Calling All Guest Bloggers: Embracing Our Virtual Community

By Lexington Medical Center

close up photography of woman sitting beside table while using macbook

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

One of our goals of the Every Woman Blog is to facilitate a dialogue and provide a sense of community for the women of the Midlands. And in times like this, a virtual community is even more important! We have hosted many women bloggers over the year who’ve shared all parts of their lives with our readers. Now, as our community faces something unprecedented, we are inviting women of the Midlands to submit a blog post on topics that may be of interest to other women in our community during this time. We may all have a little extra time to write or read and sharing with others may be a real comfort. We invite women of the Midlands to submit guest blogs and strengthen this community.

If you are interested in submitting a guest blog for consideration, please email it as a text attachment or in the body of the email to everywomanbloglmc@gmail.com. To be eligible, blogs must be between 400-600 words and include at least one photo. Publication will be subject to approval.

Has It Ever Occurred to You, Nothing’s Ever ‘Occurred’ to God?

By: Marianna Boyce

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Before ‘Coronavirus,’ ‘social distancing,’ and ‘flattening the curve’ became household words, I planned to submit a comical post written about technology and the older generation, but as the past few weeks began to unfold, I felt it wouldn’t be appropriate at this time.

The title of this particular post is a statement I’ve often heard my dad say, and no, nothing suddenly dawned on God. He didn’t just ‘wake up’ one morning and say, “Wow—I didn’t see that one coming.” Although I find much comfort in that, uncertainty is still somewhat unnerving. This unprecedented crisis developed in breakneck speed, not only in the United States of America, but also around the world.

It’s no secret America is at her best when we all stand together as “one nation, under God, indivisible…” but prayer is the key. Our country was founded on biblical principles. Praying to an all-knowing God has gotten us through some very difficult times in the past, and I have no reason to believe He won’t do the same now.

My pastor says that prayer is the slender nerve that moves the hand of God, but in my opinion, it shouldn’t take a global pandemic to get America back on her knees, yet here we are.

As we seek God’s face in the coming months, let’s fervently pray for our leaders and those in authority. Like them or not, they have an incredibly difficult job.

Of course, our doctors, nurses, and first responders need knowledge, wisdom, and strength to keep pushing forward.

Our truck drivers tirelessly keep our supply chain moving. I’ve noticed many more on the road in the past week or two, and I’m okay with that. How about you? They’re carrying precious cargo—our food, water, and other essential supplies, including that elusive toilet paper. Let’s be patient when we’re on the road with them.

If you’re working extended hours in our grocery stores to clean, sanitize, and re-stock shelves—thank you. You’ve not been forgotten.

As we practice social distancing from our friends, neighbors, and co-workers, let’s not distance ourselves from a great and mighty God. After we thoroughly wash our hands, lets remember to fold them in prayer for one another—not only for the United States of America, but for the entire world.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 (KJV)

“The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” Nahum 1:7 (KJV)

This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. I’d love to know yours.

Exercise and RA: Part Four

By Marianna Boyce

active-adult-athlete-body-416778I’m sure we can all agree exercise benefits us all—regardless of gender, age, and fitness levels. There are many options to choose from, but not every workout suits every need. The key is to keep looking until you find which one works best for you.

 

In the beginning, I used rheumatoid arthritis as an excuse not to exercise, but quickly found anything water-related was a soothing option for my aching joints. For that very reason, I joined a gym and participated only in their water fitness classes. After about a month, this particular activity enabled me to build strength and endurance, ultimately giving me the confidence I needed to search for more options.

 

Since I preferred group classes, I looked for some I could do without creating painful regrets. There’s a difference between RA pain and exercise pain. I can handle the exercise pain alone, but paired with RA, it’s a frightening thought.

 

To follow is a list of some of the choices I’ve made so far. I certainly plan to add to the list as I become stronger, but for now, I’m challenging myself. It’s a balancing act, but the motivation is quite simple—feeling better while improving my mobility.

 

Aqua-Fit/Aqua-Tone/Aqua-Zumba

Each of these fun-filled workouts is for people of all ages and fitness levels.

 

I reaped many benefits from these non-impact underwater exercises performed in a temperature-controlled pool.

 

The instructor guides each step of the way, and most importantly, if you mess up, no one cares. As long as you keep moving, you’re doing it right.

 

I like to say, “What goes on under the water stays under the water.”

 

There’s no judgement and no rules.

 

Okay, there’s only one rule—no drowning allowed, and since your face is never submerged, it’s an easy rule to follow.

 

As I gained momentum in the areas of flexibility, strength, and mobility, I mustered up enough courage to try a Yoga Restore class.

 

Yoga Restore

This relaxing hour is also encouraged for all ages and fitness levels.

 

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It uses breathing, stretching, and restorative postures to assist in feeling refreshed and renewed. With the lights dimmed, the intimidating factor most people feel when starting out makes it easier to attend. It’s a great way to treat your body to a calm, relaxing workout.

 

There’s no judgement and no rules.

