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“WVMC Voices” by Zac Woodruff

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Tell Me About Pacemakers

We do pacemakers all the time. It seems like every morning, somebody is heading off to the cath lab to get a pacemaker. In fact, every year in the United States, between 200,000 and 300,000 people end up getting pacemakers. Perhaps someone in your family has one? Or maybe even you do? Most people have

Heart Valves & Surgery

Earlier this week, Arnold Schwarzenegger had emergency heart valve surgery and also a dear member of our WVMC family underwent valve replacement surgery as well. Every year, about 5 million Americans are diagnosed with heart valve disease and over 100,000 heart valve surgeries take place in the United States. Many of these people experience no

Dad, What’s Lupus?

A couple of nights ago, we were all eating at the dinner table when out of nowhere my son says, “dad, what’s lupus?” I was surprised that he asked about lupus. “Why do you ask son, where did you hear about lupus?” One of his friends at school was telling him at lunch that his

Angioedema…Act Immediately!

It was around 2pm on Saturday. I had just eaten a few bites of yogurt (I threw it out because it tasted gross) and an apple, when all of a sudden something happened. I noticed that my lips began to feel weird. I have many food sensitivities, so I’m used to the feelings associated with

Quitting Pop & My First 4 Days with Black Coffee

I drink way too much diet soda. I know this. I don’t want to go into numbers or amounts, just believe me when I tell you it’s too much. For the longest time I've been wanting to quit diet soda. I just think long term it's not a wise health decision and there are many

Why High Blood Pressure is So Dangerous

If you push on something with more force than it can take, you’ll move it. If you put too much pressure on something, it will break. These are basic laws of physics and this is perhaps the most important aspect of high blood pressure that you need to understand. When your blood pressure it too

Do You Understand Your Blood Pressure?

Every time you go to the doctor they take your blood pressure when you arrive. Come to the hospital, we monitor your blood pressure throughout your stay. Go to the pharmacy to pick up your prescriptions and while you wait you can check your blood pressure at that little stand. Blood pressure here, blood pressure

Hands-Only CPR

 Hands-Only CPR Saves Lives  By Zac Woodruff, RN BS A few weeks ago, I was watching a movie with my 8 year old when someone started performing CPR on someone who had drowned. Two breaths, two compressions, two breaths, two compressions (ps they were doing it totally wrong.) My daughter says, “ew, there is no

Flu Flu Everywhere

Flu Flu Everywhere It’s been all over my Facebook timeline this week. It’s all over the Internet and the news. It was the topic of conversation when we went for Chinese food on Wednesday night. Many of my family members have gotten it, some even twice! Every year we all prepare for the flu season,

Heartbroken & Grieving

Last week my wife and I said goodbye to our best friend of nearly 13 years. His name was Poopaloo. I’ve blogged about him several times over the years. We got married at the courthouse in Portland on a Friday, honeymooned in Lincoln City for the weekend, and picked up our puppy on Sunday. He

Start with 5 Pounds

Happy New Year everyone!!! Every year on this day, many of us begin our new year's resolutions. Whether it's committing to a new diet, starting to exercise, or getting more organized, we all look for areas where we would like to improve our daily performance and set some new goals for the new year. I

Pesky Spider Bite on Christmas

This morning I woke up and immediately felt a bump on the back of my neck. Man oh man, some pesky spider must have got me in the middle of the night. Not only did that mean that a spider was in our bed last night (ew gross!), but it meant that I don’t know

1-800-273-8255, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

I don’t exactly know what to write down. Without getting into much detail, an extended family member, who looked out for me my entire life, took his own life a few days ago. I was in the car pulling into the driveway when my sister called and let me know what happened. I was really

What’s up with this Ridiculous Eye Twitch!?!?

Earlier this week I was in a meeting with some coworkers when one of them mentioned they had an eye twitch that wouldn’t go away. Then another friend said it was “eye twitch season” and that all her friends were getting them too! Immediately, I thought…. Perfect blog idea! So why do we get eye

Where Did My Voice Go?

I woke up this morning and my voice was gone! Of course there is a reason why this happened, but this morning I’ve been wondering exactly what happens when we lose our voice and what’s the best way to get it back. So last night a bunch of us nurses and our spouses went to

It’s That Flu Shot Time of Year

Every year around this time I write a blog about the flu shot. This is not a blog to try to convince you whether or not you need to get it. Most people have pretty firm beliefs on whether or not they chose to get vaccinated. This is just a blog to present you with

Disease Outbreak in Disneyland!?!?!

