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Why are so many people dying of accidental drug overdoses? The truth behind prescription drug misuse and how to avoid disaster.

Saturday, 21 October, 2017
drug overdose

Prince’s death has highlighted a problem in America: the risk of drug overdoses. You’ve likely heard many celebrity names during the years — from Elvis and Judy Garland to Heath Ledger and Amy Winehouse.

In fact, you might think of drug abuse as either a celebrity problem or a problem for lower-income people. Instead, death from drug overdoses has increased at an astonishing rate among all socioeconomic levels and ethnic groups in the past few decades. According to the New York Times, “the number of these deaths reached a new peak in 2014: 47,055 people, or the equivalent of about 125 Americans every day.”

Many of these overdoses are from opioids, a class of drugs that includes heroin and fentanyl, the medication that led to Prince’s drug overdose. Other examples of opioids are: morphine, methadone, Buprenorphine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone. You might recognize them by their brand names including OxyContin®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Percodan®, Tylox® and Demerol® among others. The Times reports that opioids were involved in more than 61 percent of deaths from overdoses in 2014.

Often, these drugs are obtained legally. Many people are prescribed opioids for chronic pain. According to an analysis published in the JAMA Internal Medicine, the majority of opioid prescriptions are written by family physicians and general internists.

This year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued new guidelines about when to prescribe such medications. Right now in the physical therapy community, a hashtag #ChoosePT is working to create awareness about other ways to treat chronic and acute pain without turning to drugs.

“As doctors, our goal is to promote healing and recovery for our patients,” said Dr. Melanie Mintzer of Generations Family Practice. “While this means treating pain, we do not want to cause addiction to narcotics as a side effect, which can create an unnecessary chronic disease for some patients. It is a delicate balance and we are committed to identifying the causes of pain and treating them with multi-modality interventions to prevent addiction or accidental drug overdose.”

As we, the medical community, work to do better, we must also do more to educate those who might misuse these drugs. Those who choose to misuse prescription drugs for recreation may be obtaining them from someone else and may not have been informed of their dangers. There is a stigma associated with drug use that leads many people not to discuss it or try to get more information about it.

Avoiding disaster means attacking the problem on multiple fronts, including:

  • Teaching everyone never to mix opioids with other sedatives.
  • Making it easy to access naloxone, an inexpensive drug that reverses the effects of opiate overdoses.
  • Carefully considering whether stricter drug punishments are truly the solution.

As your doctors, we hope that you’ll come to us with any questions or concerns about prescription drug use for yourself or family members.

 

Farewell to our Team Member, Linn Floderus

Saturday, 21 October, 2017
Linn Floderus, NP

Dear Patients and Friends,

We’re sad to report that Linn Floderus, NP, one of our Family Nurse Practitioners, is leaving Generations Family Practice to embark on a new opportunity. Her last day in the office is Wednesday, June 22.

Linn began working with the GFP family in 2013 and we are grateful for her three years of service. We wish her all the best in her new endeavors.

Our goal is to provide a caring place for you and your family and we know trust is an important part of that relationship. If you are a patient of Linn’s and have questions about your future care with our other team members, please feel free to call us at (919) 852-3999.

Sincerely,

Dr. Melanie Mintzer

Getting to Know Endometriosis

Saturday, 21 October, 2017
Endometriosis

Painful periods? While pain is a normal part of most women’s menstrual cycles, some women experience debilitating pain before and during periods, during sex and more. March is National Endometriosis Awareness Month, and it’s a good time to understand more about something often misunderstood.

Here are the fast facts on endometriosis:

  • It affects 6.3 million women and girls in the U.S.
  • The endometrium is the tissue that lines the uterus. Endometriosis occurs when this type of tissue is found outside the uterus -- usually in the abdomen on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and ligaments that support the uterus; the area between the vagina and rectum; the outer surface of the uterus; and the lining of the pelvic cavity.
  • The misplaced tissue develops into growths or lesions, which go through the same process as your cycle: each month the tissue builds up, breaks down, and sheds. Menstrual blood flows from the uterus and out of the body through the vagina, but the blood and tissue shed from endometrial growths has no way of leaving the body. This results in internal bleeding, breakdown of the blood and tissue from the lesions, and inflammation -- and can cause pain, infertility, scar tissue formation, adhesions, and bowel problems.

Symptoms include:

  • Pain before and during periods
  • Pain with sex
  • Infertility
  • Fatigue
  • Painful urination during periods
  • Painful bowel movements during periods
  • Other Gastrointestinal upsets such as diarrhea, constipation, nausea.

