The three-pronged media surge about enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), influenza and Ebola has heightened awareness about the presence of infectious diseases and the methods of preventing the spread of those infections. Information is a good thing. Of course, becoming a victim of any of the three would not be a good thing.
Whether you believe the dangers of these viruses are overhyped or not, you should know that locally, Teton Valley Health Care stays current with global and national health concerns and makes every effort to share up-to-date treatment and prevention recommendations with our community and our staff.
Training for all employees who could have contact with a potential Ebola patient has already begun. In virtually every way, our clinical personnel know and follow preventive measures as part of their regular routine. With a deadly infection like Ebola, extra care must be taken in terms of information gathering, hazardous material disposal and decontamination. In the unlikely event that TVHC would have contact with an Ebola patient, we would certainly render initial care and then follow protocols to transfer the patient to an appropriate facility.
Rural hospitals and clinics such as ours are not immune to the health issues of our world. Although we may not have to worry about an onslaught of guinea worm, we do need to be prepared for diseases that have the ability to travel to and spread among our population, in addition to the contagious illnesses that sprout from within our community such as giardiasis, influenza, and chicken pox. The unfortunate resurgence of some childhood diseases such as pertussis and German measles are also potentially deadly illnesses for which we must be prepared.
As a community, we should take every viable opportunity to defend ourselves against diseases. This includes becoming informed from reliable sources, getting proven vaccinations and following the basics: wash your hands often and thoroughly, cover your coughs and sneezes, and stay home if you’re sick.
At Teton Valley Hospital, we have a visitor restriction policy in place. At both clinics and our hospital, face masks and hand-cleansing stations are posted at each entryway. We’ve increased the number of facility cleanings and our admissions employees clean their patient area stations after encounters.
We continue to offer free pulse-oximetry tests for anyone who is concerned they – or their children – may have EV-D68. Flu shots are available for $25 although most insurances do cover flu and other vaccinations.
If you need vaccinations or medical treatment but can’t afford it, please contact our financial counselor at (208) 354-6331 about our financial assistance plans and charitable care availability. Whether or not you choose to have medical services at our clinics or hospital, we can also help you understand your health insurance policy so you get the full benefits of your coverage.
It was 10 a.m. October 19Sunday morning when my daughter Hanna and I decided to fulfill our shared goal of kayaking at String Lake. Our family has visited String Lake many times for short hikes and picnics and we’ve always been envious of people who were out on canoes, SUPs, or kayaks on this translucent fairy-tale of a lake.
Only a couple months ago Hanna had said to me “Mom, are we really going to let another summer go by without kayaking on String Lake?” That put a burr under my saddle that finally resulted in action, though by now we were firmly into pre-winter season.
I announced our intentions to the male side of our family and my husband, who already had a tee time at Targhee Village, responded less than enthusiastically as he went out the door with his golf bag though he did promise to be back by 1 p.m. to head over Teton Pass. My teenage son assured me that we’d have fun without him and that he intended to remain glued to his laptop playing an addictive monster vs. monster game rather than go outside on a crystal clear day in the Tetons.
Using my best mother skills, I cajoled him into coming with us by being alternately threatening and heart-broken. Just as I was about to remind him that I could die at any moment from any number of horrific medical crises, he closed his laptop and pledged his participation.
I had the rental kayaks, lunch bags, beverages and kids all ready to go when my husband came back early (early!) from golfing and off we went, toward adventure, beauty and timeless family moments. Ten minutes into the drive, no one was speaking to each other due to a few snippy remarks about what a wet, rotten, freezing cold time we were all going to have. In other words, someone really wanted to finish his golf game.
In silence, we finished the 90-minute drive arriving at the beach at 2:30 p.m. Suddenly, it became clear that we were not driving to our doom. The Cathedral Peaks were reflected like etchings on the water which sparkled and beckoned us to float upon it. So we did.
By Tony Hochstetler from Fort Collins (String Lake Panorama – Explored)
Some people toss around adjectives like popcorn and we all become tired of the hyperbole. Was that bologna sandwich really fabulous? Does her salon hair color really look absolutely incredible?
I’m here to tell you that String Lake was magical that afternoon. Depths of different shades of green. Shadows of fish bursting under us. The hush of the mountains and crackle of red-gold autumn leaves in the breeze. The sound of our teenagers laughing as they rowed their double seated kayak together.
My husband and I floated upstream, taking in the views and occasionally dipping an oar to swing us to another perspective of the range or the beach or the kids. The word “lucky” was said a few times.
I believe that everyone needs these moments out in nature. There’s a power in wild waters, mountains and greenery that heals and redefines us. The Palmer family drove home that day feeling closer, content, and lucky.
Disclaimer: This blog discusses my personal wellness goals and is in no way a soapbox to tell anyone else how to eat, exercise and/or live their lives.
That caught your attention. To be clear, breast cancer does not lead to an Ebola infection nor does Ebola put you at increased risk for breast cancer. However, they share the importance of monitoring yourself and being vigilant to stay well.
With Ebola, if one has traveled to certain countries and develops symptoms, they need to seek medical attention to save their life.
With breast disease, if one detects a lump or a change, it is imperative to seek medical attention to save one’s life.
Men as well as women can develop breast cancer, so men should not ignore changes.
You know your body better than anyone else, so you will be the best to detect subtle changes or irregularities. These changes will not be detectable overnight, but may arise over a period of a month. It is recommended that a particular day of the month; 1st, 15th or last day of the month be your day for self-examination. For women, it is best to schedule your self-exam several days after the last day of your menstrual cycle. It will be easiest to detect changes at that time.
Breast self-examination is easily performed by you in the shower with a liquid soap. It is important to include the entire breast, the area beneath the breast and the armpit. One should be one alert for a bloody discharge, or a different discharge and changes in the skin of the nipple. These nipple changes may be a rash, scaling or an unusual skin tag. You can visit Teton Valley Health Care’s breast health information webpage for more information about self exams and general breast health. Teton Valley Hospital can also provide you additional information with diagrams to assist you.
Mammograms are an excellent partner for breast self-examination. This partnership is critical as approximately 15% of all breast cancers are not detectable by mammography. Current recommendations for mammograms begin at age 40 and at intervals of one to two years. If one waits until that age or the next mammogram to have a lump evaluated valuable time is lost, and options may radically change. Unfortunately, many are fearful of finding a lump or that if a lump is detected a biopsy will be necessary. The sooner one finds a cancer, the more options are available. Biopsies should not be feared. Today, most biopsies are performed under local anesthesia through a nick in the skin, with minimal discomfort and a tiny scar.
It is imperative that you do not ignore a potential change you may detect during a self-exam, and that your provider listens to your concerns.
In breast cancer: earlier is better than later, smaller is better than larger, know and trust what you body tells you.