What is Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that can increase your risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.  During atrial fibrillation, the heart’s two upper chambers (the atria) beat chaotically and irregularly — out of coordination with the two lower chambers (the ventricles) of the heart.

Atrial fibrillation symptoms often include heart palpitations, shortness of breath and weakness. Episodes of atrial fibrillation can come and go, or you may develop atrial fibrillation that doesn’t go away and may require treatment. Although atrial fibrillation isn’t usually life-threatening, it is a serious medical condition that sometimes requires emergency treatment.

Celebrate Heart Month with St. Mary Mercy Livonia

Mark your calendar for the following events, and join us in celebrating Heart Month!

  • Friday, February 1: Go Red for Women
    Wear red to promote heart health! Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women. Join us in the South Lobby at noon for our annual heart-shaped photo.
  • Thursday, February 7: Ladies’ Night Out
    St. Mary Mercy Livonia’s South Auditorium, 5 pm
    Vendor displays and screenings followed by a panel discussion featuring physicians and community participation. See the flyer here.
  • Friday, February 15 and 22: Jeans Day
    St. Mary Mercy colleagues can wear jeans or different color scrubs for a $5 donation to the American Heart Association. Donations collected in the Marian Women’s Center.

We also invite you to take a photo with the Red Dress cutout in South Lobby and upload your photo to St. Mary Mercy Livonia’s Facebook (facebook.com/stmarymercy).

Finally, enjoy a heart-healthy menu item at St. Mary Mercy Livonia each Thursday in February!

  • February 7: Personalized smoothies with a wide selection of fresh fruits and flavored yogurts
  • February 14: Cranberry oat cookie
  • February 21: Tropical chicken salad, with mandarin oranges, pineapple, chicken, mixed greens, pine nuts, and raspberry vinaigrette
  • February 28: Tossed-to-order pasta, with a variety of sauces to choose from

Stomach Bug or Food Poisoning? Here’s How to Tell

by Taylor Lupo

This article was originally published on Sharecare.

Plagued with nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea? There could be several conditions causing your discomfort, such as a bug you caught from your coworker or ingested at your favorite seafood joint. Illnesses like food poisoning and gastroenteritis (often erroneously labeled “stomach flu”) typically cause little more than temporary pain and discomfort. But being able to identify the cause of your sickness can be helpful, should your condition turn serious.

Hugh Bonner, MD, a family practitioner with Saint Francis Healthcare in Wilmington, Delaware and family practitioner Timothy O’Neill, MD with Saint Joseph Mercy Health System in Pontiac, Michigan have both treated their share of patients with gastrointestinal distress. Here’s what they want you to know about identifying—and treating—stomach bugs. 

Livingston County Women’s Health Goes Red – Feb. 27, 2019

Save the date for the Livingston County Women’s Heath Goes Red event. Join us for a newsworthy talk with heath reporter Lila Lazarus as she discusses heart, breast, gynecological and nutritional health with St. Joe’s medical experts.

Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Crystal Gardens
5768 E. Grand River, Howell

Register by Feb. 20 at brightoncoc.org. For more information, contact the Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce at 810-227-5086.

You Gotta Have Friends

Remember American Top 40 on the radio?  Casey Kasem would do a long-distance dedication with a sappy story of a soldier sending back love and a song to his sweetheart back home. As corny as it was, every one listened. Well, I’ve decided to make a special dedication for this new year 2019, and I hope you’ll listen. This dedication is going out to all my friends whom I didn’t spend enough time with in the last year. That’s right. In 2019,  my priority is going to be my friends— not work, not home, but maintaining my relationships and creating new ones. I’m not talking about making new acquaintances.  What we need to foster are real bonds of friendship. And it’s in all our interest to do the same. Why?  Because it’s good for our health.

Continue reading “You Gotta Have Friends”

St. Joe’s Ann Arbor Named a “Baby Friendly” Hospital

St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, a member of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, has been designated a Baby-Friendly hospital by Baby-Friendly USA.  The designation recognizes St. Joe’s for having developed the highest breastfeeding support standards for mothers and newborns in the maternity setting.

