PAD patient is walking with purpose

September is PAD Awareness Month

PAD walk Blog

PAD patient Keith Molin participated in the 2014 Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk. He’ll be sitting this year’s walk out due to a broken foot, but says he is there in spirit.

Keith Molin won’t be walking in the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk this year as he intended, but not because of his peripheral arterial disease (PAD) or any heart-related issues. This year, a broken bone in his foot is preventing him from participating, as he did last year.

He’ll be there in spirit, however, happy to be able to even consider the walk after a significant heart issue was diagnosed by U-M cardiologist Dr. Michael Shea.

This past July 26 marked the two-year anniversary of Keith’s “routine” annual visit to Dr. Shea. The appointment, however, turned out to be anything but routine. The exam detected a heart murmur caused by a defective aortic valve. Keith’s only option was surgery to replace the valve. Continue reading

Herbs add flavor to your end-of-summer garden vegetables

Add thyme, rosemary and savory for flavor and good health

ZestyZucchiniSaute blog

Zucchini sauté combines fresh, colorful garden zucchini with flavorful herbs.

If you’re looking to put a new spin on a favorite recipe, herbs are an easy and healthy way to do it. Three herbs — thyme, rosemary and savory — pair well with lean meats such as chicken or fish, vegetables, soups, stews or casseroles. Use them to make marinades, dry rubs, flavored vinegars and salad dressings.

Thyme, savory and rosemary are part of the mint family. They can be used separately or added all together to a recipe to create a unique blend that’s also healthy. Herbs in the mint family are known for phytochemicals that protect against cancer and provide antioxidant protection. Each of these herbs provides a variety of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, calcium and potassium. Continue reading

Lacrosse star plays on with pulmonary hypertension

Heart threat to young women often misdiagnosed

Blurry vision and chest pain during lacrosse training were the first signs of heart trouble for Katie Mezwa.

Blurry vision and chest pain during lacrosse training were the first signs of heart trouble for Katie Mezwa.

Katie Mezwa lives with a kind of high blood pressure that’s known to impact women who may otherwise appear healthy.

Rather than high blood pressure throughout her body, Katie has pulmonary hypertension which is high blood pressure in the loop of vessels connecting the heart and lungs. The heart ends up working harder to pump blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen.

With shortness of breath as the main symptom the condition is easy to be misdiagnosed. Katie’s first sign of heart trouble:  blurry vision, fatigue and chest pain during a routine run with her lacrosse team.

A long path to answers included months of tests and appointments to find out why the active young woman had trouble performing. Continue reading

Three frequently asked questions about vein treatment

What you want to know about treatment cost, compression stockings and more

veins blogIf you have tired or achy legs, you may have issues with vein health, including varicose veins. Patients often come to the U-M Vein Center because they want their legs to look and feel great. Here are some of our patients’ most frequently asked questions about spider and varicose veins.

1. “How much does varicose vein treatment cost?”

We’re all conscious of our budgets, but most of the concern about treatment for vein issues arises from patients being told by well-meaning family, friends and even physicians that their condition is “cosmetic.” Not all varicose vein treatment is cosmetic and most insurance companies cover diagnostic studies and treatment of symptomatic varicose veins (those that cause pain, aching, swelling, itching, calf/foot cramping). If you’re unsure, come and see us and we can help determine whether your condition meets the criteria. Continue reading

Playing a new tune after heart failure and heart transplant (VIDEO)

Scot Cannell shares his journey through heart failure at U-M

Band teacher Scot Cannell, 50, and his cardiologists at the University of Michigan would come up with a solution at each low point in treating his heart disease:  an implantable cardiac defibrillator to keep his heart rhythm in check, then a left ventricular assist device to support his weakened heart.

In life and in Cannell’s world of music, hitting the high notes often takes hard work. Three years after being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, Cannell’s best option for living was a heart transplant.

“I had no family history of heart disease and I found myself in need of a new heart,” says Cannell, of Saline, Mich., a husband and father of three. “I dealt with it all with great support and humor whenever we could.

“The scariest part was hearing during the transplant evaluation that I had end stage heart failure. A nurse could see it upset me and she put a hand on my shoulder and told me, ‘End stage heart disease is just what it’s called. It doesn’t mean the end is here.’ ” Continue reading

Hitting the snooze button on hospital noise (Infographic)

UMHS10427ReduceHospitalNoise-v3Monitors. Alarms. Pagers. People. Hospitals can get as noisy as other places we hang out during the day and there’s a negative side to all that noise. Patients can’t sleep soundly and noise interferes with healing.

The University of Michigan Health System has established quiet hours and tested sound diffusion panels — similar to ones used in music rehearsal rooms — to reduce hospital noise. Look at a breakdown of how hospital noise compares to everyday sounds. Continue reading