Health

What You Don’t Expect When You Are Expecting…

 I’m excited to introduce you to the coolest doctor I know and her book, What You Don’t Expect When Your Expecting.

This book is a must read if you are thinking of or are pregnant and will also be an appreciated gift for an expecting mom.

About the Author

Dr. Brandie Nemchenko is the owner of a large multi-doctor practice in southeastern Pennsylvania and is the Clinical Director of Bloom Holistic Care for Pregnancy. She has been certified by the ICPA in Webster Technique and with their Pregnancy and Pediatrics program since 2002.

A former college athlete herself, Dr.Brandie is also trained as a sports chiropractor.

After almost losing her daughter in 2007 and not being able to practice, she extrapolated the procedures and research to pregnancy in a safe way.

Dr. Brandie is a popular speaker having spoken at the Inspired Families conference at Temple University. She frequently lectures to physicians groups at hospitals and private practice as well as mother’s groups and aligned businesses.  As a paramedic she worked in emergency rooms for many years.

The mother of two gorgeous girls, and married to chiropractor, Dr. Arthur Nemchenko, Dr. Brandie lives in Valley Forge Park, Pennsylvania.

About the Book

What if your pregnancy isn’t the dream you always imagined and instead has into a living nightmare?

What if instead of your doctor telling you these aches and pains are normal and there’s nothing that can be done, you had a practitioner that not only listened to you but helped you?

It is possible.

Dr. Brandie Nemchenko, a pregnancy chiropractor with over a decade of experience has developed a self-help run-through that has helped thousands of patients in her private practice near Philadelphia.

In her “keeping it real” and humorous manner, Dr. Brandie not only gives you the tools and mechanics of what you can safely try, she also “gets it” and helps you find ways to cope and think differently in this “new but temporary normal.”

Breaking down the typical cases she sees in her office, she explains why these things happen and what you can STOP doing today to help you break the pain cycle so that you can do the things you need to do, even while pregnant.

You’ll also learn:

  • Your second pregnancy is often worse and comes with predictable pains and what you can do to ease the pain and better yet how to keep it from occurring.
  • How to think critically about the decisions you need to make for you and your unborn baby.
  • How you can ask and get the support you need.

With dozens of case studies and personal insight Dr. Brandie can help radically change your pregnancy from one that is painful to one that is enjoyed.  Pregnancy should be one of the most special times in your life and remembered for the joy not the pain.

The goal of this book is to guide you to the best support team and practices to ensure you have the pregnancy of your dreams.

This book will make an appreciated gift for anyone who is expecting or planning to have children.

The Book Trailer:

https://vimeo.com/288629690

The Interview What has been your most challenging case as a chiropractor?

I think any case I’ve managed where the mama HAS to work and has a challenging physical health condition, either a herniated lower back disc and she can’t stand or groin pain and by all intents and purposes she cannot lose income to support her family but can barely work. That is challenging to navigate to make sure we get her issue under control the fastest and safest we can and to help her navigate and modify her job responsibilities to keep her at work but not hurting herself or that babe.

You are a successful entrepreneur, mother, wife, doctor with multiple practices and now you’ve added author to your list of accomplishments, how do you stay focused? How do you keep yourself motivated?

Focus is SO hard for me.  Motivation is not. I stay focused by trying to delegate all that I can have someone else do (which I typically enjoy more) and do what only I can do.  

My mission is motivating to me because I know there are so many mamas out there who are hurting that should be enjoying this time.  

Focus is important and as someone with Executive Function Disorder and ADD (which in a TED talk were cited as the “Entrepreneur’s Disease”), I can handle multiple things at once and switch between tasks.  Recently, I resigned from being a Board President of our local ambulance and resigned from reviewing other doctors to really focus on my practices and my book. I’m realizing to be more effective in my impact – I need to be a laser beam instead of a disco light.  🙂

One course I just took that I found immensely helpful was Life Hack Boot Camp with Demir and Carey Bentley.  It taught me to systematize my actions and line them up with my goals to make sure I’m not spinning my wheels and instead am pushing myself forward.  

As a doctor how do you keep yourself and your practice up to date on the latest treatments?

