covid 19- grocery store

How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19 When you Need to Go Out

Many in the community are practicing social distancing and getting out as little as possible. As the confirmed cases of COVID-19 rise in Comanche County, you may be getting nervous about having to be out for errands you cannot completely avoid such as occasional grocery shopping. Although feeling apprehensive about going out is understandable, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself while you are out. Here are a few:

 

 

Limit going inside businesses as much as possible

 

Many businesses, especially restaurants, are offering curbside delivery or drive-thru options as dining in is not an option right now. If you’re unsure if the business you need to visit is offering such services, it does not hurt to call and ask them if they would mind accommodating you.

Also, consider having essentials delivered or take turns running errands with a friend. The fewer people out on any given day, the better! If you are elderly or in the high-risk category for contracting COVID-19 due to health reasons, you may wish to reach out to a friend or neighbor. He or she would probably love to help you out. If you know of someone who is unemployed due to the outbreak, he or she could probably use some extra cash in exchange for helping you out as well. Lawton Family YMCA is also offering to pick up groceries for seniors who order groceries through the Walmart grocery app.

 

 

Make use of technology

 

You may wish to ask simple things like documents to be mailed or emailed to you instead of visiting a business. Take advantage of video chat options like FaceTime, Skype or Zoom to conduct business whenever possible.

If you have a non-urgent medical need, call your physician first to see what your options are. Many people also have access to free telemedicine services through the insurance provider. Memorial Medical Group is also providing access to telemedicine through many of our clinics.

 

 

Make a protective masks

 

When you do go out, try to wear a protective mask. Please remember our people working on the “front lines” of this epidemic. Our health professionals, restaurant workers, grocery clerks, etc., need masks and gloves more than anyone. Protecting them protects us all as they will likely be exposed to more carriers of COVID-19 than most of us.

However, you can find instructions on how to sew a homemade mask. Even if it isn’t the N-95 masks that provide the best protection, it can still keep you from touching your face which in return could possibly keep you from contracting the virus.

Think outside the box on how to protect your hands. Don’t touch items you don’t intend to buy. Use another type of plastic besides gloves. There have been people using bags used to clean up after their dogs when they take them outside to “take care of business!”

 

 

Sanitize your hands often

 

Sanitize your hands before going in and after leaving a business. If you can’t find sanitizer, you can make your own using alcohol and aloe vera gel.

 

 

Change your clothing as soon as possible

 

Before entering your home, remove your shoes and spray them with disinfectant. Remove clothes as soon as you enter and put them directly into the washing machine. You can wash them later if needed, but this keeps you from having to pick them up again before washing.

 

 

Sanitize items and let them sit

 

The COVID-19 virus can last hours to days on items depending on what material the item is made of. If possible, seal the bag grocery items are in to protect them, spray with disinfectant spray, and let it sit for a few days.

 

 

Wipe down surfaces touched by new items entering your home

 

If you can’t find disinfectant wipes in stores, you can make those too using paper towels and rubbing alcohol to wipe down surfaces.

 

 

Don’t allow anyone else to put items purchased away

To limit exposure to others living in the household, only the person who picked up items should put them away. This will help limit the exposure to any germs lingering on the items from others who have not yet touched them.

 

 

Have other questions about COVID-19? Visit ccmhhealth.com/covid-19-resources.

 

Disclaimer

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

tick

Protecting Your Family and Pets from Ticks

When you think about tick-related illnesses, there is a good chance you think of Lyme disease. However, Oklahoma is consistently one of the least-affected states for Lyme disease while even neighboring states report many cases each year. In Oklahoma, the main tick-borne illnesses include Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever .

 

 

What are the symptoms of Ehrlichiosis?

 

If a tick carrying the bacterium that causes ehrlichiosis feeds on you for at least 24 hours, you may begin to show symptoms. The symptoms will appear within 14 days of the bite:

 

Headache

Mild fever

Muscle aches

Chills

Cough

Joint pain

Nausea

Rash

Diarrhea

Vomiting

Loss of appetite

Fatigue

Confusion

 

Cases of ehrlichiosis vary in severity. Some patients may have symptoms so mild that they never seek medical attention. In best-case scenarios, the body fights off the illness on its own without medical intervention. If the symptoms are severe, however, hospitalization may be needed if patients put off treatment.

