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“WVMC Voices” by Zac Woodruff

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Have a Heart to Heart With Your Heart

As a nurse, I get to be a part of and witness a lot of really difficult conversations. All too often, I see patients and family members struggle with having open and honest discussions about the status of their heart(s). This actually applies to most serious health issues, but since we are talking about heart


In the medical field, they are known as cerebrovascular accidents (CVA), but most people know them by their common name, strokes. Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death for Americans, as they kill more than 130,000 Americans each year (1 out of every 20 deaths). More than 6 times as many people actually have

Cholesterol Connection

If you’re like me, you’ve been hearing about cholesterol your entire life. I can remember when I was 7 years old and getting my first blood test (I was actually diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis at the time), my doctor telling me that he was going to check my cholesterol levels. At the time my cholesterol

1 in 4

Here’s the cold, hard truth about heart disease. One out of every four people will die from it. It’s the leading cause of death for both men and women. It kills over 600,000 people per year in the United States. But what exactly is heart disease? According to the CDC (2015), the term "heart disease"

New Year, Check Your REAR – Part 5

Colonoscopies Save Lives By Zac Woodruff, RN BS All month long, I’ve been talking with you about colon cancer, preventative screening, and my own experience with my first colonoscopy procedure. Here’s a quick recap of the facts we’ve talked about this month: • Colon cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States.

New Year, Check Your REAR – Part 4

My Colonoscopy By Zac Woodruff, RN BS No matter how prepared you think you are for something, there is always a bit of nervousness and apprehension accompanying something new; the first time you ride a roller coaster, the first time you fly in an airplane, the first time you snowboard down the mountain. This is

New Year, Check Your REAR – Part 3

Oh Terrible Bowel Prep By Zac Woodruff, RN BS Anyone who is scheduled for a colonoscopy has to prepare for it, not just mentally, but physically. You simply can’t just decide you are getting one, walk into your appointment, and get the results that you want. You must prepare your bowels, and oh what terrible

New Year, Check your REAR!- Part 2

Colonoscopies? Where to Start? By Zac Woodruff, RN BS Last week, I started a month long blog series on colon cancer and what we all need to know about it. The single most important thing we can do to prevent colon cancer is to get a colonoscopy when we reach age 50 (sometimes at a

New year, Check your REAR- Part 1

Let’s Talk About Colon Cancer & What You Need To Know By Zac Woodruff, RN BS First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! 2017 IS HERE!!!! Okay, now that’s out of the way and we can get to work. All month long this January, my blog is going to focus on one of the deadliest forms

What To Do About Mr. Lice

A few weeks ago, we welcomed an unwanted visitor into our home. He certainly wasn’t invited, he just showed up. And then he decided to stick around for a days before we finally convinced him to leave. I’m talking about the pesky little guy, Mr. Lice. Perhaps he’s visited your house too. If you have

Get Yourself a Cool Water Container, and See What Happens!

Recently, a wonderful friend of mine gave me a fresh, custom-engraved 40 ounce lava red Hydroflask that has become my at-work water container, and my sister-in-law helped me celebrate my 38th birthday with an awesome 18 ounce kiwi green Hydroflask, perfect for the cup-holder in my car and toting around town. I’m telling you, these

Go Outside and Breathe It In

My family and I just enjoyed an awesome weekend visit to Hood River. On our drive back Sunday morning, we stopped off at Horsetail Falls to spend a few more minutes enjoying all of the beauty the Gorge has to offer. Horsetail Falls is a 176-foot tall waterfall along the Columbia River Gorge. The waterfall

Eat Your Bananas…. If You Can

I wish I could return to that friendly fruit, the banana, but unfortunately. I cannot. In my early 30s, I developed a mild allergy to bananas. Whenever I ate them, I experienced itching in my mouth and throat and small hives. At first, I didn’t really pay much attention to it, but then it seemed

Time for the Flu Shot

It's that time of year again. If you get admitted to our hospital, we are going to offer you a flu shot. You have the right to accept it, as well as the right to deny it. It's entirely up to you. This blog isn't aimed at convincing you one-way or the other. I'm not

Need More Fruit & Vegetables in Your Life? Try Juicing!

I’ve never enjoyed eating vegetables. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become less picky with food, but I still don’t get excited about a serving of veggies. I’m a little bit more willing to enjoy fruit, especially grapes (I love those little guys!), but I’m certain that I’m not eating enough of both fruits and vegetables.


