December is a month that most of us spend preparing for the holidays, whether it is travelling, hosting family or just closing the year out at work, we often lose focus on staying healthy. Diets go out the window, we don’t dress warmly enough for the weather, cough and colds are at their peak and we are just plain exhausted. Here are a couple tips to help you stay at the top of your game:
1: Get vaccinated against the flu!
December 7th-13th is National Influenza Vaccination Week! The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) established NIVW in 2005 to highlight the importance of continuing flu vaccination through the holidays and beyond. The CDC recommends the flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older as the first and most important step in protection against Influenza.
Did you know that those at the highest risk for serious flu related complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart or lung disease and people 65 years and older? Getting the flu could worsen their current conditions, lead to pneumonia, hospitalization and even death!
You can receive the flu vaccine at any of our offices on a walk-in basis through the lab, no appointment is required. So in the midst of all of your December festivities, get vaccinated and take care of YOU!
2: Winter is here, know the risk that the beautiful winter weather brings!
Slip and fall risks escalate dramatically in the winter, sidewalks become coated with ice, melted snow turns floors slippery and visibility decreases with the diminishing of daylight hours. Resultant injuries range from scrapes and bruises to broken ankles, hips and wrist, all of which impact our quality of life and really damper the holiday cheers! Before the winter weather creeps up on you, stock up on some basic supplies to help you stay upright and avoid those nagging injuries. Kitty Litter and ice melting preparations can help keep walk-ways clear and safe. Wearing proper shoes and wiping them when you come inside will help with traction and preventing wet floors that can become slippery.
Did you know that the rate of fatal heart attacks increases rapidly during snow storms? If you have a history of cardiac disease or are inactive (don’t exercise regularly), you should speak to your provider about the risk associated with shoveling snow.
Use your legs when shoveling snow to prevent lower back injuries and take frequent breaks to avoid over exertion. Before shoveling, make sure to warm up and stretch well, shoveling is an intense work out, prepare properly for it.
3: Inclement Weather, appointment request, need lab results?
All of this information can be found on our Patient Portal, Follow My Health! The Portal is updated regularly and will include updates on closings due to inclement weather as soon as a decision is made. You can also request an appointment and view your lab results! Our portal has all of the bells and whistles available, try it today!
Just a couple reference points to help you with our portal:
Our portal is secure, that means that we cannot recover or reset your password to protect your privacy. You will have to enter your user name and request a new password be sent to your email address on file.
You can register one of two ways, either by following the link sent to you in the invite email sent from our office or by using the link on our homepage. Please note, if you use the link on our home page, you will have to clink on the “my account” tab and request a connection to Mount Vernon Internal Medicine. Otherwise, your portal will appear blank.
If you require support or help with your account, please contact our support staff at [email protected]. This will save you time and prevents you from having to call in, which can also lead to a delay in the resolution of your issue.
As 2014 comes to an end, we thank you for allowing us to be your provider of choice and we wish you a very rewarding and healthy 2015! Happy Holidays!