Monthly Archives: August 2012

6 Tips to Relieve Caregiver Stress

Taking care of a sick loved one is taxing on many levels. The work, the worry and the drain on time and money can have damaging effects on the caregiver’s own mental and physical health. The problem is so common that health experts have coined a name for it: “caregiver stress.” Stressed-out caregivers have increased risk for high blood pressure, high insulin levels, impaired immune systems, depression and cardiovascular disease. Even worse, a study of spousal caregivers ages 66 to 96 found that those suffering from caregiver stress have a 63 percent higher death rate than noncaregivers of the same age. The bottom line: You can’t effectively care for your mate if you’re not in good health yourself. Read more…

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Get Your Vitamins!

As children we were told by parents to eat our vegetables because they were full of vitamins. In recent years we were given the same advice by scientific researchers who speculated that certain vitamins—the antioxidant vitamins E, C, and beta-carotene (a form of vitamin A)—might help prevent heart disease.

Along with aging comes a process called oxidation that damages cells in every part of the body. (Oxidation, by the way, is the same process that rusts metal and turns a cut apple brown). Oxidized cholesterol and other lipids (fats) in the blood promote atherosclerosis, the buildup of fatty plaque in the walls of arteries that leads to heart attacks and strokes. Read more…


A Little Light of Hope

Post by Shawn Madden, R.N. Shawn is a registered nurse at Rex Hemotology Oncology Associates at the Rex Cancer Center in Raleigh. She has been with Rex since Dec 1, 2001.

This is Leah Gray Nash. She is my niece. She is an 8 year old little girl. Like most 8 year olds, purple is her favorite color, Justin Bieber is her favorite singer and she is a big sister to 3 younger siblings. Unlike most 8 year olds however, Leah has had to battle Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on two separate occasions. After “conventional” chemotherapy failed for Leah, her family was forced to make the decision for Leah to have a bone marrow transplant. The survival rate for the bone marrow was a 50% chance. Read more…

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Unsung Heroes

Ryan ConklinRyan Conklin is a Chef Manager for Culinary & Nutritional Services at Rex. His mission is to bring healthy, gourmet cuisine to the Rex community & shed the label of “hospital food.”

My first job in a professional kitchen wasn’t too glamorous. I definitely wasn’t hand trimming beef tenderloin, chopping fresh herbs, or making a port wine porcini mushroom sauce. As a matter in fact, I never even handled a knife. One thing is for sure, I was going home every night extremely exhausted, feet soaking wet from mopping floors, and my clothes smelling like garbage. At the time, it was all I knew and It was my job. But I did have an extremely important role, I was a potwasher.
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Prediabetes: Why You Shouldn’t Ignore It

Meteorologists can often warn us of impending bad weather. Doctors can often do the same with our health–warning us when we’re at risk for a serious disease.

An example: a condition called prediabetes.

If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, it means you have a blood glucose (sugar) level that is creeping up. Your level isn’t high enough yet to be called type 2 diabetes, but it is abnormally high. The condition is basically a warning that screams, “Pay attention! Danger ahead!” That’s because your risk of developing full-blown diabetes is increased with prediabetes. And once you have diabetes, it never goes away.

But here’s the good news: If you act now, you can slow this trip toward diabetes. You may even be able to stop it altogether. Read more…

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Heart of the Matter

Post by Rose Langley R.D., L.D.N. Rose is a Coordinator for Rex Heart & Vascular Services, Rex Out-Patient Diabetes Education Program and Rex Early Detection Center.

Women are caregivers. We so often take care of all of the family but not ourselves. We take care of the children, our spouses, the dog, the cat, our parents, the house, our jobs and we find time for our friends. However, when it comes right down to it, there is never time for us to do the things that are so important. Things like exercise and maybe even that yearly trip to the doctor. We are just so wrapped up in running around doing for others that we ignore how we feel until we are so run down that it takes a major illness to stop us sometimes. If you are going to be a caregiver you have to take care of number one, and that is you. There is no substitute to good health, and when it’s gone sometimes it is too late. Read more…

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Safe Sitters at Rex

Post by Sarah Johnson and Abby Schiller. Sarah and Abby recently completed the Safe Sitter® class at Rex. Safe Sitter® prepares 11-13 year olds for the responsibilities of nurturing and protecting children through hands-on training with medically-trained experts. Safe Sitter® is a 6½-hour curriculum that includes Infant and Child CPR. Below is what two of the attendees had to say about their experience with the course here at Rex.

If the characters in the book The Baby Sitters Club had taken the Safe Sitter® class at Rex, it would have been a very different story. They would never have had the crazy experiences or at least if something crazy came up they would have known how to handle the situation a whole lot better. Read more…

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Cows for a Good Cause

Post by Teresa Howard. Teresa is an artist from Cary, North Carolina, who was chosen to design the cow sponsored by Rex for CowParade NC 2012.

For three months starting in September 2012, the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill area will be participating in the international public art exhibit known as CowParade. Approximately 100 life size fiberglass cows designed by local artists will be sprinkled throughout the area to raise money for the UNC Children’s Hospitals.

CowParade is headquartered in West Hartford, Connecticut and has produced over 50 major public art events with its signature fiberglass cow canvasses since the celebrated Chicago exhibit in 1999. CowParade exhibits have raised in excess of $20 million for charitable organizations around the globe through their live and online cow auctions, which conclude each event.

I got involved with CowParade when I saw this information in the News and Observer newspaper about a year ago. Read more…

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Lisa’s Story: Spreading Hope as a Volunteer and Survivor

Post by Lisa Decker. Lisa is a 4-year cancer survivor and Cancer Center volunteer at the Rex Patient & Family Resource Center in Raleigh.

Survivor is my Favorite TV show! They take 16 people and drop them off on a tropical island somewhere, with nothing but the few clothes on their backs and a few select personal items. The contestants are of various backgrounds, sexes and ages. None of them have any idea of what they are getting themselves into. For the next 40 days, they participate in various competitions, hoping to win the coveted prize of immunity. Along the way, some of their ‘teammates’ won’t make it—they get voted off, blindsided…some get sick or injured. All of this, on their way to the finale, to win the coveted prize of $1,000,000. It’s kind of weird, but the TV show Survivor, can be compared to surviving cancer. Think about it—you go to the doctor, who tells you, “you have cancer”- it’s like being dropped off in the middle of no where (yes, granted, I would definitely prefer being dropped off on a deserted island, but, hey, go with me here)…with nothing but a bunch of doctors names, and a few select books and the internet to read. For the next months (or years) you, your family and doctors scheme using surgery, drugs and radiation…praying and hoping that you won’t be the one who is blindsided by some weird side effect or worse…battling all for the hope to win the prize at the end: to defeat the scourge of this disease called CANCER. Read more…

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Help!…My Computer is Killing Me!

Brian TrabulsiBrian Trabulsi, MPT, ATC is a physical therapist at Rex Hospital Outpatient Rehabilitation in Raleigh.

We all know that computers make our lives easier. Unfortunately, spending several hours a day looking at one can be more harmful then helpful. Computer oriented jobs can place workers at risk of developing Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTD) if their workplace/computer is set up incorrectly. This can lead to excessive strain and fatigue possibly leading to injury over time. Read more…

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