Saturday, May 28, 2022

So this will be FAREWELL and not GOODBYE....

My office manager of 17 years from work is retiring. This post is a tribute to all that she has done for the office, staff, patients, and myself...

Here are her answers to some common questions.

When did you start working at WFM?
1. Started WFM in 2005
I came along side Dr. Caracappa to fulfill and assist his passion and plan to begin the exciting inception of Wrightstown Family Medicine with our 1st patient on 12/15/2005.

What did you enjoy most about your time with WFM?
2. My greatest joy and pleasure while working at WFM was to see how God worked in and through the doctors, myself and our staff to assist in the healing of our patients physically, mentally as well as spiritually!
I was the audience of endless personal success stories over these 17 years.

What will you miss the most?
3. I WILL greatly miss being the "MOMANGER" (a name the staff gave me) of the
office to have the honor, privilege and pleasure to love on, unite & assist my staff in any way I could.

What will you not miss the most?
4. I will NOT miss being in a closed office setting moving forward with freedom to enjoy travel to enjoy outdoor nature and God's fingerprints all around us each day!

What are your plans now?
5. The next step and great passion with excitement of retirement for me will involve more time with our 2 adult married children and 6 grandchildren!
My husband and I purchased a Motor Home last November and sold our home in  December in preparation of this next step.
Our plan is to travel out West and around our amazing USA in our home on wheels!!!!

Any parting wisdom you want to leave to our staff and/or patients?
6. I'm known for my "Momanger isms" of which I will leave you with just one...

So this will be FAREWELL and not GOODBYE....

You will truly be missed. Thank you for all that you have done and may God bless you and your family as you embark on your next journey!

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Happy Mother's Day

To all the mothers out there... hope you feel loved, honored, and blessed... not just today but every day!

Our local community experienced a heart-wrenching tragedy recently that has hit me especially hard because it involves a mother. I am still sorting out my jumbled emotions and thoughts... I have no words...

but I will hang on to these words that offer me some peace and hope to hold on to... 

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13)

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 21:4)

"Let your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you." (Psalm 33:22)

So it has been way too long since I've last posted. So much has happened in the "Covid World" since... one of the best things is that we now have medication that we can prescribe in the outpatient setting. Make sure you contact your doctor if you test positive to see if is right for you. Also, if you haven't done so already, you can order free home tests here.

Happy Mother's Day, everyone! 

My baby is growing too fast...

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

CDC Covid Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines

Guidelines keep changing and can be confusing... so here I'll try to break down the most recent recommendations to the simplest form...

"I got exposed to someone with a positive Covid test... now what?"

  • If no symptoms and up to date with vaccines or had confirmed covid in last 90 days
    • no need to quarantine but wear mask for 10 days
    • can test on Day 5
    • watch for symptoms for 10 days
  • If no symptoms but not up to date with vaccines
    • quarantine 5 days at home (mask around family members)
    • mask for 10 days while watching for symptoms
    • can test on Day 5
  • If yes symptoms regardless of vaccine status or previous exposure status
    • test on Day 2-3
    • isolate 5 days at home then wear mask for full 10 days
  • If yes symptoms and very sick
    • test on Day 2-3
    • isolate 10 days and contact doctor before ending isolation
"I just tested positive... now what?"

Regardless of vaccine status:
  • no symptoms
    • isolate 5 days then wear mask for 
  • yes symptoms
    • isolate 5 days then wear mask for full 10 days
  • yes severe symptoms
    • isolate 10 days then contact doctor before ending isolation

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Omicron Variant...

Hello 2022!

Wishing everyone good health for this new year as we are in the midst of another Covid surge...