 

Okay, there’s only one rule—just do you. Since you know your body better than anyone, it’s an easy rule to follow. The instructor never pushes beyond your limit. If you can’t hold a particular stretch or pose, do one you can.

 

RPM (Indoor Cycling/Spin Class)

This class is for all ages and fitness levels.

 

athlete-bike-black-and-white-cycle-260409RPM is a calorie-burning workout on stationary bicycles where you ride with the instruction of an enthusiastic coach. An instructor will guide you through various terrains—including hills, flats, and mountaintops.

 

In this class, there’s no judgement and no rules.

 

Okay, there’s only one rule—just have fun. It’s not a competition. The instructors constantly encourage members to listen to their bodies.

 

This high energy class is great, but I always take it much easier than everyone else. My knees and ankles don’t allow for the intensity many others exert—and I’m okay with that.

 

Barre

Wow—I love this class. It’s incredibly challenging, but miraculously doable—even for those with joint-related issues such as RA.

 

It’s a low-impact, high-energy program that integrates principles of yoga, Pilates, and strength training all in one class. The instructor focuses on slow, full-range movements combined with high repetition and isometric contractions. It increases strength, endurance, and bone density. It also improves posture, functional movement, and engages every muscle in the body through each pose and exercise.

 

Did I mention, there’s no judgement and no rules?

 

Okay, there’s just one rule—challenge yourself, but only within your physical limitations. The instructor will give modifications to any exercise if necessary.

 

Is it easy? Absolutely not. Has it been well worth the extra time, effort, and money? More than you’ll ever know. Until September of last year, I’d completely forgotten how good exercise felt. These activities changed the trajectory of my health and wellness goals.

 

Trust me! There’s still much to do, but the benchmark I recently set for myself was to simply feel better without focusing on a number on the scale. I’ve met that goal—so what’s next?

 

If you’ve ever entertained the idea of joining a gym, I encourage those of all ages and fitness levels to take that plunge if at all possible. Not all have a pool, so if you’re searching for water-fitness in particular, MUV fitness is a good option. If you don’t necessarily need a pool, I definitely recommend any reputable gym that’s convenient and affordable.

 

The reasoning is simple, and has nothing to do with vanity, but everything to do with mobility.

 

I’m not 100% pain-free, and may never be, but I haven’t felt better in years. Exercise is helping in ways I never thought possible—mentally and physically. It’s something I never thought about until it was snatched away, but I can honestly say I no longer take it for granted. The power of movement and mobility—it truly does matter.

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I’ve not been paid or given any services from MUV Fitness.

 

Lexington Medical Center’s Coronavirus Response

Lexington Medical Center is carefully monitoring the 2019 Novel Coronavirus known as COVID-19 and referred to as “coronavirus” with multiple, local, state and federal agencies.

A multidisciplinary team of hospital leaders and clinicians meets regularly to discuss updated information about the virus, evaluate appropriate responses including supplies, and establish plans for treatment. Lexington Medical Center is committed to providing the best care to patients and community members.

While a new type of illness can be scary, community members can protect themselves by following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for preventing respiratory illnesses. These include:
·wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. And, always wash your hands with soap and water if they are visibly dirty.
·avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
·stay home when you’re sick.
·cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue and put it in the trash immediately.
·clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
·get the influenza vaccine.

The most up-to-date information on the coronavirus can be found on the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites at www.scdhec.gov and www.cdc.gov.

Need a stress relief? Try coloring.

By: LexMed staff

 

Stress can be a major factor contributing to heart disease. Lexington Medical Heart and Vascular Center wants you to “Just Say Know” to heart disease by lowering your stress levels. One way to do that is by coloring.

Download a fee stress relief coloring sheet by visiting LexMed.com/Know.

Exercise and RA: Part Three

By Marianna Boyce

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After the onset of perplexing RA symptoms in 2016, it’s taken me more than three years to pull myself together—especially in the area of health and wellness. The counterintuitive aspect of combining exercise with rheumatoid arthritis seemed ludicrous, but I’ve been desperate to feel like my old self again. I know exercise is an important factor. I’m not getting any younger, so it’s high time to get started. No more quitting.

Everyone’s probably heard the definition of insanity—the one where you do the same thing over and over again while expecting different results? Yeah—that’s the one. I was driving myself crazy trying to figure out what I was doing wrong.

It was clear what kept me in tip-top shape in my thirties and forties wasn’t clicking in my fifties. I had entered a new season of life—and wasn’t happy about it.

This change was inevitable, and throwing RA in the mix was much like throwing gasoline on a fire.

In a nutshell, I just missed me. It was evident I needed a different approach, so I got back to basics—start slow and do what you can.

Initially, I resorted back to my home workout videos, but they weren’t as easy as they used to be. I was desperate for outward results but didn’t realize at the time that I needed to work on things other than vanity.

Wanting to lose twenty pounds, I started making better food choices, but also took the plunge and began working out in my sister’s pool last summer. It was then, something strange happened. After a few sessions in the privacy of Cindy’s backyard, I felt incredible—and hadn’t even lost one pound.

