Thursday, May 21, 2015

Meet Priscilla Scott

Every one of us has a story we can share. Think of a past event in your life related to GBMC. Whether it’s care you received, an opportunity you have, or a loved one you remember, this event should have very personal meaning to you. What’s happened in your life since your experience at GBMC? Read Priscilla Scott’s story below, and share yours at www.gbmc50.com/mystory.

Priscilla Scott's Story: "Doctors Treat You Like Family"


My daughter and granddaughter started coming to GBMC long before I became a patient. I have had diabetes, high blood pressure and other health complications for quite some time and was receiving care from another primary care doctor in Baltimore. One day, I brought my granddaughter to her pediatrician’s appointment at GBMC and I immediately saw why my family spoke so highly of their doctors. I loved the way that the doctor took care of my granddaughter, treating her like family. After that experience, I changed doctors and became a patient at Family Care Associates. I wanted better care for myself and the location is more convenient for me too. I have been a patient here for five years.

My family and I all now have the same family care physician. Dr. Mathey really helps me monitor my blood and sugar levels to take control of my diabetes. Both Dr. Mathey and Anne Conrad, the nurse care manager, teach me how to take better care of myself. At every appointment, we talk about good eating habits and different types of healthy activities I can do.  She also helps me to stay connected with specialists like my podiatrist.

I could not be more satisfied with the care that GBMC gives me and my family. On a scale of one to ten (ten being the best), we would give them a nine because nobody is perfect, but GBMC is the next best thing! Dr. Mathey helps us understand how we can continue to stay healthy and how we can improve while providing great resources. Whenever one of us needs an appointment, Family Care Associates makes time for us as quickly as they can.

I feel like my family and I are a part of a larger family at GBMC. They know our names, who we are and even remember our discussions from previous visits. Everything is very organized and taken care of in a timely manner, which is very important to me. I couldn’t be happier with my decision to become a GBMC patient.

In need of a primary care physician? Visit www.mygbmcdoctor.com to find one who is right for you.

Ischemic Vascular Disease Awareness

It is never too early to pay attention to risks associated with heart disease and stroke. High levels of cholesterol, among other factors, increase the body’s risk for ischemic vascular disease (IVD). IVD is characterized by plaque buildup in the blood vessels. The buildup results in a condition called atherosclerosis that restricts normal blood flow and can affect any artery of the heart, brain, arms, legs, pelvis and kidneys. The term “ischemic vascular disease” includes any of the diseases caused by plaque buildup including:

  • Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) – refers to atherosclerosis in the arteries of the heart
  • Carotid Artery Disease (CAD) – refers to plaque buildup in the arteries on either side of the neck
  • Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) – refers to a buildup of plaque in the arteries that carry blood to the head, organs and limbs

All types of IVD are caused by atherosclerosis, and there are many factors that can trigger plaque buildup in the arteries. These factors include:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High sugar levels due to insulin resistance or diabetes
  • High amounts of fats and cholesterol in the blood

Cholesterol on its own is necessary for building new cells throughout the body, insulating nerves and producing hormones. The liver makes this necessary cholesterol, creating it in exactly the quantities that the body needs to remain healthy. When cholesterol is introduced into the body from foods, including milk, eggs and meat, it begins to stockpile in the blood and build up in the arteries. This can lead to a narrowing of the arteries, increased stress on the heart and heart disease.

Waiting for signs or symptoms of plaque buildup to occur may be life threatening as IVD typically does not cause symptoms until the artery is severely narrowed or totally blocked. The best prevention of high cholesterol and IVD is to work with a primary care physician to have cholesterol and lipid (fat) levels checked through blood tests. This will allow the physician to detect possible plaque buildup in the arteries before blood flow is impacted.

Treating IVD can be completed through medications to control blood pressure and high cholesterol or routine surgeries to remove plaque buildup. Other treatment options include smoking cessation, dietary changes, maintaining or achieving a healthy weight and incorporating more physical activity into your daily routine.

For more information about IVD and cholesterol levels, visit your primary care physician. To find a physician who is right for you, visit www.mygbmcdoctor.com or call 443-849-GBMC (4262).

Couch to 5K—Month Three Tips and Tricks

You have made it to month three of your Couch to 5K training, and that is truly something to celebrate! If you are interested in running your first 5K but have never run before, complete month one (Tips for Starting Out) and month two (Your Second Month of Training) before advancing to the plan below. Consult with your primary care physician before beginning any exercise program because your health and safety are the most important elements of any exercise regimen.

In month three of your Couch to 5K preparations, you will focus on more running, more cross-training and how to run in non-flat race situations. You will test your skills to see how far you’ve come, hone in on healthier decisions, hydrate frequently and start to get excited: Your first 5K is only a month away (If you haven’t signed up for the GBMC Father’s Day 5K, register now!).
Tips to help you power through Month 3:

At least once per week, perform some kind of cross-training (for ideas, see Exercises for a Fitter New Year).

Spend time at least twice per week just stretching, helping your muscles release tension, creating lean muscle mass and improving your recovery now that you have increased the amount of running you’re completing.