 

What are the symptoms of Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever?

 

Symptoms usually appear within the first week although it may take up to two weeks. Initial signs and symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted tick fever may mimic other illnesses leaving many without proper treatment initially. The symptoms include:

Chills

High fever

Muscle aches

Severe headache

Confusion or other neurological changes

Nausea and vomiting

Red, non-itchy rash

 

Tick bites become common starting in the spring but can occur year-around during mild winters. As we go into the time of the year when we enjoy more time outdoors, be on the lookout for ticks on your children, pets and yourself. To prevent tick bites, the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following:

 

How do I prevent tick bites?

 

Exercise caution in areas that are grassy, heavily wooded or leaf-filled. Wear protective clothing that covers as much as possible when hiking or walking in these types of areas.

Wear protective clothing and bug repellent containing DEET when hiking or walking through tall grass. When coming inside from outdoors, shower within two hours. Thoroughly wash and check crevices where ticks could hide. Discuss preventative measures with your veterinarian for your pets and thoroughly check their fur on a regular basis.

 

Tricks for tick removal

 

Remove ticks immediately upon finding them on you with tweezers. Avoid squeezing the tick and pull slowly to avoid leaving part behind or causing the tick to go into the skin deeper. Then, dispose of the tick by flushing it down the toilet. Wash the affected area with soap and water. Call your physician if you begin experiencing any tick illness-related symptoms.

Make a practice of tossing your clothes in the dryer for a few minutes before washing them. Ticks are not easy to drown, but they cannot withstand dry environments. Therefore, even a short dryer cycle should be sufficient to suffocate and kill them.

 

If you are concerned due to exposure to a tick and have other questions, reach out to our CCMH Physicians. You can make an appointment today by visiting CCMHHealth.com/Providers. 

 

Disclaimer

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

baby with trisomy

Facts about Trisomy

March is Trisomy Awareness Month. Many awareness months commemorate diseases the public is actually quite familiar with. Trisomy however, is a much less discussed medical concern. To commemorate this year’s theme of Trisomy Awareness Month,  “We are their Voice, They are our Heart,” we wanted to take a moment to share with you some basic facts you may not know about trisomy. 

 

What is trisomy? 

 

The majority of people have 23 pairs of chromosomes in most (if not all) of their cells. That is a total of 46 chromosomes. These chromosomes include unique DNA and other genetic material necessary to make up each individual. Some individuals have trisomy conditions. This means they have an extra chromosome in most or all of their cells, for a total of 47 chromosomes. 

 

What type of problems arise from trisomy? 

 

An extra chromosome can cause a variety of concerns ranging from mild intellectual and developmental disability, to severe physical problems. Rarely do trisomy conditions pass from one generation to the next. They are more likely  the result of a random error that occurs during cell division very early during development.

 

Trisomy can occur within any chromosome. The most well-known syndromes resulting are Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), Trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome) and Trisomy 13 (Patau Syndrome).

 

What are signs of trisomy during pregnancy?

 

Sometimes trisomies are diagnosed during pregnancy. These signs may include:

 

only one umbilical cord artery

too much amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios)

a smaller than expected placenta

an unusually inactive baby 

the baby measuring small

congenital defects such as cleft palate or heart irregularities picked up during ultrasound scans

 

How are trisomies diagnosed? 

 

During pregnancy the following tests may help your doctor discover a trisomy:

 

non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) 

maternal serum screening

ultrasound scans 

chorionic villus sampling

amniocentesis

 

Although the news of your child having a trisomy may be difficult to accept, in many cases he or she can still live a fulfilling life. If you are in this position, talk to your CCMH Provider. He or she may recommend resources to help prepare you for this journey. 

 

Disclaimer 

 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

 

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

woman with high blood pressure

High Blood Pressure Management

Untreated, hypertension (high blood pressure) can lead to serious problems such as heart attack and stroke. 

If you’re one of the one in three Americans suffering from this condition, 1 lifestyle plays an important part in treating your high blood pressure. Some patients are able to successfully control blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle. Committing to such a lifestyle may help you delay, reduce, or even remove the need for medication.

Here are some lifestyle changes you can make to control hypertension.

 

Eat a healthy diet

Make smart choices in your diet including fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. Avoid cholesterol, sodium, processed foods, and saturated fat as much as possible. 