Disappointing? Maybe at first, but as time passed, I made a conscious effort to stop fretting about the number on the scale and concentrate solely on the inner me instead.

When summertime came to a close, Cindy covered her pool for the fall and winter months. We decided to join a local fitness center with an indoor pool as we waited out the colder weather.

In all honesty, we weren’t thrilled with the idea of shaking up our daily routine by going to the gym throughout the week, but it’s something we had to do. It sounds like a zany idea for two women in their fifties to be joining aquatic activities in a public pool—yet there we were, along with other people of all ages, shapes, and sizes.

We both loved it immediately.

After the first few sessions, one of the instructors asked if we’d tried classes other than the pool-related ones.

At that time, Cindy and I were on an incredible exercise high, but our instructor knocked us right back down to earth when she asked us about trying other classes.

My thoughts were, “We’re just here for the pool, lady—nothing else. We’ve found our new comfort zone, and we’re happy about it, so there’s no need to push the issue.

This intuitive instructor wasn’t convinced. She thought we could do more. This sweet lady suggested we try a Yoga-Restore class offered upstairs in their main studio.

I told her about a few yoga videos I enjoyed at home (pre-RA,) but they were currently more advanced than my physical capabilities allowed.

She explained this particular class was more concentrated on breathing, stretching, and relaxing. The more she talked it up, the more Yoga-Restore intrigued us. balance-body-exercise-female-374101

Breathing is a necessity; stretching leads to mobility, and relaxing is a luxury.

Sign us up. When’s the next class?

Little did we know how amazing we’d feel the day after yoga.

If you suffer from RA, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, etc., you know that mornings are the worst. The pain and stiffness after waking up are debilitating, but after the first yoga session, our mornings were much more tolerable—not 100% pain-free, but definitely a considerable difference than before.

Branching out to take that one additional class prompted us to seek more possibilities, but we agreed the pool would be a constant. Our new yoga class was also a keeper, but we now looked at the gym in an entirely new way. It appeared Cindy and I were much stronger than we initially thought.

Our options are limitless, but our health issues sometimes keep us grounded. There’s always a fine line to tread, but as a team, we have each other’s back as we both make progress.

How can we push ourselves without going overboard? What else can we possibly do? Just about anything we put our minds to.

Dealing with strokes: think F-A-S-T

By: LexMed staff

When it comes to stroke, think F-A-S-T: facial drooping, arm weakness, slurred speech and time to call 9-1-1. Lexington Medical Center is a Primary Stroke Center, honored for its prompt treatment of stroke patients, saving lives and preventing long-term disability. Learn more at LexMed.com/HVC.

USC Basketball Coach on Heart Health: “Knowledge is Power”

By:  LexMed staff

When it comes to heart health, knowledge is power. Just ask USC men’s basketball coach Frank Martin. In this commercial from Lexington Medical Heart and Vascular Center, he talks about the importance of maintaining a healthy blood pressure.

Put your heart in good hands with Lexington Medical Heart and Vascular Center. Learn more at LexMed.com/HVC.

 

An Angel Here on Earth

By Tina Cameron

I have a friend that is truly an angel among us. Tisha is kind, sweet, caring, funny, and 20200201_081241has a big heart for people and dogs. Recently, God has had her in the right place at the right time on two separate occasions. The first occasion was as Tisha was out driving, she came across two dogs that were in the roadway in danger of being hit by passing cars. She stopped her car and rescued the dogs just as the owner was pulling up. The second incident was the next day as Tisha was driving to the hospital where we work as oncology nurses. As she was driving in the dark hours of the morning, she noticed a man riding his bicycle near her. In an instant, another driver hit this gentleman and took off without stopping to render air or return to the scene. Thank goodness Tisha was paying close attention and able to call 911 before stopping to help the injured man. He sustained a shoulder injury but will be okay.

IMG_0430Let me tell you a little about Tisha. She is 48 years old. She has been married for 27 years to Jamie, and they are blessed with two sons, Gavin and Grayson, and their two “children-in-love,” Matthew and Sarah-Grace. Tisha is also Mom to three fur babies-Bella, Brody, and Bailey.

Tisha has been a nurse for 9 years. She became a nurse because she has always enjoyed helping people and wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. When I asked Tisha what nursing meant to her she said, “For me, nursing has been interesting, challenging, and rewarding. Becoming an RN was a dream come true for me. I really believe that nursing is more than a career; it’s a calling and truly a way of life.” During her free time, Tisha’s favorite things to do are spending time with her family and her dogs, decorating her home, and taking naps and beach trips.

I have worked with Tisha for the past 5 ½ years. I am so happy to call her a friend and feel blessed that she is in my life. Tisha is an asset to our oncology unit, as well as our patients. She truly is an angel here on earth, and the world is a better place because she is in it.IMG_3308 (002)

“Just Say Know” to heart disease

By LexMed staff

Don’t let heart disease put you on the sidelines of life. “Just Say Know” to heart disease by understanding your risk factors and knowing your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers. Put your heart in good hands with Lexington Medical Heart and Vascular Center. Learn more at LexMed.com/HVC.