So last time, I was writing about the Delta Variant... although there is probably still some Delta in our area, Omicron is becoming more dominant. The last week at work has been pretty crazy! Honestly, the last thing I feel like doing after work is to think about Covid... that is why it is taking me so long to write anything on this blog. Plus, the information pretty much changes almost daily so what I write today may not even be valid tomorrow. With that said, here are bullet points with a few of my personal observations:

  • Omicron seems to be more contagious... I've noticed more so than ever before that if one family member is sick, almost everyone else in the household gets sick or tests positive
    • side note - home tests do not catch covid as accurately as the pcr
      • if positive - no need to retest
      • if negative - may not necessarily mean no covid so talk to your doctor about it if symptoms persist etc.
  • Severity of sickness varies but follows a fairly predictable pattern depending on vaccination status
    • Vaccinated and Boostered - these folks, if they have symptoms at all, usually have a sore throat and maybe some mild congestion or runny nose... report very little fatigue and aches...
    • Vaccinated but not yet Boostered - these folks can still get fatigue, fever, body aches in addition to the sore throat and congestion, but the worse of it usually only lasts a few days or less... and not weeks and weeks...
    • Not Vaccinated - these folks seem to follow the pattern of Covid infected folks similar to back when this whole thing started and we didn't have vaccines yet. So in addition to sore throat, congestion etc the first week, folks may feel better as if getting over it but then feel worse again... I usually find myself checking up on these folks more often and ordering the IVIG treatment for them if they qualify...
Now, ofcourse based on one's underlying health and medical conditions, how fast and sick someone gets with Covid will still vary regardless of vaccination status. 

However, this is the analoigy I like to use. We are at war and Covid is the enemy. Whether you are a strong warrior or someone totally unskilled in fighting, you are fighting with your bare hands without the vaccine. Vaccinated folks are fighting with a shield, a sword, and maybe some bow and arrows. The boostered folks have more weapons at their disposal as their old weapons get damaged or lost in battle. 

What about folks who have had Covid already? I am not too sure, but maybe I see it like this. These folks beat their first battle against the enemy, but here comes more troops from a different enemy and although the experience from the first battle may help more so than if never fought in any battle... having more weapons at hand may still increase the chance of winning with less battle scars. 

Now even with weapons, one may get slashed, beat up, hurt, and even lose... but at least the chances are higher to win than fighting completely weaponless. Then there are those folks who really cannot get vaccinated for underlying health reasons. So going back to my battle analogy, maybe these folks can not pick up a sword or shield because say they only have one arm or something... their chance of survival then would increase if the folks immediately surrounding them are heavily armed and willing to fight the fight for them.

That is my two cents without getting into any details about the science, politics, or whatevers floating out there regarding the vaccine... and regardless of vaccine status, my practice and I will do our best to meet needs and direct care the best we know how with the limited and ever changing information at our disposal.

Truly hope you all stay well and safe in 2022. Happy New Year!

Monday, July 5, 2021

Delta Variant

It's summer! Hope everyone had a good 4th of July. Things are beginning to feel a little more "normal". The mask mandate has lifted and there seem to be more social gatherings. 

So to answer a few common questions I've been asked lately... 

What is the delta variant that everyone is talking about? 
It is also known as lineage B.1.617.2. It is a version of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 that has evolved or mutated over time. This particular variant was first detected in India December 2020 and in the US March 2021. 

What is the big deal about it? 
This variant is more contagious than other variants. It potentially can cause another Covid surge in the US. 

Does the vaccine protect against it? 

Which states have the variant? 
There are 5 states where it is spreading the fastest: Missouri, Arkansas, Nevada, Colorado, and Utah. 

Is Covid over yet? 
The number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the US are relatively low right now but there are some hot spots where vaccination rates are low. So... not quite over yet... we'll have to see what happens...

Monday, May 10, 2021

Being a Mom

This is a day late but... Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there. I want to give a special shout-out to my mom (who I still call "mommy"). Words cannot describe the deep gratitude and love I feel... no list would do justice to all the things that I'm thankful for.