Keeping a log of what you eat even for a little while to gain insight into how much and what you’re consuming. There are a variety of apps out there that can help log meals and break down the nutrients for you. 

Make a plan before you go out to eat or to the grocery store. Proper planning can help you avoid making unhealthy decisions. 

Potassium is also an important nutrient. It may lessen the effects of sodium on your blood pressure. The best way to receive potassium is food, not supplements. Discuss with your doctor to learn the potassium level that’s best for you.

 

Limit alcohol 

Drink alcohol only in moderation. The recommendation is no more than one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men. Drinking above the recommendation not only raises blood pressure by several points, but it also may reduce the effectiveness of medication for hypertension. 

 

Lose weight if needed 

Weight loss is very effective for controlling blood pressure. Losing even a small amount of weight may reduce your blood pressure. 

Besides weight loss, keep an eye on your waistline. Men with a waist measurement greater than 40 inches generally have hypertension. Women are at risk if they have a waist measurement above 35 inches.

 

These numbers do vary among ethnic groups. Ask your doctor what is healthy for you. 

 

Exercise regularly

Regular physical activity, 150 minutes a week, can lower blood pressure. It’s important to be consistent. Blood pressure can rise again if you stop exercising regularly.

 

Quit smoking

The benefits of not smoking are numerous.  Quitting reduces your risk of heart disease and improves your overall health and may lengthen your life.

 

Cut back on caffeine

Caffeine doesn’t affect everyone the same. In fact, those that regularly drink coffee may not notice a rise in blood pressure. 

Take your blood pressure before and after having caffeine. If your blood pressure increases by 5 to 10 mm Hg within 30 minutes of caffeine consumption,  you may be sensitive to caffeine. 

 

Reduce stress

Chronic stress may contribute to hypertension. More research is needed to determine the effects of chronic stress on blood pressure. If you respond to occasional stress in unhealthy ways such as drinking alcohol, smoking or overeating. 

Take some time to think about what causes you to stress and consider ways you can reduce or eliminate stress. This may include activities like exercise, hobbies, and finding quiet time alone. 

 

Monitor your blood pressure regularly 

Regular visits with your doctor help manage hypertension. Your doctor may suggest checking your blood pressure daily with an at-home monitor. If you’ve had a recent medication change, your doctor may recommend that you check it beginning two weeks after starting the medication. 

 

 

Learn more about our advanced cardiac care at ccmhhealth.com/heart-and-vascular.

 

Sources 

 

1 Merai R, Siegel C, Rakotz M, Basch P, Wright J, Wong B, Thorpe P. CDC Grand Rounds: A Public Health Approach to Detect and Control Hypertension. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65(45):1261–1264.

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

 

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

worst foods for heart

10 Foods That Destroy a Healthy Heart

February is Heart Month. There’s no better time to make a decision to keep your heart and cardiovascular system healthy for years to come than right now! Here are 10 foods that you should save for occasional treats or find healthy swaps whenever possible: 

 

Deep-fried foods

Fried snacks, fried chicken, French fries, etc.  increase your risk of heart disease. Conventional frying methods create trans fats. Frans tats are a type of fat that raises bad cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol. 

If you crave fried foods, look for alternative recipes. Examples include recipes that bake, air fry or use healthier oils. Many of these recipes also use mock “vegetable” versions or alternate batters. 

 

Cured and processed meats 

Meats such as sausage and bacon are often high in saturated fat. Even low-fat options, however, tend to be very high in sodium. A few thin slices of deli meat may have half your daily recommended amount of salt! 

High sodium intake is linked to high blood pressure, and avoiding extra salt can greatly improve it. 

 

Fast-food burgers

Saturated fats may contribute to heart disease, their relationship isn’t entirely clear. In general, however, saturated fats from animals, especially in combination with carbohydrates, appear to have a negative effect on heart health. Fast- food restaurants tend to use lower quality ingredients as well as unhealthy cooking methods. Avoiding them is a good way to be kind to your heart. 

 

Candy

Diets high in added sugar may help contribute to inflammation, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.

 

Juices and soft drinks

Check your beverage labels carefully. Many soft drinks and juices contain a ridiculous amount of sugar!