Below are two wonderful and informative pieces we found to help you better understand this disease.

"Did You Know Killer Cramps Are Not Normal?" is a great video by the folks at Endometriosis Foundation of America that shares information about Endometriosis in an informative and enagaing manner.

 

The below infographic from RMA of Texas presents symptoms, causes and treatments for endometriosis and aims to bring more awareness to this terrible disease so hopefully a cure can be found soon.

[Click image for full size version]

Changes Coming to Generations Family Practice

Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Dear Patients,

Generations Family Practice has been growing incredibly fast over the last year due to your support, referrals and a rapidly growing population in the Cary area.  We are at a point where we need to make some dramatic changes to keep up with the growing demand and also continue to provide you with the service you have grown accustomed.

In order to better serve our patients here in the office, to decrease hold times for incoming calls, and to increase front office efficiency we will be implementing a phone tree.  You will still be able to reach our staff, but your calls will be distributed according to the purpose of your call and may not go directly through our front office attendants. In many cases you may be asked to leave a message. Please do not be discouraged, as these messages will be retrieved promptly and distributed to the intended recipient in a timely manner.  We will continue to address your concerns and respond to your needs as quickly as possible.

Another change we plan to implement is a change in our scheduling. We know it's been difficult for you to schedule appointments with your primary care doctor recently. We are working hard to remedy this issue so we can provide you with the best possible care. In order to make our providers more accessible to their patients we are changing how we schedule your appointments.  To make this new system work, we will need your help. We will begin asking that you arrive at least 5 minutes early for your scheduled appointment, come prepared with a list of your current medications and your current insurance information, and please be forthcoming with your reason for scheduling your appointment.  The more we understand why you are coming, the better prepared we can be and the more quality time you will have with the provider.  There will also be times when you will be asked to complete certain paperwork ahead of time and bring it to the appointment with you. If you are unable to adhere to these requests please plan to arrive early, so the needed paperwork can be completed in the office before your appointment.

The changes in our scheduling will also require us to be stricter when accommodating patients who arrive late for their appointment.  If you arrive more than 10 minutes late, it may be necessary to reschedule.

Walk-ins are another change we will be making within the office. Starting April 15th, we will no longer have a designated hour every day to accommodate walk-ins.  Walk-ins will be handled on an as-needed basis, for patients who are sick with minor conditions, such as sore throat, ear infection and sinus infection.  A patient who walks in will be worked in to the schedule accordingly. Because scheduled patients take priority over a walk-in, anyone who chooses to walk-in, rather than schedule an appointment, should expect to wait. Wait times will vary and an expected wait time will be unpredictable.  Patients are strongly encouraged to contact the office to schedule an appointment whenever possible.

Lastly, starting April 15th, we will close our doors for lunch at 12:00pm and reopen at 1:00pm.

Please be patient with us as we make these changes and grow accustomed to our new workflow. You can expect to start seeing the beginnings of these changes in early March and we hope to complete the transition mid to late April.  We hope to have a smooth transition and cause as little disruption to our patients as possible.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

4 Reasons to Choose a Generations Family Practice Cary Pediatrician

Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Choosing the right Cary pediatrician can feel overwhelming, especially for new parents or people who are new to the Cary or Triangle, North Carolina area. Your child’s wellness is your top priority, and there are many aspects to health care in the first several years of life, including:

  • Vaccines and immunizations
  • Well-child exams
  • Annual physical exams and checkups
  • Treatment for sports injuries
  • Sports physicals and back-to-school physicals
  • Vision and hearing screenings
  • Care for chronic conditions and diseases

During your search for a pediatrician’s office, here are some things to consider.

We Hope You’ll Choose a Generations Family Practice Cary Pediatrician:

  1. After Hours Care - We know children don’t always get sick between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. We are happy to offer an after-hours, on-call provider for those other times.
  2. Consistent Doctor - Some pediatric offices shuffle you around to a different doctor at each visit. At Generations Family Practice, your child will see Dr. Christine Macomber. Both you and your child get to know the doctor much better and she will get to know you. She can watch for specific health concerns over time and monitor your child’s development.
  3. A Place for the Whole Family - Because GFP offers a variety of services for the entire family, you can book appointments together, from skincare and OB/GYN services to men’s prostate screenings. Plus, your children can “graduate” from the pediatrician's office straight to our other primary care physicians. Our pediatric services include sports injuries and mental and behavioral health. The family doctors at GFP understand the importance of preventative care to keep your child healthy for years to come.
  4. Convenient Location - At some point in 18 years, you will have to rush to the doctor before or after work. Rushing to the nearby doctor in Cary is much easier than driving all over the Triangle. Choose a doctor’s office you can reach easily.