Yesterday, we had just arrived to the airport after spending the last 3 days in Disneyland when my sister-in-law texted us to ask if we knew about the disease outbreak in Disneyland. What!?!?!?!? No, we hadn’t heard anything, but I immediately went to the news to find out what she was talking about. I googled

Surgery soon? Why can’t I eat or drink?

If you've ever had surgery or known someone who has had surgery, your probably familiar with the idea that you are not supposed to eat or drink anything after midnight, the night before your surgery. As a nurse, I’ve taken care of countless patients preparing for surgery, and many of them have had questions about

Yesterday my son told me he was going to live 10 years less than me

With Halloween just two days away, the topic of conversation in our household has been candy, and how we don’t need to go crazy over sugar on Tuesday. Over the years, we’ve agreed to enjoy the fun of Halloween and let our kids indulge a few pieces of their favorite candy, but everything else they

1st Degree Burns and More…

We’ve all done it. Bumped the over door when you are taking out the pan of freshly baked cookies. Grabbed the curling iron that you thought wasn’t on. Splashed some boiling water on your hand when you were draining your pasta. I’m talking about unexpected burns. No matter how careful we are, these things happen.

Whoa Subconjunctival Hemorrhage!

Friday morning I noticed the outside of my wife’s eye looked red. I mentioned it to her and she said she hadn’t noticed. Of course she went to the mirror and examined her eye. “Whoa!!!” she said, “What happened to my eye?!?!” I looked closer and it looked like there was a tiny moon shaped

Donate Blood in Bad Times and in Good Ones

Last Sunday, our country experienced a horrific event in Las Vegas. As the information came in, I was shocked and deeply saddened about what happened. I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing on the news, and unfortunately, it’s a feeling we are all experiencing far too often. But in our darkest hours, we see

Healthy Pumpkins

Welcome to October, the month of the pumpkin. Over the last few months, we have been growing our very own pumpkin patch in our garden, and as I've watched the pumpkins grow, I’ve often found myself wondering about how to properly eat a pumpkin and what are the health benefits of pumpkins. I mean, we

Living with Fibromyalgia

Recently, a dear friend of mine told me that they had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. It wasn’t a great surprise to me because for years they had been talking about living with constant pain. For them, getting the “diagnosis” has really helped them take control of their situation, learn more about their illness, and discover

Could Wi-Fi Be Bad For Us?

Recently, my son came home from one of his first days of middle school and he had an interesting question for me. “Dad, is Wi-Fi bad for us? One of my classmates was saying the wireless waves we can’t see could be damaging us way more than we realize,” he said. For a moment, I

How Bad Was That Smoky Air?

Last week, we all saw the same smoky sky. As thousands of acres of our beautiful Columbia Gorge burned, the air quality in the Pacific Northwest changed drastically. When I walked out of the hospital on Tuesday evening, I remember looking at the sky, smelling the air, and thinking to myself, this can’t be good

Friction Blisters & How to Care for Them

So the other night I was cutting up a large carpet remnant for an area in my garage, when all of a sudden, I noticed I had developed a blister on my middle finger. The kind of blister that once you notice it, you realize, this hurts! I was using some heavy-duty shears to make

Concussion? What to do…

Last night was one of the anticipated boxing matches of all time. And while I can’t say I’m surprised about what happened, I did have my concerns that somebody was going to get seriously hurt. Anytime I’ve ever watched any type of boxing or MMA match, I’ve always cringed when I see another person getting

Wear Your Glasses. Period.

Tomorrow is the big day; the Great American Total Eclipse is finally upon us. People from all over the country have flooded into our beautiful state to get a glimpse of this once in a lifetime event. Campgrounds are packed, traffic jams have been insane (although yesterday I was zipping around Clackamas county like it

Food Poisoning Hit Me Fast

It started about 10pm on Friday. We were just getting ready for bed when my stomach really began to feel uneasy, and man, it came on quick. Friday was my son’s 12th birthday and we took him and his sister out for both breakfast and dinner, and I’m certain it was something I ate during