 

Diet soda

You would think the fat-free and zero-calorie version of your favorite soft drink may be a good solution. It may be fat-free and zero-calorie, however, some research suggests that the chemicals in diet soda may alter gastrointestinal bacteria. Altered gut bacteria makes people more prone to weight gain. 

 

Pastries and cookies

Baked goods, especially commercially produced ones, are full of sugar. They also likely contain saturated fats or trans fats.

 

Sugar filled cereals 

Like drinks, breakfast cereals often contain sugar. The consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugars in the morning produces inflammation. This in return makes blood sugar go up and down, increasing sugar cravings throughout the day.  

 

Meat-lovers pizza

Pizza is a food that often contains too much sodium (salt) according to the American Heart Association. The more meat and cheese you add, the worse it gets. When eating pizza, limit yourself to one or two slices and opt for veggie-filled varieties. 

 

Margarine

Trans fats are common in sticks of margarine which are often marketed as a healthier alternative to butter. To be on the safe side, select a soft, spreadable margarine that contains no partially hydrogenated oils. Olive oil is also a better alternative. 

Our CCMH providers commit to helping you live a healthier lifestyle! Find a list of them by visiting CCMHHealth.com/Providers

 

Disclaimer 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

Venous Thromboembolism couple

The Third Leading Danger to Your Heart

If asked what the leading vascular diagnosis was, most people would know heart attack and stroke.  However, the third leading cause of danger to your heart is no small matter either. In fact, each year, between 300,000 and 600,000 Americans receive a diagnosis of venous thromboembolism (VTE). 1

VTE has two types: pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).  Deep vein thrombosis is a clot deep in the vein. When a DVT clot breaks away from a vein wall, travels to the lungs, and then blocks some or all of the blood supply, a pulmonary embolism occurs. 

Pulmonary embolism occurs when the DVT clot breaks away, travels to the lungs and blocks part or all of the blood supply. 

 

Symptoms of venous thromboembolism 

 

Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis often include reddish or bluish skin discoloration, a leg that is warm to touch, leg tenderness or pain and swelling in one leg. 

 

Pulmonary embolism symptoms are sudden shortness of breath, stabbing chest pain that gets worse with each breath, rapid heart rate, and an unexplained cough sometimes accompanied by bloody mucus. 

 

The cause of venous thromboembolism 

 

Venous thromboembolism may be caused by cancer, immobilization surgery, or hospitalization.

Deep vein thrombosis occurs when the flow of blood changes or slows. For women, using hormones like oral contraceptives or estrogen for menopause symptoms can also play a role. Pregnancy may also be a cause of VT. 

 

Who is at risk for venous thromboembolism 

 

Those at risk for clotting and developing VT include:

 

those who are overweight or obese

the elderly 

patients of autoimmune disorders 

patients that overproduce blood cells and have thickened blood 

cancer patients 

 

How to prevent venous thromboembolism 

 

You can lower your risk of VT by staying active and losing weight if needed. Discuss concerns you may have with your doctor and take “blood thinners” if recommended. Follow self-care techniques prescribed by your doctor if you have conditions such as diabetes or heart failure. Also, consider the risk of taking certain medications such as hormones.

 

To learn more about our recent achievements in cardiac care, read about our Primary Heart Attack Center certification

 

Source 

1 American Heart Association. What is Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)? 2020.

 

Disclaimer 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

girl needing vitamin d

How to get More Vitamin D in the Winter

Getting sufficient vitamin D is important for your health. A simple blood test ordered by your doctor can confirm your body’s levels. According to a study referenced by U.S. News and World Report, as many as 91% of Americans working indoors are not receiving enough of this vitamin! 1

 

Depending on where you live in the world and what kind of lifestyle you lead, you may be at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency. Some of those at increased risk include people with dark skins, older adults who are housebound, pregnant and breastfeeding women and those with certain medical conditions including, cystic fibrosis, liver disease, Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease.

 

Vitamin D levels drop in the winter 

 

Vitamin D aids in developing a healthy immune system, bones, and supports cognitive functioning. It is known as the “sunshine vitamin” because the easiest method of obtaining it is to spend some time in the sun. Anyone who wears clothing that covers most of their skin when outdoors may not be getting enough sun exposure to make their own vitamin D.

 

Vitamin D is also an important steroid that functions like a hormone in the body. It regulates the functions of more than 200 genes.