Learn more about our philosophy and children’s medical services. Or call us to learn more about starting your children at Generations Family Practice: 919-852-3999.
 

Wellness for Generations newsletter - January 2016

Saturday, 21 October, 2017
January newsletter

Generations brings you into the New Year with information on thyroid and skin health, tips for kids on keeping those resolutions, a yummy recipe and so much more! Click here to read our latest newsletter.

Look Who Won the Maggy Awards!!

Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Congratulations to our very own Dr. Melanie Mintzer who was recognized as a 2016 Maggy Award Winner! This is her second win in a row! We are doubly excited to announce that Dr. Justin Glodowski earned Honorable Mention in the Maggy’s. The Maggy Awards are presented each year by Cary Magazine. More than 11,000 area residents vote for their favorite service heroes, and we’re proud that one of our doctors was chosen. We would like to say ‘Thank you’ to our patients for recognizing Dr. Mintzer! Learn more about the awards or see the full list of winners

How to Spot Skin Cancer

Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Anyone can get skin cancer, regardless of skin color. It is estimated that one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetime. When caught early, skin cancer is highly treatable. Use the information in this graphic, courtesy of the American Academy of Dermatology, to check your skin regularly.

 

My Generations Story

Saturday, 21 October, 2017

From cradle to rocker, no matter the generation, the practitioners at Generations Family Practice take pride in offering high quality, primary care to each patient. Family medicine is not only our focus, it is our passion. From preventive care or minor emergencies to pediatric or acute care, our knowledgable staff is dedicated to positively impacting the health and well-being of our patients.

But don't take our word for it...read through recent praises from our patients of all generations. And share your Generations story ~ we'd love to hear it!

 


 

"I switched my doctor to Generations Family Practice and I'm glad I did. I have Dr. Glodowski and he's an excellent and caring doctor who really spent a lot of time with me asking questions and getting to the bottom of my problem. He was very thorough. These days, most doctors rush you in and rush you out in order to see as many patients as possible but I can see that Dr. Glodowski really wants to get to the bottom of any medical issue and treat it the right way. He patiently listens and answers questions and goes over lab results very thoroughly." ~Jon (Google reviews)

 

"Professional people who care about you. Having the availability to walk in is truly outstanding. We don't get sick at convenient times, but this practice tries its best to do whatever is possible to serve you. The best doctor's office I have ever visited." ~Sandra (Google reviews)

 

"I highly recommend Lynn. She is an amazing Physician's Assistant. Her bedside manner and knowledge are above average. I look forward to building a lifetime relationship with her and Generations."  ~Lisa (Google reviews)

 

"Dr. Gladowski is amazing. He is great with osteopathy and very thorough. He takes time to get to know the patient and covers all aspects of the patient's health." ~Elizabeth (Google reviews)

 

"I have been seeing Dr. Mintzer for years now. Never have I had a Dr. that took the time to get to me and all that is going on in my life in order to provide a holistic approach to my care. There are simply no words that can describe my gratitude to her and the entire team there!" ~Heather (Google reviews)

 

"Have had fairly pleasant experiences with this office thus far. The nurses are incredibly friendly and professional. Dr. Justin G is very easy going and caring. So far everyone has been welcoming, and helpful when I've had questions and/or needed explanations." ~Carlos (Google reviews)

 

"This is a wonderful practice.  I was nervous about changing medical providers, as I had recently moved to Cary.  I am also nervous about medical visits in general.  I have felt in great hands here from the very first phone contact.  Everyone is competent, supportive, dedicated, and reliable.  I couldn't be more pleased with the care provided here." ~B.T. (YELP reviews)

 

"[After a bad experience elsewhere] I was determined not to make that mistake again, so this time I did a ton of research and found a place that was great quality, but still not very far from my home. Generations Family Practice. I did all the same things again - transferred records, brought in my prescription bottles, came in for an initial appointment, all that. This time was different. Very different. They renewed my prescriptions during the appointment, while I was there. They asked lots of good questions and gave reasonable suggestions. They showed me their patient portal where you can log in, see your history, send questions to your doctor, and see upcoming appointments. The PA I saw was the best I've ever seen, and spent lots of time with me, not just on the first visit, but every visit since then. That's astonishing. They also accept walk-ins, and are open for that purpose on Saturday mornings. So, if you suddenly come down with the flu and need a fast prescription for Tamiflu, they've got you covered. I like them so much that I've since transferred my daughter there too."  ~Sean (YELP reviews)