Below is a picture of the cover of a scrapbook that my kids have been drawing in since 2014 (thanks I believe to my sister who gave the idea to my husband)... on top is my gift this year... has each of the kids' names engraved on one of those rings. I received something similar in the past but unfortunately lost some of the little trinkets... so this is great. It reminds me what a blessing and privilege God's given me to help guide these little hearts... but not so little anymore... So every day I pray for wisdom and grace. I am humbled all the time at how far I fall short... at the same time, I am reminded to not measure with my own standards... 

To be honest, being a mother is the hardest thing I've ever had to do... SATs, MCATs, residency, boards...q3 call in the ICU... they do not even come close! Though challenging... and may sound cliche, I would not trade it for the world and am truly grateful for this honor to be called "mom"...

So as a side note, I find it fascinating that the word "mama" (meaning mother) is so similar in many different languages. For example, in Chinese, you would say "ma" or "mama" when you address your mother. It is pretty much the same in Taiwanese except the tonation is slightly different. In Korean, you'd say "o-ma"...

What do you all call your moms? Mother? Mom? Ma?  Who else out there calls her, "mommy" like I do? 😅

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Covid Vaccine Common Questions

Happy Spring! Sure has been a while... but I've been getting a lot of questions about the Covid19 vaccine lately, so I will try to put together some basic information. Please refer to the cdc website for more details.

First, here is a table summarizing the three vaccines that have been available in the US:

What are the possible side effects?
In the arm where you got the shot...
  • pain
  • redness
  • swelling
Throughout the rest of your body...
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • fever/chills
  • nausea
Can you get Covid from the Covid vaccine?
No. There is no live virus in the vaccines. The symptoms you get is your body getting antibodies ready to attack a simulation so that when the real deal comes, it can conquer it. That's the whole point. The symptoms are usually mild to moderate and will go away in 48 hours.

What about the J&J vaccine and blood clots?
So on April 13, the CDC and FDA have recommended a pause in the use of the J&J vaccine. There were 6 reported cases of developing a rare and severe blood clot after getting the vaccine. 6.8 million people have already been vaccinated with the J&J vaccine, so 6 out of 6.8 million is extremely rare. Experts are still investigating the cause of the blood clots and there may be underlying conditions that predisposed those folks who developed that reaction. A second meeting about all this is scheduled for April 23, so stay tuned... 

Contact your physician if between days 6 and 13 post-vaccination you develop:
  • headaches
  • leg pain
  • abdominal pain 
  • shortness of breath
Is it still recommended to get a Covid19 vaccine?
Yes. You can review your personal case with your doctor, but in general, the benefits of protection from Covid19 with these vaccines outweigh any potential side effects that may occur.

What about the timing of getting the vaccine?
So here are a few scenarios where one should wait...
  • If test positive for Covid, you should wait until all symptoms resolve and meet the criteria for discontinuing isolation. 
  • If treated with convalescent plasma or monoclonal antibodies for Covid, then you need to wait 90 days before getting the vaccine.
  • If you got any other vaccines recently, then you should wait 2 weeks before getting the Covid vaccine
What are the benefits of the vaccine?
  • Helps prevent severe infection from Covid19
  • Helps prevent hospitalization from Covid19
  • Helps prevent death from Covid19
  • Helps prevent the spread of Covid19 in asymptomatic people
The bottom line is that vaccines are key to stopping pandemics.

How can we get back to "normal life" sooner?
  • get vaccinated (as long as not contraindicated)
  • wear masks (though vaccinated folks can now potentially unmask indoors with other vaccinated folks)
  • social distance with those who don't live with you (6 ft apart and avoid crowds)
  • wash hands (should always be doing this anyway)
For more specific questions and details, you can check out the cdc website above or discuss with your physician.

So on another note... my family just came back from a little getaway up to the Finger Lakes. My husband and I had visited this area the second year after we got married. Funny, how traveling with four kids changes the ambiance of the trip!

from 2003...

quiet, serene, relaxed... gentle ripples of a lake...

now in 2021

not so quiet, energetic, adventurous... rushing rapids of a waterfall...