At least once per week for all of month three, run on a non-flat surface. If you have been running on a treadmill or track up to this point, terrain changes might come as a little bit of a shock. Most 5K courses are not perfectly flat and knowing how to handle the ups and downs of the route will help you enjoy the experience from start to finish.

  • If you need to slow your pace, do so. There is no point in using up all of your energy on a hill in the first mile when you know you still have two miles to go.  
  • Focus on lifting your knees in front of you, high-knee style. While this sounds silly, lifting your knees shifts your body’s center of balance making hill-tackling less energy sapping.
  • Breathe more frequently. Running on hilly paths taxes your cardiovascular system. Take one breath every two to three steps to keep your body oxygenated and moving forward. 
  • Take smaller steps. In addition to keeping your knees up and in front of you, decrease the length of your stride if you’re finding the hill to be challenging. This will help you cover the same amount of ground with less physical work. 
  • On the way down the hill, “stride it out.” In runner’s speak, that means taking longer steps as you descend. Keep your chest back to balance your body and let your legs stretch out as you run down the decline. This gives those muscles that worked so hard on the incline the ability to loosen up for the rest of your run.

Month 3 Training - Weeks 1 & 2

  • After warming up, start out at a light jog for five minutes.
  • Walk briskly for one minute.
  • Repeat four times for a total of 24 minutes.
  • Run for the last six minutes. 
  • Walk for one to two minutes to lower your heart rate.
  • This should be repeated 2-3 times each week.
  • Stretch out after your exercise session. 

Month 3 Training - Weeks 3 & 4

  • After warming up, start out at a light jog and run for at least ten minutes. 
  • If you feel strong, proceed with running. If necessary, slow to a brisk walk for one minute, then resume running for several minutes. 
  • Alternate one minute of walking with several minutes of running until you’ve completed about 30 minutes of exercise.
  • These sessions should be repeated 2-3 times per week. 
  • Stretch out after each exercise session.
If you have yet to sign up for the Father’s Day 5K benefiting GBMC’s NICU, visit www.gbmc.org/5k for information and to register. And stay tuned for the last installment, “Tips for Your First 5K,” coming in June. See you at the race!

An Energetic Second Act

For Bill and Audrey Sento, retired education professionals from Ridge, MD, chronic hip pain due to osteoarthritis robbed them of the active life they had planned for themselves. Both patients of Leroy (Lee) M. Schmidt, MD, Bill had his left hip replaced in August 2013 and his right replaced in July 2014, and Audrey had her right hip replaced in February 2014, which has given them the opportunity to enjoy their retirement. This is their story, in their own words. 

Before Surgery

Bill: “Life was pretty painful and I had a difficult time being mobile because of that.  I couldn’t go fishing and had trouble walking and getting around in general. Dr. Schmidt was recommended to us by a nurse we know and after some tests and discussion about my left hip, he recommended surgery. I had a lot of respect for his opinions - he even predicted that I might need the right side done.”

Audrey: “I didn’t have much quality of life in terms of pain and ability to navigate or move in a way that I wanted to.  In the days before my surgery, I couldn’t sleep at all during the night. Painkillers didn’t work for me, and my pain radiated all the way up and down the leg from my ankle through the buttocks area.  We came to our hero, Dr. Schmidt, and he helped us both tremendously.”

Surgery and Recovery

Bill: “I’m pleased about our decisions to go through with the hip replacement surgeries at GBMC. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Dr. Schmidt and the people who work alongside him. Joint replacement surgery is a major surgery, but neither of us had complications. After a short hospital stay and several weeks of physical therapy, we were up and moving again.”

Audrey: “Dr. Schmidt and all of our caregivers were helpful with their explanations of what they were doing, and they all had a way of making you feel comfortable, even though what you’re going through is traumatic.  I’m sure that our quick progress is because Dr. Schmidt gives you the opportunity to set the parameter of what you want to do and then he assists you in that direction.”

Life After Surgery

Bill: “We decided that we wanted to golf when we retired, and are now well on our way to that goal. I am also now able to ride a bicycle and fish, both of which I had a difficult time doing before surgery.

Audrey:  “I sleep much better now and am able to go for walks and garden, two things that I really enjoy.  We also got a puppy about a year ago, a chocolate Labrador named Nali after one of our favorite vacation spots, Denali, Alaska. She requires a lot of exercise – we wouldn’t have been able to keep up with her before surgery.”

Of all of the things Mr. and Mrs. Sento appreciate about their experiences at GBMC, the accessibility and caring of the staff are the most prominent.

Audrey: “If we called with questions, Dr. Schmidt got right back to us, just like a family member would. We have a good life, physically, because we’ve had so many good experiences with the medical team at GBMC.”

Learn More

For more information about orthopedic surgery at GBMC, visit www.gbmc.org/orthopedics or call 443-849-GBMC (4262).

Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken

Ingredients

12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes (24 cubes) 
1 cup fresh pineapple, diced (24 pieces) 
8 6-inch wooden or metal skewers

Sauce

2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons orange juice
1 teaspoon garlic, minced (about 1 clove)
1 teaspoon ginger, minced


Directions

Preheat a broiler or grill on medium-high heat. Thread three chicken cubes and three pineapple chunks alternately on each skewer. Combine ingredients for sauce and mix well; separate into two bowls and set one aside for later.

Grill skewers for 3–5 minutes on each side. Brush or spoon sauce onto chicken and pineapple about every other minute. Discard the sauce when done with this step.

To prevent chicken from drying out, finish cooking skewers in a 350°F oven immediately after grilling (to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F). Using a clean brush or spoon, coat with sauce from the set-aside bowl before serving.

Note: If you use wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before using.


Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 2 skewers
Calories 156
Total Fat 2 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 47 mg
Sodium 320 mg
Total Fiber 0 g
Protein 18 g
Carbohydrates 16 g
Potassium 255 mg


Recipe Source: Reprinted with permission from Keep the Beat™ Recipes: Deliciously Healthy Family Meals. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. NIH Publication No. 10-7531. Page 13. December 2010. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Meet Sean Squires

Every one of us has a story we can share. Think of a past event in your life related to GBMC. Whether it’s care you received, an opportunity you have, or a loved one you remember, this event should have very personal meaning to you. What’s happened in your life since your experience at GBMC? Read Sean Squires’ story below, and share yours at www.gbmc50.com/mystory.

Sean Squires' Story: "Finding My Niche"

A few years ago, my grandfather was admitted to the Gilchrist Center in Towson. He was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer that had metastasized to other parts of his body. The doctors said he would have six months or less to live, but the time frame became less and less as time went on. In a matter of eleven days from his diagnosis, my grandfather was taken away from my family, this world and myself.

After his diagnosis, most of my grandfather’s time was spent between the hospital and Gilchrist Hospice Care. The staff at Gilchrist took exceptional care of my grandfather while he was under their watch. They came in to check on him, and us, every hour on the hour. Staff members came in with smiles on their faces and brightened up the room, even when the days seemed gloomy. Not a moment went by that I was displeased with the care Gilchrist provided.

Death is always a saddening event. We fear for our loved ones, we fear for our own lives without them and, most of all, we fear for that empty place in our hearts that will never be filled again once they are gone. The staff at Gilchrist made our journey through death easier. Every time I think of what they did for my grandfather, I will be forever grateful.

My mom was working in the finance department for Gilchrist at the time of my grandfather's arrival to the Towson inpatient unit. After my grandfather passed, I spent days thinking and hoping his death was all a dream.

Then one day it hit me: I decided I wanted to give back to hospice because of the amazing care they provided for my grandfather. I knew it would be rough, especially with the recent loss of my grandfather, but I knew I wanted to be the one helping other families through this rough journey. With help from my mom and through contacting a few people, I was hired as a Certified Nursing Assistant for Gilchrist Hospice Care. To this day, receiving that job was one of the most rewarding and amazing experiences I have ever had.

Without Gilchrist, I would not have grown to be the person I am today. It changed my outlook on life, taught me what the priorities in life are and trained me on how to nurture and show compassion to the utmost. It is so rewarding to be there for someone's first breath into the world, and equally rewarding to experience his or her last breath as they leave this world. Without Gilchrist I would not be on the journey I am on today.

I know now, after working for hospice, that it is definitely my passion and drive. I am currently enrolled in nursing school, looking forward to graduation and beginning my new journey as a Registered Nurse providing hospice care.

I am elated and proud that I have found my niche and something that is very near and dear to my heart. Without Gilchrist I would not have been able to experience the changes I went through as a person, wouldn’t have seen the amazing things I saw or have been able to create such rewarding bonds with such amazing staff members at Gilchrist Hospice Care.

Schedule Your Child's School Physical Today!

As the weather gets warmer and summer approaches, it is easy to get excited about upcoming vacations, trips to the beach or pool, Orioles games and plenty of other fun summer activities. With all of those thrilling events on the horizon, getting a school physical is one thing that might get pushed to the back burner.

If you or your friends and loved ones have kids, it is important to know that many summer camps, athletic programs and nearly all schools require that children between the ages of four and 17 have annual physicals. Before this important item gets forgotten in the rush of summer fun, and before the end-of-summer sneaks up on you, schedule your child’s annual checkup today.

There are many reasons to make sure children get annual physicals or “well checks.” During this exam, the care provider will:

  • Discuss nutritional and sleep needs
  • Order tests depending on risk factors for conditions like anemia or high cholesterol
  • Perform age- and gender-specific checks
  • Perform a physical examination
  • Review and update immunizations

Let us help with checking that item off your “to-do” list before camp and school registrations are due. If it has been a year since your child’s last checkup, visit www.mygbmcdoctor.com/todolist to request a physical for him or her. A GBMC team member will call you back within 1 business day to schedule an appointment.

If you need to select a new primary care physician for you or your child, call 443-849-GBMC (4262) or visit www.mygbmcdoctor.com.