When I was a young girl my father, Dr. Mann, took me along on his home visits. He was my greatest teacher, and my biggest hero. I grew up watching how he listened, and I began to understand how much more you learn by simply being quiet. I saw the deep connections he made by letting the patient guide him to understanding what their true needs were. I saw the trust he built with his patients because they knew they were heard and that made them feel safe in his caring hands.
I was so intrinsically inspired by him, I became a doctor myself, earning my MD from The University of Louisville School of Medicine. Listening is a guiding principle we use here at NAHA Health. The pandemic we are all living through is frightening! We want to walk with you through it. Our goal is to be able to lessen any anxiety you have through listening to your concerns and answering your questions. Knowledge is power! The more we know, the more prepared we all will be when life gets tough.
When I first started hearing about the newest mutation of the coronavirus, my heart sank. As a doctor, I knew the repercussions of such a contagious virus, and it scared me. I imagine you were scared too. We kept hearing how much worse the virus was for anyone with existing conditions, or multiple existing conditions. But, as a doctor I also knew, there are many ways to prevent contagion.
How many times did I see my father wash his hands before ever touching one of his patients? I can’t count, it was important to every safe interaction he had with his patients. Such old and basic advice holds true today. Germs cannot spread when they are washed away. Please! Use a disinfectant soap, or hand sanitizer every time you touch something that may have been touched by anyone but you.
If you were about to have surgery, would you prefer your surgeon to wear a mask, or not wear a mask? I’m sure most of us would say, ‘mask please.’ Masks have been used for centuries to prevent the transmission of germs. They protect you and the people around you from transferring disease. Are they perfect? Of course not, but they are an incredible tool in our arsenal of prevention. Wear a mask! That little thing could save your life.
Another tool we have access to is testing for COVID-19, especially if you have an existing or chronic illness. If you are living with illness, prevention first, but after that, quick diagnosis next is your best line of defense against this virus. The quicker you know if you have the virus, the quicker you can get help to hopefully stop the virus from progressing. There are new treatments being discovered literally daily. If you have been exposed to someone carrying the virus, or if you are experiencing symptoms like fever, shortness of breath, or a loss of tastes and/or smell, get tested immediately. The sooner you can get appropriate help, the better the chance of a positive outcome. Also, know that most COVID-19 tests are free! Don’t let a fear of cost stop you from getting the knowledge you need to fight this disease.
Vaccines are on the way! If you’ve already received your vaccines, what a relief! If you are still waiting for a vaccine or if you are unsure about getting a COVID-19 vaccine, let me share some information with you. The Moderna vaccine ingredients include genetic material which trains your immune system how to fight off the live virus, your body responds by creating antibodies which fight off COVID-19, as well as many of the new strains of the virus. The vaccines also include Lipids, which make it easier for the vaccine to get to the cells it needs to use to build those antibodies. Salt is used in the vaccine to help balance the acidity in your body, nothing new about salt! And sugar, which helps the vaccine molecules maintain their shape during freezing. There are several vaccines available now, all of them using similar ingredients to help your body win against this horrible virus. We value your interest, if you have additional questions about these vaccines, please share them with your Care Manager. You may have questions about how this vaccine will affect you, specific to any other health conditions you are experiencing, we want you to talk to your Care Manager so that you have all the information you need to make the most educated decision for yourself and your family.
Vaccines are not new. The first recorded history of vaccinations was all the way back in 1000 BC In China. In the 1950’s, my father stored them in the refrigerator in his office. We’ve learned a lot since those early vaccines, and we recognize them as another tool to keep us safe from devastating disease, but they are something foreign we put in our bodies. We want you to feel safe, and that you are doing the best thing for your health. If you have questions, let’s chat!
Goodwill and good health, one life at a time,