Choose Your Parents Carefully

January 6, 2015 @ 6:06 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

My father was born 4 January and my mother 5 January.  I pause to remember them at this time each year.

Your “choice of parents” is the key to many medical conditions.  You inherit many tendencies for better or worse.  I can trace my medical problems to parents and grandparents.  I can also trace some of my best traits to those same parents and grandparents.

Inherited tendencies are a big deal.  However, you have to play the hand you are dealt.  How you play that hand can mitigate or exacerbate many problems.

Get a check-up to identify issues while they can still be modified.  Specifically mention medical problems your parents, and other relatives have had.  Be proactive.  In the case of bone health, get a Complete Bone Health Evaluation.

Take Control of your future by evaluation and preventive action.

Jay Ginther, MD

New Year 2015

January 1, 2015 @ 11:07 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

Today is the first day of 2015.

Make 2015 the year you do some preventive healthcare.  Check your risk for conditions associated with middle age: diabetes, hypertension, and declining bone health.  Better yet, start preventing those conditions with proper diet and exercise in your 20’s and 30’s.

For bone health, start with a Complete Bone Health Evaluation.

Jay Ginther, MD

Operate On Your Hip Fracture Or Not – Decide NOW

December 29, 2014 @ 9:57 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

Usually we operate on a Hip Fracture.  We do that in order to: preserve Independent Living; or preserve independent ambulation in Assisted Living; or preserve assisted ambulation in a Care Facility; and always to preserve quality of life.  But what if none of those goals are possible? 

At the St Paul Geriatric Fracture Conference this month, it was proposed that alternative care to surgery is sometimes more humane and less costly to society – both laudable goals.  The ideal care for a patient with a fractured hip is to thoroughly discuss all alternatives before proceeding to surgery.

Family and other caregivers should all join the patient for a relaxed discussion of the future, weighing quality of life issues radically changed by the usual loss of function / independence imposed by the fracture.  Only after concensus is reached, should surgery proceed – if that is the chosen path.

Unfortunately, the clock is ticking.  The likelihood of death, medical complications of the fracture, medical complications of surgery, and permanent disabilities begin to increase only 12 hours after fracture.  Gathering all interested parties and making informed life-changing decisions within that time limit is very challenging.

Ideally the patient, family, care-givers and primary physician have discussed the possibility of fracture and come to tentative decisions about what sorts of care are desired.  This is especially true for patients who already cannot ambulate, are becoming demented, or have a limited quality of life.

Involve the patient in the decision while he/she can still express his/her desires.  Written Advanced Directives are ideally on file with physician and hospital.  Allow the patient to Take Control of his/her Future.

My wife and I have discussed our desires with our children.  We have advanced directives on file.  You should too.

Jay Ginther, MD

Christmas with Grandkids

December 26, 2014 @ 6:48 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

Christmas with your grandkids is a blue zone.  So are all family gatherings regardless of season.  We spent the Christmas holiday with extended family.

Read “The Blue Zones” by Dan Buettner.

Savor the good times.

Jay Ginther, MD