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“WVMC Voices” by Zac Woodruff

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Health Food Documentaries & A Plant Based Lifestyle?

Recently, a friend of mine told me that I just had to watch this health food documentary on Netflix. He told me that it would change how I looked at food and he guaranteed me that it would change my life forever. Wow. Big claims. I was skeptical, but I watched it. I enjoyed it

My Ears Are Ringing!

The other day, my friend called me up and he sounded upset. He could barely slow down his speech enough for me to understand what he was talking about before I finally picked up "ringing... ringing!" I asked him to slow down and tell me what was going on and after a few moments he

I Spy With My Little Eye

I've had 3 questionable moles removed from my skin since I was a teenager. They've always turned out to be benign, but you never know, so I felt it a wise decision to have them removed. 2 of the 3 I noticed during my own self-examination, one on my right forearm, the other on my

Beach Safety

Today I write to you from the beautiful Oregon Coast. We came out here yesterday to celebrate our daughter Delilah’s 8th Birthday and man oh man, what a weekend to be on the beach. The weather was exceptional yesterday and it truly feels like this is our summer kick-off. Early this morning, I knew I

Another Appendix Bites the Dust!

I can’t tell you how often we have patients show up to our emergency department with extreme lower/right quadrant abdominal pain, and an hour later they are getting their appendix out. This weekend has proven no exception. According to WebMD 2017, one in 20 people will get appendicitis. Although it can strike at any age,

What About Probiotics?

It seems like every month, I meet a patient who strongly believes in probiotics and wants to talk about their experience with them. I’ve heard many people tell me that everyone should to be taking them and that they couldn’t live without them. It is estimated that 4-5 million Americans have take probiotics in the

What is C Diff?

C Diff. Hmmmmm…. You’ve probably heard of it? Yeah? If not, at some point in the future, you most certainly will. First, let’s start by talking about the bacteria that lives in our digestive tract. Believe it or not, our guts are home to trillions of bacteria and they all work together to create a

Caffeine Overdose?

I don’t know if you read about this story recently, but here is a quick recap. Over the course of two hours, a 16-year-old South Carolina teenager consumed 3 different caffeinated drinks. The abundance of caffeine in the teenager’s system caused a deadly heart arrhythmia that ultimately ended his life. The official coroner’s report has

Oh Man My Throat Was Sore

Last week I told you guys about my daughter’s fever and illness, and like many of you could probably guess, she passed that along to both her brother and myself. Her brother’s fever peaked at 104.7 (yes, I know… crazy high right!?!?), but the most uncomfortable part of this illness for me was the accompanying

A Fever on Friday

My wife goes to wake her up to get ready for school and she is burning hot, the kind of hot that you can feel radiating through her pajamas. She says her throat hurts and she doesn’t feel good. Looks like somebody isn’t going to school today. She shuffles out to the living room and

A Thank You To Our Emergency Department

A few days ago I made a visit to our emergency room as a patient. Well, I actually wasn’t the patient, my wife was, but for the first time I got to experience our emergency department while being on the other side of the curtain. From the moment we sat down at the admitting window,

Scared of Blood Thinners?

Recently I was talking with a friend and he mentioned that his father had just been diagnosed with new onset atrial fibrillation and he was prescribed a blood thinner to help manage the condition. When someone has atrial fibrillation the top two chambers of their heart shake or quiver, and this can cause stagnate blood

Check Your Fingernails

Recently a patient of mine asked me to take a look at his fingernails and had some questions about them. His fingernails were very dry, brittle, and cracked, which is often linked to thyroid disease. Indeed, as he was actually hospitalized for a thyroid issue, but he wanted to know if the condition of his

New Life

I just returned home from a trip with my family to the Bay Area. My wife and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary and we got to meet our 3-week-old niece for the first time. For 3 days, we spent the majority of our time with her and it was wonderful. I would hold her


Earlier this week, my wife and I took our children to Seaside for a few days of spring break fun. We stayed up late and told jokes. We walked on the beach. We flew kites and threw frisbees. We swam and played with beach balls in the water. We walked through the shops and took

How Much Sleep Do Children Need?

I know plenty of people who say they can get by with five or six hours of sleep (some even less), but how much do we all really need? And how about the needs of our children? Are there long term health risks associated with getting less than the recommended amount of sleep? As adults,

Find Your Motivation

Weight loss is impossible if you are not motivated to achieve your goals. You can not simply hope or wish that you will become healthy. You have to put the work in, and to do so; you have to find your motivation. Without motivation, you will never fully commit to what you truly want, and

Excuse Me, Would You Mind Chatting For A Minute?

I was walking by a room recently, when I made eye contact with a patient and offered them a happy, good morning smile. They kindly smiled back and just as I passed the door and lost the eye contact, I heard a soft voice say, “excuse me sir, would you mind chatting for a minute?”

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