Signs & Cure for Skier’s Toe

Downhill skiing is a ton of fun, but there are several common injuries that crop up with this sport. Perhaps the most common is the infamous skier’s toe. Typically discovered at the end of the day, “skier’s toe” shows up as a very painful BLACK TOENAIL- usually the great toe. The medical term is a subungual hematoma, which simply means below the nail bleeding.  This can occur from a single instance of trauma like dropping something on your toe, or from small, repetitive trauma like a too-small or too-big (so your foot slams back and forth) ski boot. As the … Read more

Snowboarding Can Be a Pain in the Rear…

Downhill skiing is a ton of fun, but there are several common injuries that crop up with this sport. Perhaps the most common is the infamous skier’s toe. Typically discovered at the end of the day, “skier’s toe” shows up as a very painful BLACK TOENAIL- usually the great toe. The medical term is a subungual hematoma, which simply means below the nail bleeding.  This can occur from a single instance of trauma like dropping something on your toe, or from small, repetitive trauma like a too-small or too-big (so your foot slams back and forth) ski boot. As the … Read more

An Altitude Adjustment

Going skiing for winter break? Mountains are my favorite destination, but…please remember that the high altitude can come with a couple medical challenges. First of all, don’t be fooled that cool weather means no sunburns! Check out this blog on sunscreen so you don’t end up with a high altitude burn. Secondly, be aware of signs and symptoms of “mountain sickness” (aka. altitude sickness).

HOW HIGH do you have to be for altitude sickness?
There is not a set elevation for typical mountain vacations that affects everyone. Symptoms are uncommon at altitudes below 5000 feet above sea level, and fairly … Read more

Wh Should All Be #FacingAIDS

Today (and every December 1st) is World AIDS Day. Do you know anyone living with HIV disease? Or anyone who has died of AIDS? With over a million Americans living with HIV disease, odds are good that someone in your life either has or will be affected by this infection. The scary part is that only 5 out of 6 infected individuals are aware of their HIV status…which means ONE in SIX people infected with HIV are completely UNAWARE they carry and can spread the disease.

This silent presence of HIV is the very reason that back in 2006, the … Read more

Got Asthma? Get this Vaccine!

This month I am focusing on vaccinations- the FLU vaccine, Tetanus, Pertussis, and now…the “pneumonia” vaccine.  This vaccine works against Streptococcus pneumonia, the “pneumococcal bacteria” which causes hundreds of thousands of cases of pneumonia, sepsis and meningitis in the United States every year. Before routine childhood immunization against this bacteria, there were also over 5 million ear infections per year caused by this organism. This bacteria has developed quite a bit of resistance to antibiotics, and the more serious pneumococcal diseases have a very high mortality rate ranging up to 37%, so everything we can do to prevent … Read more

Did I Hear a WHOOP?

As a Texas Aggie, I generally love to hear a “WHOOP” (especially during football season- gig ’em, Ags!) However, as a doctor, the word or sound “whoop” triggers concerns about Pertussis, the bacteria that causes whooping cough, which has been unfortunately on the rise in our community and across the United States.

What is whooping cough?

This highly infectious respiratory disease only infects humans, and causes nearly 50 million cases of disease each year. In the United States, we only see around 40,000 documented cases/year, but certainly have many more infections that are not recognized and treated.  Smokers, asthmatics, infants, … Read more

When was Your Last Tetanus Shot?

Since it’s time for everyone’s annual FLU VACCINE, I thought I’d take a few posts and reflect on a couple other vaccines. Today, let’s talk about the TETANUS vaccine.

What does the tetanus vaccine do? Most people have heard that if you “step on a rusty nail”, you should make sure you are up to date on your tetanus booster. Actually, this should be true for any significant breaks in the skin such as burns, puncture wounds or “road rash”.  The tetanus vaccine boosts our immunity to the bacteria called Clostridium tetani, an organism that lives all around us, but … Read more

Restless Legs Keeping You Awake?

Do your legs ache, squirm, feel antsy and seem to want to MOVE to get comfortable when you try to go to sleep at night? How about during the day- do you need to get up and walk around to relieve that same irritating sensation in your legs when you are supposed to be sitting in a meeting or parking yourself in front of a computer? Does walking around or at least moving your legs relieve the discomfort? If so, you may be one of the estimated 3-15% of the population with a disorder known as restless leg syndrome (RLS).… Read more

Can’t Sleep? You’re Not Alone…

One in ten American adults have suffer from insomnia (defined as inability to adequately sleep for at least fourteen consecutive nights). Whether it is trouble with falling asleep or difficulty staying asleep (waking up either multiple times or simply way too early), this lack of restorative sleep leads to more than simply daytime fatigue. Sleep deprivation causes trouble with concentration and memory, irritability and other mood disturbances, and actually can lead to higher rates of infection, diabetes, heart disease, and cancers. As such, I’m going to spend the next several blog entries talking about insomnia issues and solutions.

While some … Read more

I Got Mine! Did You Get Yours?

As we zip into the holiday season, give yourself the GIFT of a flu vaccine NOW so you are not struck down with this illness at the busiest time of year! Flu shots have been available for a few weeks and seem to be available everywhere.  Clinics, schools, grocery stores, pharmacies and many employers are all offering flu shots these days. Add a flu shot to your grocery list- I’ll bet the pharmacy there is stocked and you won’t even have to add an extra stop on your weekly errands.

Who should get the flu vaccine?
The Center for Disease … Read more