 

"We've been taking my daughter here since she was born and they have been great. Easy to work with, super accommodating, and you always know they have your best interests in mind! I also like that Dr Macomber studies my daughter rather than relying solely on CDC charts!" ~Josh (YELP reviews)

 

"Knowledgable and friendly. Great hours, and they'll do their best to work you in even if they don't have appointments. Best part is a LIVE PERSON answers the phone! Thanks!" ~Beth (YELP reviews)

 

"I just love Linn! She is so calm which calms me. I find her to be nonjudgmental and professional. Her sincerity is refreshing!" ~Susan (Intuit reviews)

 

"The practitioners and staff are great. I have always had a positive experience." ~Janet (Intuit reviews)

 

[Reviews taken from the following sources: Local Intuit, YELP and Google
 

 

Staying Well and Fit During the Holidays

Saturday, 21 October, 2017
Healthy holiday living

Society tells us we’re supposed to be excited and feel some holiday magic this time of year. In reality, this time of year can cause stress, depression, anxiety, and weight gain, making it a tough couple of months for both your mind and your body.

Staying well and fit may seem a greater challenge than hosting parties and buying a gift for that impossible person on your list. But you can maintain a healthy self through the new year with a few steps.

Body

  • Many people gain one pound each year at this time. If you continue that trend, you’ll be overweight in a few years. Yet November and December are a difficult time to start a weight loss regimen. Instead, focus on maintaining your current weight. You’ll feel less pressure and can enjoy the holiday spirit (and a spirit or two!) instead of grumbling like a Grinch when your coworker brings in treats for the second week in a row.
  • Of course, eating right isn’t easy when every party offers plates of sugary treats, cheesy nibbles, and meat bites. Instead of trying to resist it all, try loading up your plate with the vegetable snacks first. After you have had several of those, you’re less likely to eat as much of the rest.
  • When the weather outside is frightful, leaving your warm bed in the dark to jog or go to the gym is more difficult. But keeping up your exercise routine will help maintain your weight during bouts of extra eating and will make you feel better overall. Many find it helpful to check the weather report the night before and have a plan in mind. For example, if you know it’s going to rain, you can plan to work out with an exercise DVD instead of jogging. Or, simply by knowing what you’ll face, you can tell yourself, “I’m going to go to the gym anyway.”
  • Extra social occasions and a bigger to-do list make it tempting to skip the after-work hour at the gym. Try moving your regular routine to your lunch break or to the morning on those days. You can also put your exercise time on your calendar just like any appointment, or arrange to meet a friend there for an added commitment. 
  • Be sure to record your progress and your weight each week so you can see the effect the holiday is having. You’ll be more likely to push away from that cupcake if you realize it’s hurting your goals.
  • Finally, get the family outside for some group exercise. A family walk or active game is a fun way to spend time and keep moving.

Mind

  • The holidays are known for dangers to your waistline, but they can be just as hazardous to your mental health. If you feel anxiety, sadness, or uneasiness this time of year, you’re not alone. The holiday blues can even manifest themselves physically, causing headaches, insomnia, uneasiness, and intestinal problems.
  • Exercise is one of the key ingredients to good mental health as well as physical, so start by taking note of the body tips above. Yoga, walking, and spiritual practices may also help you get in touch with what’s important this season.
  • Still, keeping up your spirit while shopping in a crowded mall, driving through extra traffic, or being away from your family or loved ones isn’t easy.
  • Start by giving yourself a break. Some people feel worse during the holidays because there is pressure to feel happy. The holidays don’t automatically take away any current feelings you’re experiencing and they are never going to produce the same feelings you had as a child. Don’t let expectations ruin your chance for happiness.
  • Next, don’t overload your schedule. Exhaustion isn’t going to improve your mood. There is always too much to do, so choose your crucial plans and tasks and stick to that list. However, if you are feeling underbooked, volunteer at a homeless shelter, or with groups that help hospitalized children. Community service is a wonderful way to lift your spirit.
  • Finally, watch the alcohol intake. Alcohol is a depressant, and a hangover is definitely not going to lift your spirits.

If you find yourself feeling blue this holiday season, contact us for help.

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