by a period of 6-12 months. Studies have shown that the best response comes from giving the PCV13 first and then following with the PPSV23.

Confused yet? The ACIP offers the following scenarios as a guideline:

  1. If you are of age 65 or greater and have had no pneumococcal vaccinations in past
    1. It is recommended that you receive PCV13 then PPSV23 6-12 months later
  1. If you are of age 65 or greater and have received PPSV23 at age 65 or more
    1. It is recommended that PCV13 is given to you at least 1 year after the PPSV23
  1. If you are of age 65 or greater and received PPSV23 before age 65
    1. It is recommended that you receive PCV13 (at least 1 year after original PPSV23 given)
    2. And one further PPSV23 given 5 years after initial PPSV23 and 6-12 months after PCV13

If a patient has received a PCV13 prior to age 65 it should not be repeated, it is a once in a lifetime vaccine. The PCV13 and PPSV23 should not be given together and recommended minimal interval is 6 months. It is acceptable to give the PCV13 with the annual flu shot. Side effects from the PCV13 are similar to the PPSV23 and include pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site, temporary limitation of movement of the affected arm, headache, chills, and generalized muscle pain.

If you have questions please ask your provider at your next visit.

This article was written by Dr. Wesley Ratliff, MD, of Premier Healthcare, LLC on 10/28/2014

For details see MMWR September 19,2014/63(37); 822-825

Weight-Loss Wednesday! Ideal Protein Testimonial: Dr. David Blemker

1. Before starting the Ideal Protein program, what was your overall reason for starting it? (For yourself, your family, to feel better, etc.)

I needed to lose weight and to be frank I was somewhat skeptical about the diet. I felt that I needed to personally experience the diet before I could promote it to my patients.

 

2. At the beginning of the Ideal Protein program, what were your goals? (Weight loss; lose inches, better labs, etc.)

Weight loss and my triglycerides were extremely high. (wanted to lose weight and lower triglycerides)

 

3. What was the biggest struggle for you at the beginning of the Program?

I had to plan ahead especially when I was on call that night, to follow the diet well.

 

4. How far have you come towards reaching your goals? Or have you reached them? (Give us the total of your loss so far and the number of weeks it took)

I lost 23lbs in 8 weeks. My BP medicine dropped from 20mg Byscolic daily to 5mg daily. My triglycerides dropped from 1090 to 139. My pant waist size dropped from 38 in to 34 in.

 

5. If you could give some advice or encouragement to future dieters, what would you say to them?

Stick with it, you will see the results.

 

To Find Out More About Ideal Protein Sign Up For One of Our Free Workshops!

Call Today: 812.331.3404

There will be a workshop on every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month from 5:45 to 6:30 pm at the Premier Healthcare, Landmark Medical Center at 550 S. Landmark Ave, Bloomington, IN, 47403.

The workshops will be in the Café on the 2nd floor of the building.

Ideal Protein Tri-fold Brochure (with workshop dates)Ideal Protein Tri-fold Brochure (with workshop dates)2

Weight-Loss Wednesday! Ideal Protein Testimonial: Darlene Tabla

Ideal Protein Tri-fold Brochure (with workshop dates)21. Before starting the Ideal Protein program, what was your overall reason for starting it? (For yourself, your family, to feel better, etc.)

I wanted to join the Ideal Protein program for myself and to feel better. Because of my weight loss I am off of two blood pressure meds!! Also my cholesterol medicine has been cut in half and I hope to be off completely in October.

2. At the beginning of the Ideal Protein program, what were your goals? (Weight loss; lose inches, better labs, etc.)

My goal at the beginning was to lose weight; I never thought that I would lose as many inches as I did. It’s amazing!!

3. What was the biggest struggle for you at the beginning of the Program?

The first week was the hardest for me. I loved my bread and pasta, but after the first week my cravings went away.

4. How far have you come towards reaching your goals? Or have you reached them? (Give us the total of your loss so far and the number of weeks it took)

I have reached my goal which was 28 pounds, but I lost 6 more lbs. by watching sugars and carbs. Sugar is the bad guy!!

5. If you could give some advice or encouragement to future dieters, what would you say to them?

I would say to hang in there; the first week is the hardest. After that week it is much easier. It is the only plan that really worked for me; I have been on every weight loss plan there is and this plan by far is the only plan where you truly lose fat not muscle. It’s the best!

Before Ideal Protein:                      After Ideal Protein:

DMT-pre-1 DMT-7-2014

To Find Out More About Ideal Protein Sign Up For One of Our Free Workshops!

Call Today: 812.331.3404

There will be a workshop on every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month from 5:45 to 6:30 pm at the Premier Healthcare, Landmark Medical Center at 550 S. Landmark Ave, Bloomington, IN, 47403.

The workshops will be in the Café on the 2nd floor of the building.

Ideal Protein Tri-fold Brochure (with workshop dates)Ideal Protein Tri-fold Brochure (with workshop dates)2