Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Healing Through Writing PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 15:03

Can Trauma Spur Creativity?
After His Devastating Loss, a Man Finds Healing
Through Writing

Can an emotional trauma flip a switch in the creative brain? Does profound loss offer a new perspective from which to peer into one’s soul?

For LeRoy Flemming, author of the “Timelightenment” series ( and volume one of “Soulsplitting,” the answer is a resounding yes! And, there’s psychological research supporting this idea.

In role-playing, veterans who’ve endured trauma resulting in PTSD “were better able to represent the boundary between reality and the role-playing, to immerse themselves in the scene, to enact identifiable characters consistent with their setting, and produce complex and interactive scenes that told a coherent story,” compared to non-PTSD vets, according to researchers Robert Miller and David Johnson.

The non-PTSD group created more stereotyped, and unimaginative scenes, despite a higher education level and greater role-playing experience, the two wrote.

“I was never diagnosed with PTSD, but I know profound emotional trauma can trip all kinds of coping mechanisms in the brain and soul, including creativity,” Flemming says. “When I suddenly lost my mother, it was a profound, life-altering shock. She was fine when I saw her last – Dec. 25, 1999 and she died on Jan. 1. That’s what started me writing.”

His mother was, by far, the most stabilizing and inspiring person in his life, he says, and losing her rocked him to his core. Rather than seeming abstract, the larger questions in life became the most important, and that’s when he knew he had to write.

“I didn’t have much of a background in writing,” he says. “But since her passing, I’ve been in close contact with a part of my soul that has spawned several books, all of which have helped me heal.”

The creativity caused by pain is a cycle, “because the creative process has significantly healed me,” he says. “I’m not surprised that creativity increases within those who’ve suffered; it makes sense.”

How does a grieving individual make something good out of a heart-wrenching loss? Flemming offers perspective.

•  Don’t force it. One of the last things a grieving person needs is an assignment they don’t want. Grief is a process that entails a host of negative emotions: denial, confusion, anger and more. Prescribing creative therapy to oneself or another before one is ready for it can backfire.

•  Let it flow naturally. We are all unique individuals and, though we know in the backs of our minds that we’ll someday face the loss of a loved one, we can’t predict how we’ll handle it.

“Grieving and creativity actually share some traits,” Flemming says. “Both are processes, and both prompt individuals to express feelings in their own terms. When creativity can be used in conjunction with the grieving process, the catharsis can be profound.”

•  You have many options. When a person is desperate for an outlet, he or she will often gravitate toward what he knows. A onetime aspiring painter, for instance, may return to that familiar and comforting form of self-expression.

“But the mind can be unpredictable; it may be that gardening is the process that is most therapeutic for a grieving person, even though she never pulled a weed or planted a seed in her life,” Flemming says. “In other words, be open to where your intuition guides you. As most grieving people understand, life doesn’t always work out as planned. Be open to helpful new possibilities.”

About LeRoy Flemming

Leroy Flemming is a graduate of Alabama State University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Montgomery, Ala. He always wanted to show people that with spiritual guidance you can make things happen. Through his determination and inspiration from his Creator, he completed his five-part series of novels, “Timelightenment,” (, in hopes of demonstrating to the children of this world that they can dream big, and accomplish those dreams. Though inspired by many people, his biggest influence comes from his mother, who said shortly before she passed away, “Son, I may give out, but I never give up!” Flemming recently completed volume one of his new series, “Soulsplitting.”

Quit Tobacco With TRICARE PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by TRICARE Communications   
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 14:51
November 10, 2014

TRICARE and Military OneSource are co-hosting a webinar to educate TRICARE beneficiaries about the resources available to them to quit using tobacco products. The webinar, scheduled from Noon – 1:00pm EST, will take place on Thursday, Nov. 20, also known as the Great American Smoke Out. To sign up, go to

Read more at:

An irregular heartbeat raises your stroke risk, so it's important to have a prevention strategy. PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Dr. Sanjay Gupta   
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 14:01

For people with atrial fibrillation (Afib), the fear of having a stroke is very real. Afib raises a person’s risk for stroke five times, according to the National Stroke Association. It’s a scary statistic, especially as Afib prevalence continues to rise. Understanding the connection between Afib and stroke can help patients better manage their condition and recognize other factors that could put them at even greater risk.

“A stroke prevention strategy of some kind is required for anyone with Afib, no matter how many symptoms you have or how many risk factors you have,” said J. David Burkhardt, MD, electrophysiologist at the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute at St. David’s Medical Center in Austin.

Afib occurs when the heart’s upper chambers (atria), which push blood to the lower chambers (ventricles), beat irregularly. “Instead of the blood being pushed forward by the heart pumping, it’s just swirling around in the heart and can clot easily,” said Marcie Berger, MD, FACC, a cardiac electrophysiologist at Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Clots can travel and cut off blood flow to the brain, causing a stroke.

Besides an irregular heartbeat, a person with Afib “can have additional risk factors making a stroke even more likely,” said Dr. Berger.