Yes, I saw a 104.5 temperature on my little princess on Friday night. My first thought, was, “Oh no! That’s way too high!” So I checked again, and it was 103.8…. Hmmmm. Mind you, I was using a temporal thermometer to obtain this reading. This type of thermometer works by measuring the infrared heat you

Drinking Responsibly

Not gonna lie to you guys. Had a great time last night. My beautiful wife turns 35 today and we threw a little house party last night with our closest friends. We had so much fun. Great people, delicious food, and we sampled many beers from the finest Northwest breweries. Now, let me first let

Crushing Injuries

I had just run to the store to pick up a few ingredients for dinner. I was only gone 15 minutes. When I returned, I noticed the yard debris bin had toppled over next to the curb. Before I went inside, I tried to move the bin, but I couldn’t budge it. It was full

Understanding Life with Crohn’s Disease

Someone very close to me suffers from Crohn’s Disease and after recently spending some time with them, I realize just how big of an impact it has on someone’s day to day life when they suffer from it. Imagine having diarrhea 10 – 20 times a day. Picture yourself having stomach pain, every day, all

Chopping Wood & Horrible Back Pain

A few days back, I chopped up a bunch of wood from a 50 foot cherry tree that we cut down at my home. My neighbor Lowell brought over a couple of giant sledgehammers and a special log splitting wedge, and we got to work. At first, I didn’t think much about it, other than

Why Yawns Are Contagious

It happens to all of us. Out of nowhere you see someone yawning and then what happens to you? You start to yawn too, right?!?!?!? How can the sight of a physical action, automatically trigger the same reaction in yourself? And actually, it’s not just seeing it. Merely thinking about yawning, reading the word, or

Let That Belch Out!

So the other night we are all finishing up dinner, when my 7-year-old daughter let out the most thunderous belch. I mean, she could have woken up the entire neighborhood with this one. (Although, I should give a special shot out to my beautiful wife, who is truly the queen of the belch in our

Little Red Arm Bumps

Lately, my son’s arms have been bothering him. You see, on the back of his upper arms he has many small, hard, red bumps. They don’t itch and they don’t hurt, but my 11 year old doesn’t like them, and I totally get it. Usually, the bumps that I’m referring tend to appear on your

Water Safety Tips

A few days ago, we went up to Detroit Lake. Believe it or not, that was the first time we went there and we had an absolute blast. Even with apparently low water levels, the lake was still beautiful and the cool water provided great enjoyment on the hottest day of the year. Before we

What To Do If You Cut Off Your Finger

I hope it never happens to you. I really do. But if by chance one (or some) of your fingers meets the guillotine for some reason, it is important you know what to do. Last Thursday night, we were driving to Round Table Pizza to celebrate my son’s 11th birthday, when my mother-in-law asked me

Should I Get This Checked Out?

I’ve been a nurse for a while now, and whenever we go places and someone finds out I’m a nurse, I’m inevitably asked some health related question. Usually, the question is “should I get that checked out?” I’d say 100% of the time my answer is YES. YES. YOU SHOULD GET THAT CHECKED OUT. YES.

I Should Have Listened To My Own Advice

Man, oh man. Why didn’t I listen?!?!?!? Last week, I blogged about the upcoming heat dome that was going to bring hot temperatures throughout the week, and in preparation for the week, I got my tube of sunscreen out. I put it on the bathroom counter, and told myself that I was going to use

Prepare for the Heat Dome

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but this week it’s supposed to get hot. Like real hot. Projected temperatures start creeping into the 90s come Wednesday, with chances of going into triple digits by the weekend. In fact, much of the country is experiencing triple digits and extreme temperatures right now. Apparently, a massive dome

My Daughter is…. Constipated

She couldn’t go yesterday and isn’t having much success today. Yes, my 7 year old princess just told me that she feels like she can’t poop right now. She also looks super bloated and complained that her tummy feels full. I told her she was probably constipated (this has happened to her a few times


You know how sometimes someone sneezes by you, but they barely make any noise and it’s almost cute? Not me…. When I sneeze, I blow the house down. Like, my neighbors down the street probably hear me, “Oh Zac must be sneezing again!” Earlier this weekend, I was watching some classic Disney cartoons with my