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Insight and tips on keeping yourself and others healthy.

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Just as a little background: My husband and I have 3 children ranging in age from 22 to 15. 

Last week a friend of mine was telling me that she and her husband were trying to get their 2 year old to sleep in his own bed. I think that he slept in his own bed for a while but they have recently moved into a new house and one night for some reason, instead of putting him in his own bed ..... you know the story.... Anyways, it has been over a month now and he is still there! They decided to wait until they bought his new "big boy" bed to make the switch. Monday was the day (I mean night). The plan was for dad to put him to bed and then slip out when his son was asleep. Sounds simple enough, but when my friend woke up there was her husband and her 2 year old just like normal. Her husband confessed that after several attempts, he decided that if he was going to get any sleep at all, it was just easier to just let his son sleep with them. 

So, I say to my friend, the bad news is that there is no easy way to solve this problem, but the good news is that you will probably only have to sacrifice 3 nights of sleep to get to your goal! Since there is no perfect time to loose 3 night of sleep, I usually suggest starting on a Thursday night and just accept that you will be tired Friday and the weekend. If you know up front that you will not be getting much sleep it will be easier to stick to your plan and accomplish your goal. 

Here's the plan - 

1) Give your kid a bath. A warm bath artificially raises body temperature. When we go to sleep, our body temperature naturally starts to cool down, so the idea is to trick the brain into thinking that we are going to sleep early!

2) Only quiet calm (boring) things after bath time - reading in bed, with very low lighting is perfect.

3) Try playing soft lullaby music while you are reading and leave the music on when you leave the room. This is all part of setting up a bed time ritual that will work anywhere. Now when you go visit grandma just remember to take a book and your bed time music and you will be all set!

4) Don't negotiate with your toddler - They are way better at it then you are and you will always lose! Kiss them goodnight and tell them that you will see them in the morning, leave the room and shut the door. You may need to prepare them earlier in the day for this change in routine, but make it positive and tell them how proud of them you are.

5) They will probably cry (that's why you haven't done this yet right?) Let them cry. Use a digital clock or the timer on your phone if you need to make yourself wait 10 minutes (longer if you can) before going back in the room to reassure your child that you are here and everything is okay. Important - make this short and sweet with as few words as possible.  If for some reason you are not able to make your child stay in their room you can sit on the floor near the bed, but do not talk to them or make eye contact. Your goal is to make them stay in their bed all night tonight - even if they don't get any sleep. If you need to stay in the room tomorrow, move closer to the door and make sure your child stays in bed (even if you have to keep picking them up and putting them there).

6) Repeat step 5 until its time to get up! 

7) Tonight and tomorrow night you get to do the same exact thing again. One down, 2 to go - YOU CAN DO THIS! At least you will know what to expect tonight - and so will your child. If you give in, you will have given up one nights sleep for nothing. You are not being mean, you are just being a good parent - and everyone knows that it is not always easy.

Children need to be able to comfort themselves and to get to sleep without any help from a parent. Think about it, you wake up at least once or twice every night - everyone does. This is a huge step in your childs development.

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Today I was talking to a friend that lives in Old Lake Highlands and we were talking about the value of information that comes across my desk on a daily basis because I am the business manager of a medical practice (where my husband is the doctor).

I mentioned to him that I have a friend whose husband works for Borden and they need to choose a new insurance plan. So, she asked me which plan I thought was the best one for her family. So I told her that she just needs to look at how often they visit the doctor in a year. She has young children and she and her husband are healthy, so she said that they usually only need a doctor once or twice a year. Well, if you don't go to the doctor very often then there is no need to pay for an expensive plan where you have a low deductible and only have to pay a copay for each office visit. You will save more money by having a higher deductible and no copy because it will save you money each month on your insurance bill. I mean why would you pay $500 a month for the privilege of only needing to pay $20 the three times a year when you need to see the doctor? The average doctor visit probably cost around $100 dollars and you can save more than that each month on your insurance bill if you choose a high deductible with NO copay. Insurance is supposed to be there if you have to be admitted to the hospital, not for tonsillitis or the flu.

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It has not been an easy spring this year with the flu season lasting longer than usual. This time of year most patients are dealing with allergies due to everything in bloom.

Allergies usually presents with itchy/watery eyes, headaches, runny nose/congestion, scratchy throat, post nasal drainage, and cough. Allergies can be treated with antihistamines, decongestants, eye drops, nasal sprays, cough meds and even immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy is treatment for those patients that have been tested and diagnosed with allergies to environmental issues and/or foods. Allergy testing consists of small skin pricks forming a wheal with different allergens that is measured over a short period of time. The size of the wheal determines how allergic the patient is to the allergan. Once a patient is tested and allergies detected, a serum can be made specific to the allergens for that patient to be given on a schedule to build up their immunity to their allergies. Allergy testing and the immunotherapy is available at the clinic with Amy Davis, allergy technologist with United Allergy Systems.

So if you are suffering from "chronic" allergy issues that are not relieved with over the counter or prescription medications, call and schedule an appointment today to be evaluated and treated so that you can get back to enjoying living again.

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While spring is in the air, flu season is still here. Remeber the flu usually presents with fever, bodyaches, runny nose/congestion, sore throat, cough, nausea/vomiting and any of these symptoms can be mild to severe.

There is a medication available by prescription only that helps with flu symptoms called Tamiflu. This is a medication that fights the flu virus only. Tamiflu can be prescribed if diagnosed with the flu within 48 hours and help shorten the length of sickness. Antibiotics are used for bacterial infections and are not useful in fighting the flu.

Always remember to cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing and wash your hands to prevent spreading of germs. Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep nightly so that your body is well rested and refreshed to fight off germs. Whenever you feel any of the above symptoms---remember to go see your doctor to get evaluated and treatment started as soon as possisble.

Last year the flu season started much earlier--August--while this year the flu season started around December. Usually the peak of flu season is January-April. We are almost there!! Allergy season is soon to follow. So remember good hygeine keeps germs away.

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In April 2013, a medical journal called Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology published an amazing new study regarding asthma and allergies. Based on a study of nearly 2,600 people from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers found that 75 percent of adults aged 20 to 40 with asthma, and 65 percent of adults 55 and older with asthma, have at least one allergy.

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This week the Fort Worth Star Telegram has reported that—thanks to the Affordable Care Act—insurance premiums are going to go up. If true, it will make health care less affordable for the very Texans who keep the system afloat. They are reporting that premiums will average out to be significantly more expensive (up to 85% higher for some) than coverage available on the individual market in Texas prior to Obamacare.

It sounds pretty bad, however Obamacare proponents say the reason the premiums will be more expensive is because these premiums will not be "Swiss Cheese" insurance policies full of loop holes that allow insurance companies to weasle out of paying.

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But the most important ears
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A doctor's eyes can tell him a lot. His ears can tell him more. Because listening and healing go hand in hand.

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David Carlson, MD

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Dr. David Carlson, Bestcare Medical Director, has been serving the community for more than 25 years.
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The best medicine starts
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No one since the beginning of time has ever cured anyone by ignoring them. When doctors really listen, patients recover faster.

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Educated in Texas and Pennsylvania, Josanne Howard, PA (left) brings warmth, a positive attitude and and broad knowledge as a seasoned veteran of emergency and urgent care. 
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Lauren Page graduated from UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth and is a trusted member of the Bestcare team whom our patients love! 
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