Most doctors use a tool known as the CHADS2 score to evaluate patients’ stroke risk based on the following criteria:

  • Congestive heart failure. Heart failure occurs when blood isn’t being pumped efficiently to the rest of the body, resulting in fluid retention and congestion. If the heart isn’t pumping at full capacity, the risk of clotting increases. “Diminished heart function is a risk factor for Afib itself as well as stroke, and it’s more common in older patients,” said Dr. Burkhardt.
  • High blood pressure. When the force of blood against the arteries is too high, it can cause damage to the arteries over time. “It becomes a double whammy, where you have high blood pressure as well as atrial fibrillation increasing your stroke risk,” said Ralph L. Sacco, MD, professor and chairman of neurology at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami.
  • Age: 75 or older. The median age among people with Afib is 67 years old in men and 75 years old in women, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “In older adults, a new Afib diagnosis is usually due to age-related changes in the electrical system of the heart,” said Dr. Berger. Changes in the heart and blood vessels are common with age, and reduced circulation increases the risk of blood clots forming.
  • Diabetes. People with diabetes are nearly four times more likely to have a stroke, according to the National Stroke Association. People with uncontrolled diabetes are more prone to have high cholesterol, and plaque build-up in the arteries can block blood flow to the brain.
  • Stroke or transient ischemic attack. Someone who’s had a stroke is many times more likely to have another than someone who’s never had one. According to the American Heart Association, a person who’s had one or more TIAs, or “mini-strokes,” is 10 times more likely to suffer a stroke.

The American Academy of Neurology recently issued an updated guideline recommending oral anticoagulants, or blood thinners, to prevent stroke in Afib patients. Guideline lead author Antonio Culebras, MD, of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, noted, however, that “doctors will need to consider the individual patient’s situation in making a decision whether or not to use anticoagulants, and which one to use, as the risks and benefits can vary for each person.”

Some stroke risk factors, such as age and family history, can’t be controlled. But, “if we can address those controllable factors earlier in the disease process, hopefully we can work to reverse this growing trend,” said J. Brian DeVille, MD, FACC, FHRS, medical director of electrophysiology at Baylor Health Care System in Dallas.

Many of the same lifestyle changes that help manage Afib can also reduce stroke risk, such as maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and quitting smoking. The key is coming up with a prevention plan that a patient can commit to for the long run.

As Burkhardt points out, “once you’re diagnosed with Afib, stroke prevention is a consideration forever.”

Last Updated: 03/11/2014

Clinton, Iowa, to Participate in The American Medicine Chest Challenge PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Angela Conover   
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 09:52
Clinton, IA – Clinton and the Clinton County Sherriff's Office, will be coordinating the American Medicine Chest Challenge in Clinton, Camanche and DeWitt.
The event will take place on November 8, 2014 in communities across the country. This initiative will challenge residents to take the Five-Step American Medicine Chest Challenge:
· Take inventory of your prescription and over-the-counter medicine.
· Secure your medicine chest.
· Dispose of your unused, unwanted, and expired medicine in your home or at an American Medicine Chest
Challenge Disposal site.
· Take your medicine(s) exactly as prescribed.
· Talk to your children about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
To help combat this growing threat to our nation's children, we are hosting the American Medicine Chest Challenge (AMCC) on November 8, 2014. Residents can find a local collection site on or dispose of their medicine at home, following the guidelines on the site.
The most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows prescription medicines to be the most abused drugs by Americans, other than marijuana and found that 70% of people who abuse prescription pain relievers say they got them from friends or relatives. A recent study on drug use by teens by the Partnership for a Drug Free America (PDFA) found that one in 9 children are abusing prescription pain relievers to get high.
"This Challenge will raise awareness about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs and reduce the availability of potent drugs that lead kids down a path to addiction,'' explained American Medicine Chest Challenge Chief Executive Officer Angelo M. Valente.
"With the American Medicine Chest Challenge we are calling on residents to see their medicine cabinets through new eyes -- as an access point for potential misuse and abuse of over-the-counter and prescription medicine by young people," explained Valente.
The American Medicine Chest Challenge has gained the national support of PhRMA, The Partnership at DrugFree.Org, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association and the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Open Enrollment Kick Off Event Get Covered Illinois – Rock Island County PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Thea Hansen   
Friday, 07 November 2014 14:27

This November 15th, Get Covered Illinois and TPQC will host a Kick-Off Enrollment Event for Rock Island County residents to get insurance under the federal health law. This event is scheduled for Saturday, November 15th:

9:00am – 3:00pm at 1830 6th Avenue, Moline, Il.

This is an open invitation for all Rock Island County residents to learn more about their expanded options for health insurance coverages. There is no cost for attendees and there will be great give away prizes and snacks for all. Illinois certified counselors will be available to help with questions, concerns and portal navigation.

The Affordable Care Act's first open enrollment period drew what officials call the "low-hanging fruit" of the uninsured population: the sick and those who knew the law requires everyone to have insurance.

This year, the TPQC and the State of Illinois are targeting people who often need a thorough explanation and several face-to-face meetings to understand their options. With a shorter enrollment period and a stiffer penalty for going without insurance, the state is intensifying its efforts to get the enrollment message out.
The law's second open enrollment period runs from Nov. 15 through Feb. 15, half as long as last year's enrollment period. The penalty for not having insurance will increase in 2015 to $325 or 2 percent of annual adjusted income, from $95 or 1 percent of income in 2014.


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