VETERAN’S NEWS From the Internet
Gathered by Bob Kinsler, SSG (ret),
Make a date during Heart Health Month – By Dr. Sally Haskell, Deputy Chief Consultant for Women’s Health Services February 2, 2016
As VA Goes Red for heart health month, women Veterans are encouraged to work with their primary care providers to make a personal plan for heart healthy living. If women Veterans haven’t had a primary care visit in a year, they are encouraged to “make a date.” Heart disease is the number one killer of women and high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, or smoking can increase your risk of heart disease.
Ignore the myths — Here are the facts Heart disease affects women of all ages. For younger women, the combination of birth control pills and smoking boosts heart disease risks by 20 percent. Even if you’re a yoga-loving, marathon-running workout fiend, your risk for heart disease isn’t completely eliminated. Factors like cholesterol, eating habits and smoking can counteract your other healthy habits. Sixty-four percent of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms. Because these symptoms vary greatly between men and women, they’re often misunderstood.
Media has conditioned us to believe that the telltale sign of a heart attack is extreme chest pain. But in reality, women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, back or jaw pain, and sometimes unexplained excessive fatigue. Reviewing Heart Health with your Primary Care Provider. At your check up with your primary care provider you should have a discussion about your cardiovascular health and risk factors. Since heart disease is the number one killer of women, and kills more women than all forms of cancer combined, your primary care visit will emphasize cardiovascular risks and making a personal plan for heart healthy living.
The American Heart Association estimates that 80 percent of all cardiovascular disease may be preventable, and it’s always better to prevent it than treat it after it becomes life threatening. Women Veterans Program Managers provide advice and advocate for women Veterans.
When you make an appointment to see your primary care provider, women Veterans should use the tips below to prepare and check here for more information on these tips:
Make a list of questions to ask the doctor. Start researching your family’s health history. Know all your prescription medications that you currently take.
Important Questions to Ask Your Doctor There are important questions you can ask your doctor to help them pinpoint any specific health concerns that need to be addressed, and to help you better understand your own condition. Will you please explain all these numbers to me? Systolic? Diastolic? Pulse rate, HDL and LDL cholesterol levels, body mass index, and so on. What do you think about my current medication regimen? Is (fill in the blank) something to be concerned about? Changes in your weight, digestion issues, joint pain, headaches, skin conditions, etc. When will the lab results be in? Are there any particular things I need to keep an eye on? Is there anything in my family history I should watch out for? Are there any additional tests, screenings, or counseling you recommend? Are all my shots current? Could you recommend a diet and exercise regimen?
Scheduling Your Appointment at each VA Medical Center nationwide, a Women Veterans Program Manager is designated to provide advice and to advocate for women Veterans. Your program manager can help coordinate all the services you may need, from primary care to specialized care for chronic conditions or reproductive health. Women Veterans who are interested in receiving care at VA should contact the nearest VA Medical Center and ask for the Women Veterans Program Manager.
Veterans receive life-changing help with PTSD in Oklahoma (I saw this in the VFW magazine dated February 2016)
Veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries are getting the help they need for free in the Sooner State thanks to a new treatment that treats the cause instead of the symptoms. Sgt. Chris Gregg’s first taste of combat in the first Gulf War when he fought start to finish in Kuwait. “Kuwait was invaded on the second of August and I was there on the 10th of August,” Gregg said. “I was there until the completion of the war. “Ten years later, it was déjà vu as he returned to Kuwait. “I was reliving some of the things I had done in the first Gulf War, breathing in oil to the point where you’re spitting it up, seeing some of the places where we’d seen, you know, destroyed bodies, not just people that have died but mutilated bodies,” Sgt. Gregg said. “After returning home, that’s when everything really started to fall apart.”
Gregg was diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Years of pills and even electro-shock therapy didn’t help. In fact, things got so bad, he considered ending it all. “It’s extremely hard to say you’re suicidal, so I’d say it’s around five times that I was suicidal,” Sgt. Gregg said. For Sgt. Gregg, one of his worst experiences was when he was seeking help at Oklahoma City’s VA hospital.
“The VA doctor told me he didn’t have room for me. I got upset, kicked over his trash can, and as we were walking out of the building, their security threw me on the ground, and they put me in jail,” Sgt. Gregg said. “It was just another one of those trips where you’re at the end of your rope and when you get turned away. Where was I supposed to go?”
For Dr. William Duncan with the International Hyperbaric Medical Foundation, Gregg’s story hits close to home. One of his closest family members went through the same thing. “He was a Navy corpsman serving in the Marines he was discharged from service and he ended up living in the bedroom in the dark for the next two years,” Dr. Duncan said. Then Dr. Duncan discovered hyperbaric oxygen therapy. It’s commonly used for burn victims and diabetic patients but doctors say it can treat PTSD and traumatic brain injuries too. Dr. Stephen Gick works at the Patriot Clinic and he says the benefits can’t be denied. “The evidence is evidence-based medicine, there’s no doctor who actually reads through that literature that can say this is not an acceptable, medical, this works its black and white now,” Dr. Gick said. “So the oxygen can bring back the function of these injured areas. Dr. Gick said the key is the way the treatment works. “We’re treating the cause of the symptom, not the symptom,” Dr. Gick said. This year, Oklahoma became the first state in the nation to approve this treatment for veterans. The new law creates a payment system, based solely on donations raised by Dr. Duncan’s group.
The International Hyperbaric Medical Foundation hopes to treat 5,000 veterans each year. “These men and women their lives have fallen apart and we only have a few years to rescue them,” Dr. Duncan said. “Basically two years their lives are shattered. It will restore hope it will reduce the suicide rate because there is hope. “Right now, veterans like Gregg can go to the Patriot Clinic where it’s always open and always free. “They told me to come up on a Sunday said come on in we’ll take care of ya,” Gregg said. “So to be able to finally find a place like this that said come and we’ll treat you period has been incredible. “So far, Gregg has had 18 treatments He says one of his biggest problems is already gone. “For the first time in 12 years, I’m not taking any sleeping meds so that’s been a huge relief, just right there” Now, he’s looking forward to his future free from the pain left behind by war. “I’m just excited to see what all can happen,” Gregg said. “I’m more comfortable, I feel better about life, the sky’s the limit. “
Contact William Duncan at 405-603-1933 for more information on this FREE service.
By the way, if you want to complain, add your support, or have something you want added to this article contact me at 580-271-0897 or Email me at BobKinsler@aol.com. This is the veterans’ news and if you have something let me know, please.