Home is where the heart is when aging with a chronic illness

Arthritis doesn’t have to rob people of the pleasures of life. Nor does diabetes, heart disease or asthma. Many long-term chronic illnesses can be managed so that people can still live rich and satisfying lives.

Most of us can learn the skills to make a chronic illness easier to live with so that we minimize disability, pain and emotional distress, according to “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions” (Bull, 2012), written by six experts in chronic disease management. The authors take a realistic view: “You will not find any miracles or cures in these pages,” they write. “Rather, you will find hundreds of tips and ideas to make your life easier.”

Flu visitor restriction to keep kids away from El Camino Hospital

Town Crier file photo
Flu shots, like the one delivered here, can help during flu season.

El Camino Hospital in Mountain View has enacted a visitor restriction during the flu season to keep children under the age of 16 from visiting the hospital, a move aimed at limiting the risk of flu from spreading within the hospital.

“It’s something we do pretty much every year when the flu season is particularly bad,” said Carol Kemper, El Camino Hospital’s medical director for infection prevention. “A lot of hospitals in the area do it. It’s not an uncommon thing to do during flu seasons.”

LAH couple give big for mental health

Courtesy of El Camino Hospital
Doug and Mary Scrivner matched a $1 million donation to El Camino Hospital’s ASPIRE program this month. ASPIRE is a seven-year-old program which allows youth and young adults to receive outpatient mental health services while receiving course credit.

El Camino Hospital in Mountain View has fulfilled a $1 million challenge posed to hospital supporters by Mary and Doug Scrivner of Los Altos Hills. Last April, the Scrivners promised to match gifts up to $1 million donated to the hospital’s new mental health initiative.

According to hospital officials, 269 people donated to the challenge to fund an endowment for the hospital’s After-School Program Interventions and Resiliency Education (ASPIRE) program, launched in 2010.

Health care on demand from Mountain View service

Courtesy of Direct Urgent Care
Dr. Ceasar Djavaherian is the president of Direct Urgent Care.

For most doctors in Silicon Valley, melding technology and medicine means cutting-edge machines performing high-powered work backed by Sand Hill Road venture capital. But for Caesar Djavaherian, M.D., medical technology means a smart phone.

Djavaherian is president and co-founder of Direct Urgent Care, a 3-year-old health service with an office in Mountain View that aims to make health care accessible and complete with current-day conveniences.

Hair loss: Don't despair, treatment is here

Every day, most people lose approximately 100 hairs from their heads. But nobody notices, because nearly 100,000 strands remain. It is only when the 100 lost ones aren’t replaced by 100 new ones growing in that someone goes bald.

Usually hair loss isn’t obvious until someone loses more than 50 percent of the hair on their head. But the loss can start surreptitiously, sometimes with men in their 20s and women in their 30s or 40s.

Honest talk about depression and psychotropic drugs during pregnancy

Depression is common during pregnancy. Up to one-quarter of women experience depressive symptoms such as sadness, loss of interest, low motivation, crying spells, loss of appetite, poor concentration and suicidal thoughts. The risk of an episode is higher, 25- 50 percent, among women with a history of depression.

A question I get from many of my patients is whether or not to take psychotropic medications during pregnancy. This is a difficult choice to make for most parents-to-be. The answer is different for everyone and is based on one’s personal risk-benefit profile. No two brains work the same.

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