I attend a lot of continuing education classes and take a diversified approach to coursework because much of how I treat pregnant women is actually from my training and study with athletes.  I don’t know any population that needs help getting back into the game of life then pregnant women. So much is on the line!.

You work primarily with pregnant women. I’m guessing in most cases the first time you see them they are in pain and at their wits end. What if they saw you earlier in their pregnancy, why should a healthy pregnant woman seek chiropractic care?

If you get twinges, things could get out of hand quickly and it’s always good to get checked out and get a game plan to manage their pregnancy.  

You have so much going for you, why did you write this book?

Pregnancy is such a special time and it should be enjoyed.  I hear a lot of women struggling who are not local and wanted to get help and I wanted to extend my reach.

You and your husband (also a doctor) work together, have children and live together, how do you stay married?

Humor.  🙂

It isn’t uncommon for women to experience skeletal issues after delivering babies. What causes those issues and what can you do for them?

 

Carrying babies is so hard.  Even though they are tiny, it’s weight on muscles that aren’t used to holding that.  On top of it you aren’t sleeping and are doing postures that you aren’t used to – with more weight in the front sometimes if you breastfeed.  The most common issues AFTER birth is upper back pain, wrist pain, and headaches.

Authors often compare the writing of and the production process of a book to a long and difficult pregnancy. Now that your book baby is finally here, will there be siblings?

Ha!  I’ve already started my next two; one for husbands and one for chiropractors so you could say that I’m expecting twins!  

As a doctor and business owner how has networking helped you and do you have any tips for other women on making the most of networking opportunities.

 I don’t network in the traditional way of networking and in fact, it’s a huge joke at the Main Line Chamber that I can be found at a large event in the bathroom waiting for the speakers to start.  As an introvert, I much prefer one on one or small group chats. I see networking more as connections. I love connecting people to help them and have found my patient’s jobs, connected them to like minded groups and have even introduced them to people in the office and they became friends.  Life is about helping others and that’s what I see networking as.

What is your favorite go to local restaurant? What are you ordering?

Our new favorite is J. Alexander’s.  It’s gorgeous and has great food. I am partial to their steaks and their mac and cheese is out of this world.  

For more about Dr. Brandie visit her website.

 

 

 

I Laughed So Hard…

Women’s Health Week was May 14th to May 20th and it got me thinking about this time last year. I always schedule my annual physical with my primary physician during May. I had a list of symptoms I was definitely uncomfortable discussing with him but I knew it had to be done.

 

More than 65 million people have incontinence and it is three times more prevalent in women. If it’s so common why do we not talk about it with each other or more importantly why are we uncomfortable talking about it with our doctors?

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Foodie Friday Fragments…

Friday Fragments are bits and pieces of your week that are usually brief; too short for a stand-alone post, but too good to discard. Collect humorous observations, “Heard” items, and other small gems throughout your week and put them together in a Friday Fragments post. Add a recipe or something ‘foodie’ from your week. Leave me a link in the comments so I can read your fragments!

I am really starting to dislike the last week of the month! For some reason I am struggling to accomplish my monthly goals. Saying life gets in the way is the truth but it is a poor excuse for not managing my time effectively.

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Kindness is Sending a Bowl of Berries…

Kindness

 

Those that know me best know that I’ve been preaching kindness pretty much since I started talking. It is a new year and a good time for all of us to do a little soul searching and a lot of kindness generating. The ugliness I have seen over the past six-months has been overwhelming. We all need to take a good long look in the mirror and decide if we like who we see looking back at us. Are we telling little girls who to be or are we showing them by example?

Some psychologists believe that ‘being nice’ isn’t really so nice after all. They believe being nice actually comes from a fear.

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The link between PTSD and Addiction

I was diagnosed with PTSD 17-years-ago. For the longest time I did a pretty good job of hiding my symptoms but they eventually affected my life negatively on a daily basis, sometimes for days at a time.

The breaking point came for me when I was in line at my bank and one of the guys that was involved with the murder of my brother was 4 people behind me in line.  He eventually ended up directly behind me and I blacked out. I don’t remember screaming at the top of my lungs, the police and paramedics coming and being transported to the hospital.

Through counseling I learned my anxiety, depression and OCD were directly related to past traumas not only the murder of my brother.