 

Though using sunscreen is normally the safest way to enjoy the sunshine, going without it for short periods of time is the key to making your own vitamin D. Sunscreen with SPF 15 decreases the synthesis of Vitamin D by 99% when used as directed, so wait a moment or two before applying when outdoors.

 

Many of us avoid spending much time outdoors in the winter due to cooler temperatures, however. Thankfully, there are other ways to get this essential vitamin even when the sun isn’t shining. 

 

How can we obtain vitamin D without sunlight?

 

There are two main forms of vitamin D. Vitamin D2 is from plant sources. Vitamin D3 is a more active form from animal sources. Both animals and plants receive vitamin D from sunlight exposure. Vitamin D3 may be consumed by eating meat or other animal products such as milk and cheese.

 

Oily fish is a great source of vitamin D to add to your diet. Oily fish includes flounder, Sockeye salmon, sole, tuna, sardines, mackerel, swordfish, sturgeon, whitefish, and rainbow trout. Just a palm-sized serving of these fish may help get anywhere from 75%- 100% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin D. 

 

Though mushrooms are actually fungi, they are the only non-animal source of naturally occurring vitamin D. Wild mushrooms, especially those exposed to UV light have the greatest content of this essential vitamin.  Around 1 cup of raw UV-exposed mushrooms meets or exceeds your daily needs.

 

Many grocery store items have also been fortified in vitamin D. Such items include milk, orange juice, soy milk, and yogurt. 

 

Cod liver oil in liquid form or gel capsules is another great way to receive Vitamin D. Lastly, a supplement may also be needed to achieve healthy Vitamin D levels. Before taking supplements, always discuss them with your doctor. Find a list of our physicians at CCMHHealth.com/providers/.

 

Source 

 

1 Howley, Elaine K. U.S. News and World Report. What’s the Connection Between Vitamin D and Breast Cancer? 27 Jun. 2017.

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

 

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

woman with resolutions

Why We Can’t Keep Our Resolutions

A new year (and especially a new decade) causes many of us to find new resolve to make changes in our lives. Whether your New Year’s Resolution involves common resolutions such as weight loss, or reading more books, or something more unique and personal, you may be wondering if you’re really going to meet your goal. 

 

Well, research says that the majority of us won’t keep our resolutions. Somewhere between 8 and 20% of us will meet our goal based on past statistics. Although that number isn’t encouraging, this, of course, does not mean that it is impossible to succeed. 

 

We hope that by discussing why we can’t keep our New Year’s resolutions, you will be prepared and more likely to proudly enjoy your success in 2020!

 

Here are seven reasons why we can’t keep our New Year’s Resolutions:

 

We didn’t mentally prepare 

 

Changing ingrained habits is not a simple task. How often do we not give resolutions a second thought until December 31st? Often, we make very lofty goals under the influence of holiday cheer and the influence of others. 

 

It is important to step back and consider the possibility of achieving our resolution. We’re not saying you shouldn’t make big goals, but that focusing on smaller changes is a way to help you work up to bigger goals. If you want to save $200 extra every month but only managed to save about $20 each month this year, $200 might be a huge jump. Saving $40 may be more realistic. Next year you can increase the number or even mid-year if it is going well. 

 

We didn’t make specific goals 

 

“Exercise more” is not a good goal! You may be surprised to hear a healthcare organization make such a statement, but less specific goals are more commonly abandoned. 

 

When we don’t make specific goals, it is easier to back out and not achieve them. It is better to think of our bigger goal as the result of following smaller, more specific goals. 

 

For example, if we set a specific measurable goal of completing a certain workout for a certain number of minutes for a certain number of days per week, we’re more likely to reach our goal of exercising more. 

 

We didn’t think about what we truly want 

 

We can get hung up on other’s goals or what we feel society says we should do. We live in a world that lives on social media and the majority of us aren’t portraying life in a completely realistic way. This can leave us feeling depressed, inadequate and like we should be doing more or behaving differently. 

 

Don’t jump on the latest fad diet or take up the latest trend for fear of missing out. If you recognize that you’re struggling with the expectations of others, perhaps finding new ways to celebrate what you love about yourself is what you truly need to do. 

