Guardian Nurses
June 2011


 Social Media Expansion  

 Persistence Pays Off!

I Sure Will Miss Hoagies 

What's New at
 Guardian Nurses

Social Media Expansion  

Many of our fans have noticed and complemented us on the increase in our posts on Facebook, tweets on Twitter, answers and blogs on the Sharecare site, and links on the LinkedIn site.   

All of this creative outreach is thanks to Anna, our new social media guru, who is guiding us into the 21st century.  We invite you to check us out on the social medium of your choice!!

And soon, at a site near you, videos!!

 Pays Off 


Several months ago, one of our broker clients referred a gentleman to us whose insurance company was not paying for his knee surgery.  With a $50,000 outstanding tab, the hospital billed the patient.  
Just last week, Pam Buckner, our nurse advocate gave the patient (and the broker) the good news that she was able to successfully resolve the case and get the insurer to pay the entire $50,000 tab.


While some claims may take a bit longer time-wise to resolve, Pam's persistence paid off!  Congratulations, Pam!


Little Smiles


Please join us in supporting Little Smiles, a local non-profit 501(c)3 organization that is run by an all volunteer-team.  Little Smiles provides toys, games, DVD's, computers, concert, sporting event tickets, theme park tickets, fun food runs, nerf gun wars and much, much more...for children in local hospitals, hospices and shelters.


Check out their website!!!




In past issues of The Flame, I've occasionally shared my own challenges over the last two years with a chronic cough and the multiple physicians I visited and the resultant medications I was prescribed. 


Our nurse advocates often interact with patients whose own chronic health issues bring them to ask for our help.  I've always believed that patients know their own bodies the best and know when 'things aren't right.'  And when we begin our work, we can often listen with a 'new ear,' trying to provide a new perspective that may help them. 


I also believe that patients need to take responsibility for their own health and be partners with their healthcare providers.  To that end, I share my own recent experience below. I'm a little embarrassed that it took me two years to figure it out, but better late than never, yes?



Betty Headshot 3 From 50th PartyTo All of You early

Happy Father's Day!



  Betty Long, RN, MHA, President 

    Guardian Nurses Healthcare Advocates 




I Sure Will Miss Hoagies...







During my last visit to an otorhinolaryngologist (more commonly and easily known as an ear-nose and throat (ENT) doctor), I was determined to express my frustration and impatience with my continued cough.  After the initial "Well, how's everything been going?", I remember saying emphatically, "It's much worse after I eat," to which the doctor said, "OK, let's start you on twice a day Zantac in addition to the Prilosec."  Like a 'good patient,' I filled the prescription and started taking both medicines hoping for some improvement.  It didn't come.


Many weeks later, and now almost two years down the road, I changed my diet---for reasons other than my cough.  (Let's just say I needed to get more protein).  After three days, I noticed that I was not coughing as much.  I couldn't be sure, but could the fact that I was not eating pretzel rods, a favorite snack, be contributing to the improvement?  There was only one way to find out.  Four pretzel rods later, I was back to that familiar coughing.  I was on to something!  I began a food journal documenting what I ate and my resulting symptoms, if any. I weaned down on the Zantac and Prilosec and eventually stopped both. (FYI..neither of these meds should be quickly stopped.)


Two weeks later, I sat in the exam room with my primary physician as she reviewed my medication list.  "Still on the Flonase? "Nope" The Advair? "Nope" How 'bout the Prilosec? "Not that or the Zantac. I'm off everything and I have good news. I am very happy to report that my cough is gone!! I think I'm allergic to gluten.  Can we run some tests, get some bloodwork?"


The bloodwork came back as normal, no allergies or sensitivities were identified, but my doctor said "I wouldn't focus so much on the tests as your experience.  You're the best judge of what works and what doesn't. If you cough after eating gluten, I'd suggest sticking with what you're doing." Wiser advice I have not heard.


I have continued to be mindful of my eating and have begun a trial and error period.  When my breakfast is nuts, yogurt and a banana, I am fine.  When I eat an omelette but try to sneak down a piece of rye toast, I cough the familiar bronchial cough, but it stops after a while. I'm grateful that my response is not life-threatening, just inconvenient and frustrating. 


The lesson for me is clear.  Although I was attentive and responsive to seeing multiple specialists (a pulmonologist first, then a gastroenterologist and finally an ENT), and compliant with all diagnostic testing, and even took the prescribed medications, I failed to listen to even what I was saying---"it's worse after I eat."  I had never considered that it was WHAT I was eating!!


Pay attention to your symptoms, write them down, keep a journal, note what makes things worse and what makes things better.  We, patients, need to be engaged in our care and not simply passive recipients.


While I sure will miss hoagies ("mayo, no hots, sweets on the side"), and my pretzel rods, at least dark chocolate is still on my "OK" list. 




Guardian Nurses

Guardian Nurses Healthcare Advocates

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