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A Xenial Community

During the month of April I am participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. You can find out more about that here:

A-Z 2016 badge

 

My theme this year is Keep Moving Forward

Xenial

Definition: Friendly relationship between host and guest

“A xenial community”

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Walk on…

For the month of April I am participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge. You can learn more about the challenge here:

A to Z Badge 2016

My theme this year is KEEP MOVING FORWARD

All of us, no matter who we are or where we come from will experience different levels of disappointment and loss at some point in our lives. Whether it is a rejection letter, we didn’t get chosen for a job we wanted, a relationship ended or a close loved one passed away it is painful. The ways in which we deal with our disappointments and losses can be as different as we all are. Each one of us feels some level of grief every single day of our lives. If we cannot find our car keys we become angry, we deny that the keys are lost or that we had anything to do with them being lost, we panic, we bargain with God or the universe or pray to Saint Anthony and finally we accept that we need to stop, clear our heads and accept that we misplaced our keys and we need to find them. When we lose a love one we have all of those same feelings of grief, greatly compounded. Our lives are turned upside down and the world stops. Some of us find it difficult to move on. We struggle to return to ‘normal’ not realizing that we are forever changed and will never return to what was once ‘normal.’ We must find a way to move forward and adapt to a new ‘normal.’ For many of us that is easier said than done. We find ourselves needing a lot of help.

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Its Release Day for The Stranger In My Recliner!

Its release day for The Stranger In My Recliner! I am overwhelmed and filled with gratitude for all of the kind words about Sophie’s story. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart!

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Post Concussive Syndrome…

The woman was driving much too fast for a neighborhood.  She ran a stop sign and hit my car’s passenger side.  I felt a very sharp pain in my neck, shoulder, arm and I thought 2 of my fingers were broken.

Stop Sign

She attempted to leave the scene then came back and shouted at me. I called the police. An officer took the report and I went to work. While at work, I had a bit of a panic attack. I was also developing a headache. I left early and went home.

By the time I arrived home, I was a basket case. My head was pounding. My husband told me to go to bed and he brought me tea, toast and Advil.

I slept horribly. I had vivid nightmares. I woke up with the worst headache. I was sick to my stomach the entire day. Convinced it was my nerves, I took it easy and rested.

The next day I called my husband at work and told him my shoulder, arm and fingers were hurting. He made an appointment for me to see an orthopedic doctor that afternoon. He prescribed the usual muscle relaxers; steroids and pain medication. He thought I had a neck and shoulder sprain and suggested physical therapy.

Emergency

 

I headed out to my daughter’s house. I drove 45 minutes past her exit. I stopped the car got out, was sick and got back in the car and drove to my daughter’s house and acted like nothing happened.

Something was amiss because the {real} me would have immediately known I had a concussion.

I would have been familiar with the symptoms because I suffered several concussions as an adult and most likely a few as a child.

Two-and-a-half-months later I was finally diagnosed with post-concussive syndrome.  There is no specific treatment for this syndrome.  Instead your doctor treats the individual symptoms. The types of symptoms and their frequency are unique to each person.

Concussion 2

I thought this was an important post to write because people die from concussions, or as they are sometimes called, closed head injuries.

The worst symptom I was experiencing was dizziness.  It was head spinning, vomiting inducing dizziness.  I was sent to a balance center. Balance therapy actually makes you dizzy supposedly so your balance system will re-learn how to balance you. This was awful. I went twice a week and was so sick in between I was useless.  I was also sent for MRI’s and hearing tests. There was evidence of bleeding that healed and I suffered significant hearing loss in my left ear.

 

Headaches that occur after a concussion can vary and may feel like tension type headaches, cluster headaches or migraines.  Most are however, tension type, which is most likely due to a neck injury suffered at the same time as the head injury.  In some cases, people experience behavior or emotional changes after a mild traumatic brain injury.  Family members are usually the first to notice that the person has become a bit more irritable, suspicious, argumentative or stubborn. {Insert fast food and police rage here}.

Concussion 3

Memory, cognitive and thinking problems may also appear.  No medications are currently suggested or recommended for these symptoms.  Brief focused therapy on how to use a pocket calendar, an electronic organizer or other techniques to work around memory deficits are often helpful.  I suppose this would be helpful if you could remember where you put them.  I had no idea how forgetful I was.  My husband was becoming more and more frustrated with my ‘forgetfulness’.