 

Practice self-care by treating yourself to a relaxing massage every month. Discover a deeper appreciation of your talents by cultivating new hobbies. Finding happiness in who you are will cause you to make better decisions and “grow” more efficiently into someone who is happy and better able to meet goals. 

 

We didn’t think of the goal as a true lifestyle change 

 

It’s ok to want to lose a certain number of pounds before bikini season. Sometimes focusing too much on a specific date can be detrimental, however. If we realize that we aren’t going to lose weight by a specific date, we may give up long before the date arrives. 

 

Consider if what you want is truly a change you can stick to long term. Make smaller goals that build on one another. Know you may have mess-ups along the way, but don’t ever lose sight of your goal. 

 

We didn’t give it a good shot 

 

According to an article in Psychology Today, it takes an average of sixty-six days to form a good habit, and much less repetition to form a negative one. How we begin also seems to have an effect on our habit forming outcome. 1 Commit to following through with your resolution at least every day for a month no matter what. If you truly want to ditch it after that, do. However, more likely than not, you will decide it is worth it and be on your way to forming a new habit soon. 

 

We didn’t make a positive goal 

 

Have you ever told yourself not to do or think about something? The next thing you know, it’s all you can think about! Instead of making a goal to “not blow your money on coffee from the coffee shop every morning”, make a goal of “drinking coffee at home.”

 

Do you see what happened? These are essentially the same goals. However, by thinking of it in a positive light, you’re more motivated to want to follow through. Instead of dwelling on your favorite overpriced drink, now you’re thinking of ways you can get your “fix” at home. 

 

We didn’t replace the bad habit with a good one 

 

As we have discussed, we are “creatures of habit.” Getting rid of a bad habit is even more challenging if we aren’t replacing it with something good.

 

 If we want to try to put an end to an unhealthy eating habit, we need to have a healthy alternative ready to grab when the urge hits us. If we are trying to give up soda, for example, we may want to have another beverage readily available like bottled tea or flavored water. 

 

In the end, remember that January 1st is simply a day on the calendar. You may have setbacks, but do not quit. You may need to modify your goals due to circumstances beyond your control, but do not quit. You may mess up horribly tomorrow, but do not quit. 

 

 If you are considering making a change, it’s never too late! Don’t let a date on the calendar dictate you living a healthier, happier life. Take the time to consider your goals, plan, and crush them in 2020! 

 

Happy New Year! 

 

Source 

1 Rubin, Gretchen. Psychology Today. Stop Expecting to Change Your Habit in 21 Days.  21 Oct. 2009.

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

 

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

girl surviving holiday without loved one

Surviving Your First Holiday Without A Loved One

The holidays are often referred to as “the most wonderful time of the year.” Surviving your first holiday without a loved one, however, is a difficulty that seems unimaginable to get through. Holiday traditions which once brought us much cheer, suddenly intensify our pain when we experience the gaping hole of loss. 

 

Sometimes, there is truly nothing that makes grief better. Unfortunately, it is something we just have to pass through. Will all of these tips to surviving your first holiday without a loved one help? Perhaps, or perhaps not. However, our loved ones lost wouldn’t expect us to continue on in suffering. You should not feel guilty for attempting to cope or even find renewed joy in this season. 

 

Here are five tips for surviving your first holiday after loss:

 

Celebrate or don’t

 

Don’t feel forced or obligated to do anything as far as the holidays are concerned. Although others have the best intentions and just want you to feel better, there is nothing wrong with saying “no.” You don’t have to attend any festivities you don’t feel up to, and you don’t have to rush through the holidays due to the date on a calendar. 

 

Don’t let anyone tell you that being alone is not good for you. Everyone handles grief differently, especially when surviving your first holiday without a loved one. Sometimes ignoring grief by surrounding ourselves in the hustle and bustle of the holidays may cause you to need longer to work through it. 

 

If your loss is fairly new, you may wish to simply delay a family gathering. This is ok. There is no rule that you must celebrate on a specific date. 

 

Carry on with old traditions or discover new ones 

 

Life after loss is a great time to find comfort in traditions that reminded us of our loved one. We may watch their favorite holiday films or prepare their favorite holiday dishes just like always. We may feel strange about carrying on like “normal” after loss how we did before. That is ok. There is nothing wrong with creating new traditions. 

