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Archive for February, 2013

February is American Heart Month! By Our February (Sadly, He is Leaving Us) Student, Paul Fina.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and roughly 600,000 people die of heart disease yearly–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths! About 935,000 people have a heart attack a year and 2 in every 3 is a person’s first heart attack.

Heart disease goes by many names including: coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, heart attacks, and more! As a set of chronic diseases, it’s important to identify if you’re at risk early on and to take action.

There are a number of risk factors for heart disease. They include: high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, being overweight, diabetes, poor diet, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol use, and a family history of heart disease. Any of these risk factors increase the chance that you’ll have heart disease or a heart attack.

How to Identify Heart Disease

Many of the types of heart problems have similar warning signs which makes them difficult to differentiate.

  • Angina (Chest pain) – Any kind of discomfort, heaviness, pressure, aching, burning, fullness, squeezing or painful feeling in your chest. It can also be felt in your shoulders, arms, neck, throat, jaw, and back.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Palpitations – Irregular heartbeats that cause you to feel your heart beat in your chest.
  • Fast heart rate
  • Weakness or dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Sweating

Many of these symptoms are general and require an expert to diagnose and determine what you have. If you experience many of these and haven’t been diagnosed with heart disease, you should schedule a visit with your physician.

7 Steps for a Healthier Heart

If you’re at risk for heart disease, you should make some small changes to your current lifestyle. These 7 steps also come with some helpful tips, but only you can make these changes. Take ownership over your health and live a healthier life!

  • Exercise several times a week–150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise. Find a buddy who also wants to lose weight, so that there is mutual accountability.
  • Maintain a healthy diet – Stay out of the junk food aisles in grocery stores and focus on eating fresh foods, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Consume < 300mg of cholesterol daily.
  • Don’t smoke – Smoking decreases oxygen to the heart and can damage cells that make up your blood vessels.
  • Lose weight.
  • Lower your blood pressure.
  • Aim for a fasting blood glucose of < 100mg/dL.

Eating healthier and exercising will help you to lose weight, lower your blood pressure, and lower your fasting blood glucose.

February 28, as American Heart Month ends, is my last day with Plain City Druggist. I just wanted to thank everyone who I met during the month for making my experience a great one. Thanks!

Paul Fina

Conference Leads to Lots of New Ideas and Enthusiasm!

Joe and I recently got back from the Pharmacy Development Services (PDS) Independent Business Growth Conference which we try to attend every February. I think the staff always worries after Joe attends conferences, because he comes back full of enthusiasm and wanting to change the pharmacy with tons of new ideas and schemes to help our patients.

The PDS conference is always inspiring, even if a bit tiring. We are in the conference for three full days from 8 am to 6:30 pm with lunch and breaks spent networking with other independent pharmacy owners–this is a conference for independent pharmacies only. Happily, we receive a lot of continuing education credit for our pharmacy licenses by attending the lectures each day.

The theme of the conference this year was “Destroy the Status Quo” and this idea was touched on by everyone throughout the three day event.

At the beginning of the conference, we are given an “Opportunity Funnel” booklet in which we are supposed to write down all the ideas we get while we are at the conference–from the speakers, vendors, and other pharmacy owners. Some of the attendees fill up book after book with ideas. A prize is given at the end of the conference to the person who captures the most ideas. Joe and I never win, but we do get a lot of great ideas, nonetheless.

Besides throwing tons of ideas at us, PDS also always brings in the best speakers. This year they had several that were utterly extraordinary. Joe and I both liked Ray Kurzweil, who spoke on really futuristic stuff in the world of biotechnology. He believes that if someone can just hang on for the next 10-20 years, we may be able to prolong lives well into the 100’s due to gene therapy, organ growth (using your own DNA to grow organs), and bioengineering. He is a brilliant speaker. He signed and gave each conference attendee a copy of his book, “How to Create a Mind.” If you really want to give your brain a workout, read any of Ray Kurzweil’s books.  He will probably blow your mind with the “science fiction” type stuff he writes about. But the amazing thing is, the things he describes are all possible and not far in the future!

The second speaker we liked was Dr. Nido Qubein who is the current president of High Point University in North Carolina. Dr. Qubein was an immigrant to this country who arrived as a teenager knowing very little English and with only $50 on him. He has since owned and been on the boards of million dollar companies, written numerous books, and won every award available for motivational speakers. He truly was motivational, as well as funny, and we could have listened to him all afternoon.

Many vendors also attend this conference and one of the items Joe and I were very interested in carrying for the pharmacy was Statinzyme. This product is marketed for those who use a “statin” drug for cholesterol. Statinzyme contains nine different nutrients and vitamins that are often depleted in those who take statins and is much cheaper than taking each one separately. Look for it in the pharmacy soon and talk to Joe about it if you are on a statin medication for your cholesterol.

We also learned about some interesting compounding products that are currently being produced on the West Coast and are making their way toward us on the East Coast. One of the products Joe and I asked Bob, our super compounding pharmacist, to check on was Glutathione. Glutathione is made up of three amino acids and helps to repair cells, eliminate free radicals, and does other wonderful things that help in the aging process. Joe and I ordered a couple of bottles from Central Drugs Compounding Pharmacy in California (where it is currently being commercially produced) to try and see what we thought. We think this might be a good item to offer at Midwestern Compounding Pharmacy, producing it ourselves.