Depression and anxiety are also symptoms.  It was suggested I see a psychologist who had experience working with people with brain injury.  In my case because of a history of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and severe OCD issues anti anxiety and anti depressive medication was prescribed.

Some experts believe post-concussive symptoms are caused by structural damage to the brain or disruption of neuro-transmitter systems, resulting from the impact that caused the injury.

My symptoms were being treated and I was finally starting to feel more like myself.

I had a lot of catching up to do….and then out of nowhere, I was curled up with gut wrenching pain.  My gall bladder needed to come out.  Six days in the hospital, different medications and I was dizzy and sick again.  I was devastated.

I started to pass out.  I ran back to the neurologist.  Medications were adjusted and I returned to therapy.  The crazy thing is I am aware of my memory loss.  I go nowhere without my calendar and a notebook.

Did you know that a 15-mile an hour accident generates 10 G’s of force on the head—a fighter pilot can start to lose consciousness at 6 G’s.

How many times do we hear our children really smack their heads, we are so scared, and the doctor says it is only a mild concussion? If you take anything away from this post, let it be that there is no such thing as a mild concussion and if another is suffered, it is worse and so on.

I cannot help but wonder if forms of ADD and autism can be caused by head or neck injuries during birth or just from playing as a small child.

Please put those helmets on your kiddo’s and if you have that ut-oh something is not right do not stop until you are satisfied with the diagnosis.

bike helmet

With all of the changes happening in health care it is so important that we all become vigilant and well informed when it comes to our health.

http://www.painclinic.org

http://www.themayoclinic

http://www.traumasoma.com

Stay healthy,

Doreen

Scary Medication Side Effects…

A few months ago I came home from work to find my husband acting strangely. He had been having trouble sleeping and now he was full of anxiety and speaking loudly and fast but making no sense.

The scariest part was he had no idea anything was wrong.

I knew right away to check his medication. Just a month before he had the same reaction to a generic version of a medication he takes to help him sleep. At that time we thought his doctor had solved the problem by calling the pharmacy and instructing them not to substitute this medication with another.

Pills 2

 

As I spilled the pills into my hand that night and saw they were the wrong ones I was furious.

We spent hours in the ER that night.

BloodPressure pic

His doctor now calls the prescription refills in personally and for now that is working.

If we had not read the information that came with the medication we never would have known the symptoms my husband was experiencing were actually side affects to the medication.

It is so important to ask your doctor about possible side effects at the time he prescribes a medication and also a good idea to ask your pharmacist as well.

The slightest change from one manufacturer to another, such as a dye or a time release ingredient can trigger a reaction. If your pills look different don’t hesitate to ask your pharmacist.

 

*This post is a joint effort with the American Recall Center for World Health Month and to spread awareness about medication safety. For more information visit:

The American Recall Center:  http://www.recallcenter.com

Have you ever had a reaction to a medication?

Thank you for reading,

Doreen

 

FYI:

Zofran and Zuplenz Side Effects

Patients who are hypersensitive to selective 5-HT3 receptor antagonists have experienced hypersensitivity reactions to Zofran and Zuplenz, including anaphylaxis.

Other reported adverse effects of these drugs have manifested in the form of electrocardiographic (ECG) changes (including QT interval prolongation) and cases of Torsade de Pointes. The Zofran and Zuplenz labels also carry warnings regarding serotonin syndrome, a potential side effect of having an excess of serotonin in the body.

Scientific studies indicate there is also a risk that Zofran may cause congenital birth defects.

In one study, researchers noted there had been reports of transplacental transfer of Zofran during the first trimester of human pregnancies.

A 2012 study that examined data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study found more than a doubling of risk of cleft palate among babies whose mothers took ondansetron during the first trimester of pregnancy.

A 2014 study by Danielsson et al. determined that the risks of certain heart defects in newborns whose mothers took Zofran during early pregnancy were “increased and statistically significant.” Some of the most frequently encountered of these congenital malformations due to Zofran exposure were ventricular and atrial septal defects.

Pills Zofran 2

For more information on Zofran:

http://www.recallcenter.com/zofran-zuplenz

 

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