 

Sometimes, you may find great comfort in finding new holiday traditions. You may wish to light a candle or still set a place for them at the table. You may wish to continue to give to their favorite charity or volunteer in their honor. The possibilities are endless. This could lead to you creating traditions you actually look forward to experiencing in the future. 

 

Ask for help when you need it 

 

Grief is draining and exhausting. You may feel a variety of feelings while trying to get through the normal day to day things as well as holiday events. If you need to cut back on some activities, ask for help! If you need help even doing little things like running personal errands, ask for help! 

 

Those who love you will surely love the opportunity to help. Shutting others out and just trying to push through as you always did before your loss may actually set you back and make it harder to process your grief. 

 

Make your mental health a priority 

 

To go along with asking for help, you may find comfort in talking about your grief with others in a support group, attending therapy sessions, or finding religious support through a faith-based organization. To find recommendations of local support groups, reach out to our pastoral care team by visiting ccmhhealth.com/pastoral-care

 

Watch out for unhealthy coping patterns 

 

If it’s been a while since your loss and you find yourself feeling apathetic, hopeless, or exhausted, grief experts warn this could be signs of depression. This may lead to unhealthy behaviors, such as withdrawing from social situations, excessive alcohol consumption or self-harm.

 

Taking care of yourself while grieving, both emotionally and physically, is so important! Get plenty of rest, eat healthy meals, and exercise. Dealing with grief alone is difficult. Don’t let it take a toll on your physical health too. 

 

For some, grief is even debilitating and doesn’t improve with time. If more than a year has passed since your loss and you are experiencing symptoms such as intensified sadness, inability to enjoy life and can focus on little besides your loss, please reach out to a CCMH provider. We want to help you restore your life to one of joy, meaning, and purpose. 

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

 

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

woman smiling bladder health

Six Steps to a Healthier Bladder

There is nothing like the uncomfortable burning sensation of a urinary tract infection (UTI). Bladder health changes as we get older, and sometimes bladder problems such as UTIs or incontinence are unavoidable. 

November is Bladder Health Month! Since bladder health is important for everyone, make sure you review these six steps to a healthier bladder:

 

Mind your liquids. 

Alcohol and caffeine are hard on your bladder. Cut down on items like chocolate, sodas, tea, and coffee. Most individuals need to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. It is also best to drink at least half of your liquid consumption in water each day. Nothing is better for your bladder health than water! 

 

Dress in a way that promotes bladder good health.

Wear loose-fitting clothes and cotton underwear. Loose-fitting, cotton clothing allows air to keep the area around the urethra dry. Nylon underwear and tight-fitting jeans may trap moisture, helping bacteria grow.

 

Eat healthy and maintain a healthy weight.

High fiber foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables help your body to avoid constipation. Over-full bowels due to constipation can press on the bladder. This reduces the amount of urine it can hold, making you feel you need to pass urine urgently. Constipation can also affect your pelvic floor muscles.

 

Quit smoking. 

Not only does smoking increase your risk of bladder cancer, but it also can lead to incontinence. This happens when a chronic cough that develops from smoking puts extra pressure on the bladder.

 

Be mindful when urinating.

Fully empty the bladder each time you urinate by taking the time to relax and not rush urination. For women, it is best to sit on the toilet seat as hovering over the seat may make relaxing more difficult.

Women should always wipe from front to back after urinating or having a bowel movement to keep bacteria from getting into the urethra. 

 

Urinate after sex. 

Men and women alike should urinate following sex to flush away bacteria that may have entered the urethra during intercourse.

 

Exercise. 

Physical activity not only helps you maintain or lose weight, but it helps prevent constipation. Pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegel exercises, in particular, help hold urine in the bladder. Performing these exercises daily strengthens these muscles and prevents urine from leaking when you cough, sneeze, lift, or have a sudden urge to urinate or laugh.

 

 

Need a urologist? Call our Physician Referral Line today! 

 

Disclaimer 

 

The Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not provide specific medical advice for individual cases. Comanche County Memorial Hospital does not endorse any medical or professional services obtained through information provided on this site, articles on the site or any links on this site.

 

Use of the information obtained by the Comanche County Memorial Hospital website does not replace medical advice given by a qualified medical provider to meet the medical needs of our readers or others.

 

While content is frequently updated, medical information changes quickly. Information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. For questions or concerns, please contact us at contact@ccmhhealth.com.

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