December

December is the month that we celebrate Christ’s birth by giving gifts.

Please continue to stay safe by avoiding unnecessary contact, wearing a mask and washing your hands frequently. We would recommend influenza vaccines for everyone over 6 months old. High dose vaccines are recommended for patients 65 and older. The symptoms of COVID-19 and influenza are indistinguishable. All of our influenza vaccines are preservative free and quadrivalent.

Our goal is to keep you as healthy as possible. We strive to keep all of our patients out of the hospital and out of the urgent care center. Always call us first, 24/7, if you have a medical need. When the office is closed, a call to our regular office number (434) 973-9744 will put you in touch with the provider on call.

-Eat a heart healthy diet that is low in carbohydrates

-Try to get 30-60 minutes of aerobic exercise every day

-Obtain enough sleep

-Quit smoking

-Schedule an annual wellness visit with your primary provider

Wishing everyone a Blessed Christmas with the ones you love.

COVID-19

We are following the coronavirus situation closely.

We encourage you to wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds, avoid putting your hands to your face, cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze and avoid crowds if you are feeling unwell.

If you develop a fever >100.4, have a cough and shortness of breath please call our office and speak with a nurse. please do not walk in the office without an appointment if · you have these symptoms.

Influenza Details

Influenza

Many people refer to the “flu” as being either a cold or the “stomach flu”. Influenza is a contagious respiratory viral illness that affects the nose, throat, and lungs. Influenza outbreaks occur in the late fall and winter with varying degrees of severity. The symptoms of the flu are: chills with moderate to high fever, cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, runny nose, and fatigue. Usually, these symptoms come on quickly.

Spread

The flu spreads by an infected person coughing or sneezing and these droplets landing on a commonly used surface, or on another person. The flu virus droplets can live on surfaces for 2 to 8 hours. When another person touches the surface and then their eyes, mouth, or nose they can become infected with the flu virus. If a sick person sneezes within 4-5 feet of another individual these droplets can spray onto this person potentially spreading the flu to this person.

Period of contagiousness

Twenty four hours before a person begins to experience symptoms, they can begin to spread the illness. Children can actually begin to spread the disease 2 days before they begin to show symptoms. The ill person is contagious for approximately 5 days.

Complications

The flu can cause our bodies to be weakened so that we cannot resist other diseases such as bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, or dehydration. The flu can be severe in people with other diseases such as asthma, diabetes or pregnant women or elderly people.

Prevention

Of course, the best prevention for yourself and for the community that you live in is the flu vaccine. Currently, Family Medicine of Albemarle has the flu vaccine. Family Medicine of Albemarle has the preservative free Quadrivalent vaccine. Don’t wait as the flu vaccine does take 10-14 days to provide excellent protection. Everyone 6 months and older should receive the yearly flu vaccine.

Hand-washing is the second way of prevention. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth until you are able to wash your hands either with soap or with hand sanitizers.

If you are sick, do not spread the disease by being in public. An ill person should not go back to class, work, or be in public areas until they have been fever-free for 24 hours or 5 days whichever is the longer. Cover your cough with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and then wash your hands for 20 seconds.

Resources

Check out information on the Centers for Disease Control site

Insomnia Treatment 101

I see a lot of patients with sleep problems. Typically, they’ve received a lot of advice from family and have seen more than a few drug commercials offering relief. Sometimes a patient will let me know which drug they think will help them the most. Instead of prescribing a drug I tend to ask them questions in an effort to tease out an underlying cause. If an underlying cause can’t be found I discuss Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). Only a small subset of patients take CBT seriously, which really is a shame. Yesterday, while perusing emails I saw this article in the New York Times discussing CBT. It’s a good introduction to CBT for insomnia, and a quick read. Hopefully, it helps someone get a better night’s sleep. URL/Link

How FMOA Docs Save You Money

There’s tons of data from the world health organization describing how the U.S. citizen pays far more for healthcare than any other developed nation, receives less benefit for their money, and can expect worse long term outcomes on average (see report for more info) But there are a few clinicians in the U.S. healthcare system that buck this trend. This article describes clinicians that sound a lot like the family docs at FMOA, and explains how FMOA docs saves you time and money.

Why Your Doctor is Late

Being a family doctor is a blessing but I often feel like I’m spinning plates. A few months back I saw this article describing a typical day in a family doc’s life, and why she keeps her patient’s waiting. I could definitely relate to this doc’s experience. Our responsibilities keep us busy but if our patients are patient with us, the blessing of caring for families is worth the plate spinning.

http://www.businessinsider.com/why-your-doctor-is-always-late-2015-1