All Posts tagged teton valley

Good Choice, Bad Choice: Things that go THUMP in the night

Ann Loyola

Ann Loyola

Anyone can come up with at least one thing that wakes them up in the middle of the night. Barking dogs, thunderstorms, nightmares and so on.

I recently had an unusual wake-up call at 5:15 a.m. when I opened my eyes to a sudden painful scrunching in my left chest area. Not wanting to disturb the peaceful slumber of the two cats and husband beside me, I told myself to breathe calmly, deeply, and (hopefully) continuously. I soon felt a mighty thump in my chest, a release of the squeezing feeling and a burst of warmth flowing to the ends of my toes and fingertips.

So I rested there for about an hour, telling myself to relax relax relax, there was nothing to be concerned about, no need to elbow my husband or nudge the drooling cats off the side of the bed. After all, it was highly unlikely that I was having a heart attack of any type because – well – because I don’t have heart attacks. Then I started ticking off the facts of my basic profile:

  1. I’m 54. Certainly old enough.
  2. Overweight? Check.
  3. Exercise regularly? No.
  4. Family history of heart disease? Yes.
  5. Any chronic issues that could negatively impact my heart? Yes, lupus can affect heart tissue.

That’s five out of five. What would an intelligent person do at this point of realization?

I decided to ignore all of the medical information about heart attack symptoms that I know very well because I’m a healthcare marketer so it’s my job to tell people to get immediate medical assistance if there’s even a miniscule chance that they’re having a heart attack. I fell into the high percentage pool of people who think that it would be terribly embarrassing to call 911 or be driven to the ER, only to discover that the problem was a panic attack or heartburn. After all, what could be worse: dying of a heart attack or having a doctor tell you that you’re not having a heart attack? Ummm …

Anna Gunderson PA-C chastised me gently but thoroughly during my clinic appointment at 10am that morning, reminded me that “time is muscle” and that I should have come to the ER via driver or ambulance, and by the way, shouldn’t I know better?

At the end of the day, my lab tests, an EKG and chest X-ray indicated that I hadn’t suffered a cardiac event. My rheumatologist suspected pericarditis brought on by systemic lupus. While I felt somewhat relieved, I was also smacked with the reality that I could have a heart attack and that in fact, many of my friends and acquaintances could have a heart attack at any moment and need to have their lives saved by the very people with whom I work.

I’m making a donation today to our hospital foundation’s campaign to raise funds to buy a Zoll defibrillator unit for our ambulance and a cardiopulmonary DASH monitor for our E.R. I discovered that last year alone, our current E.R. DASH monitor system assisted 126 people in cardiac distress and almost 500 people with respiratory ailments.

Please consider supporting this campaign for acquiring this essential equipment and who knows? It just might save your life.

More

Health ABCs from a PA-C

AnnaG_Family Photo_2014We all make choices every day, every hour.

My goal with this blog is to enable you and your family to make the best choices you can about how you live your life in relation to your health.

The decisions we make, large and small, throughout our lifetimes play an important role in our overall health, and I hope to encourage positive changes that may help improve the lives of my patients and readers.

I believe the philosophies of both Western and alternative therapies can work together to aid the healing process. I’ll provide you with evidence-based medicine to help you make informed decisions on therapies you may be using at home, or may be contemplating adding to your wellness routine.

Teton Valley is a great place for growing and healing. I enjoy the outdoor activities our area has to offer, including rock climbing, backcountry skiing and hiking. My husband, Jansen, and our Great Pyrenees mix, Kingsley, especially love the long winters and powder days.

I’m excited for my 7-month-old girl, Saraya, to grow up in Teton Valley. I’ve lived here for two years, after spending six years in Jackson, Wyo. I love the peacefulness of the valley and the strong, lively community of which we are a part.

Disclaimer
This blog is meant for educational purposes only and should not be considered direct medical advice. Consult your provider before beginning any activities or programs. Anna Gunderson, PA-C is a nationally certified Physician Assistant. She sees patients at the Driggs and Victor Health Clinics. For more information or to make an appointment, call (208) 354-2302.

More

Sign-ups strong in Teton Valley as Obamacare deadline approaches

The federal website has improved since its rocky start, making enrolling people easier.

More