Be assured, you will be seeing some new things in the pharmacy as Joe works with the staff to incorporate many of his ideas into everyday functioning. Joe is also working with a business coach through PDS to help him make the pharmacy the best it can be! Please give us your feedback when you notice any changes!

All You Can Eat Lions Club Pancake Breakfast is Saturday, February 16, from 7-10:30 am.

Join the Plain City Lions Club on Saturday, February 16, from 7 am to 10:30 am at the Plain City Presbyterian Church (231 East Main Street) for an “All You Can Eat” Pancake Breakfast. There will also be sausage. The cost is $6 for children 6 and older and for adults.

Advanced tickets can be purchased here at the drugstore, at Schrock Automotive, and at Yoder’s Hardware. Or you can just pay at the door.

In the event of a snow day, the Pancake Breakfast will be moved to Saturday, February 23.

So come out with your appetite and support the Plain City Lions on February 16. We hear that Roger Weeks will be flipping pancakes and he is a tremendous cook! YUM!!

Fish Fry Fridays Return to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Friday, February 15!

It is that time of year again. Time to enjoy a fish meal each Friday during Lent. Once again Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church and the local Knights of Columbus will be holding their Friday Fish Fries beginning this Friday, February 15, and continuing through March 22. The Fish Fries will be held at the Parish Activity Center (the PAC), 670 West Main Street (behind the firehouse) from 5:30-8 pm.

Meals are $8 for adults and $6 for children and seniors. You can also buy an extra piece of fish for $1 (limit of two extra pieces). Besides either fried or baked Alaskan Pollock (please request the baked fish if you would like it), the meal also includes soda or coffee, cole slaw, and fries or macaroni and cheese. Additionally, you can purchase homemade desserts for a $1 donation that benefits the St. Martin de Porres Society.

Carry out service of the meals is also available.

So please come out this Friday, February 15, and support the Knights of Columbus with their first Fish Fry of the Lenten season. Join them each Friday (February 22, March 1, 8, 15, and 22) for a delicious meal and lots of enjoyable socializing with neighbors, friends, and family.

For more info, visit Saint Joe’s web site HERE.

For a complete Lenten Fish Fry Guide that lists churches throughout Ohio hosting fish fries, go HERE.

Important Car Kit Items for Emergency Weather. By Extraordinary Eagle Scout and Pharmacy Intern, Paul Fina.

Hey, everyone. This is pharmacy intern/Eagle Scout Paul Fina here with some friendly advice stemming from the Boy Scout motto, “be prepared”.

With the recent snowfall, cold temperatures, and icy roads, right now is the perfect opportunity to talk about emergency preparations for any situation you might experience while driving. Roadside emergencies happen with new and old cars, experienced drivers, and in all weather conditions, so it’s important to have a quality emergency kit in your vehicle. You might even have some of these items in your car already!

The Basics – Items that should be in a kit.

1.      Auto-Club or Roadside-Assistance Number – If you have this perk, make sure you also have the necessary information to use it.

2.      Blanket and Winter Hat – The hat will let you cover an unclothed part of your body and a blanket creates insulation against the cold.

3.      Bottled Water and Non-perishable Food – Just in case you are stuck for an extended period of time. Include more water than you think that you’ll need. It’s easy to become dehydrated, even in the cold.

4.      Cellphone Charger – Your best tool for getting out of any icy situation is your phone, but it must be charged in order for you to use it!

5.      Duct Tape – A very flexible tool that can be used to make and fix a number of things.

6.      Empty Gas Can – Only use this option if you are on a major highway or know where a gas station is located.

7.      First Aid Kit – Choose a kit that can treat small cuts, burns, and includes major bandages.

8.      Flashlight and Batteries – Choose one that is both bright and weatherproof. You may want one that can be worn or is free standing so that your hands are free for another task.

9.      Jumper Cables – These are easy to use and great if a second car is available.

10.  Matches and Parraffin Wax Candles in a Coffee Can – The coffee can can be used for warming your water.

11.  Petty Cash – Include coins and small bills. Cell phones don’t always work and pay phones still exist.

12.  Spare Tire, Jack, and Lug Wrench – Many vehicles are purchased with these items already on board.

Nice but not necessary items

1.      Basic Tool Kit – Include a set of sockets and open-ended wrenches, a multi-tip screwdriver, and pliers.

2.      Clothing – Keep an extra set of clothing so you can change if your clothes become wet or dirty. An old coat is a great addition where you can also store gloves, a whistle, and a winter hat in the pockets.

3.      Extra Fuses – Many electrical problems can be fixed with a simple replacement of one of these. Make sure to purchase an assortment.

4.      Flares – Light and prevent them from rolling with rocks or a stand. Flares are a great tool to make other drivers aware you might need help.

5.      Small Folding Shovel – You can use this to try and gain traction in the snow–you dig?

6.      Towline – A tool for any good Samaritan that comes by to haul you home.

It’s also important to periodically check on your emergency kit and make sure everything is in working order – batteries are charged, first aid kit is current, water is fresh, and food is unspoiled. You should never leave your vehicle, as it provides you with shelter and insulation against the cold.

Safe Travels!

Paul