Continue reading “St. Joe’s Ann Arbor Named a “Baby Friendly” Hospital”

Santa Returns to St. Joe’s Ann Arbor Cancer Center

William Coleman, a former cancer patient beloved by his many caregivers, surprised patients, staff and physicians at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor on Dec. 19.

ANN ARBOR – When William Coleman first donned his velveteen Santa Claus costume last year, he had no idea he was starting a new tradition.

Coleman, who was diagnosed two years ago with colon, bladder and prostate cancer, completed his treatments in December 2016, and visited his infusion clinic nurses last year, cancer-free.

The visit was so popular, Coleman decided to come back, this time to the newly renovated Cancer Center, to spread good cheer to patients and to thank his doctors, nurses and other caregivers. He handed out candy canes, shared words of encouragement, and posed for photos.

Santa made the rounds through the infusion clinic, IHA offices and radiation oncology, before making his final stop visiting his colorectal surgeon, Amanda McClure, MD, and nurse practitioner, Diana Rego. 

Time is Moving Too Fast

by Lila Lazarus

Stop it. It can’t possibly be the end of the year. How did the months fly by? Where did the time go? 2019?! That sounds like some futuristic date in an Orwell novel. Yes, we’ve all heard the older you get, the faster time flies. But this was warp speed.

I remember people saying that if you do the same thing day in and day out, your days will just blend together and move faster. But that’s not my situation. No two days are alike and yet they’ve vanished. Twelve months passed in an instant! I think it slipped by because I wasn’t being a very good witness. I didn’t observe as closely as I could have.

In yoga, we’re told to stay in the moment. Be present.  You’ll be more aware, more focused and less apt to let time drift by unnoticed. I don’t do this on a regular basis,  but I’m determined to savor every last moment of 2018.  Here’s how: Continue reading “Time is Moving Too Fast”

10 Healthy Ways to Handle Excess Stress

by Taylor Lupo

businesswoman freelancer tired, asleep working at computer at ChristmasThis article was originally published on Sharecare.

We all experience stress from time to time. In fact, about 8 in 10 adults feel frequent or occasional stress in their daily lives, according to a 2017 Gallup survey. Common sources of anxiety include money, school, work, relationships or major changes like marriages, divorces and deaths.

“Stress can absolutely be normal,” says Samuel Wedes, MD, a psychiatrist and Medical Director of Inpatient Behavioral Health at St. Mary Mercy Livonia in Livonia, Michigan. “For a lot of people, it can be a motivator to help them work harder or succeed further with their goals,” he adds. In some situations, your body’s stress response can even be life-saving.

Other times, however, it can wreak mental and physical havoc, causing head and body aches, fatigue, restlessness, irritability and even depression. In some cases, stress has been linked to an increased likelihood of developing heart disease, diabetes and hypertension, according to Dr. Wedes.

Don’t let your worries go unchecked. Get a handle on stress with these science-backed and expert-approved tricks. Continue reading “10 Healthy Ways to Handle Excess Stress”

CardiAMP® Clinical Trial Could Restore Hope for Heart Failure Patients

Ypsilanti resident is first to be admitted to innovative stem cell trial at St. Joe’s

Retired pharmacist Sam Othman knew he was only stalling the inevitable with the multiple medications he was taking for his heart failure. Diagnosed with heart failure six years ago, the 65-year-old Ypsilanti resident knew there must be something else out there to help restore his health.

“Things had been going slowly, slowly for the worst,” Sam said.

Always inquisitive about new and alternative therapies, Sam began to investigate stem cell treatment as a possible option. He felt the theory – relying on stem cells to generate healthy heart tissue – made sense.

Out of curiosity, Sam searched the web and made a serendipitous discovery that St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor was accepting patients in the Phase III CardiAMP® clinical trial.

The investigational study takes a personalized and minimally invasive approach using a patient’s own bone marrow cells in the treatment of ischemic heart failure that develops after a heart attack, and is designed to stimulate the body’s natural healing response.

“On a whim, I thought somewhere close, someone is doing clinical trials with stem cells,” Sam said.

Sam reached out to St. Joe’s, and after a series of screenings, he became the first patient in the CardiAMP® trial at this site and in the state of Michigan. Continue reading “CardiAMP® Clinical Trial Could Restore Hope for Heart Failure Patients”