Pisgah Family Health



December 2009






About the Newsletter

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

PFH staff wish you a Merry Christmas!

Dr. Curran, Tami, Julie, and Kitty wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season!

Office Hours

  • Our normal office hours are 9-5 Monday through Thursday, and 9-12 on Friday.
  • We will be closed for Christmas on December 24 and 25, 2009.
  • We will be closed for the New Year on December 31 and January 1.
  • We will be closed for vacation from February 13-20, 2010.
  • When the office is closed, telephone calls are handled by Dr. Curran’s call partners. Dr. Curran shares call with seven local physicians who are all board certified in Family Medicine. Emergency care is available at the Urgent Care Centers, and at Mission Hospital's ER.
  • Our answering service can be reached after hours at 251-4873.

Office Reminders

  • Now that cold and flu season is upon us, we have a higher demand for sick appointments. If you are not able to keep your scheduled appointment with Dr Curran, please call our office at least 24 hours in advance so we may have availability for sick patients.
  • As the new year approaches, many insurance companies mail new updated insurance cards. Please remember to bring your insurance card to your next visit and present it to the receptionist when you check in. This ensures we have the most current insurance information for you.
  • HIPAA law states we can not release your confidential information without your written consent. Please let us know if you would like to authorize us to release information to your spouse or family member(s).
  • Please refrain from using your cell phone while in our office. If you must use your phone, step outside.

Medicare Part D

The annual enrollment period for Medicare Part D is about to end. Be sure to review your coverage.

You can join a Medicare drug plan when you first become eligible for Medicare and again each year from November 15th through December 31st.

Medical news

Stress, depression and the holidays: 10 tips for coping

Healthy Santa

Stress and depression can ruin your holidays and hurt your health. Being realistic, planning ahead and seeking support can help ward off stress and depression.

The holiday season, which begins for most Americans with Thanksgiving and continues through New Year's Day, often brings unwelcome guests - stress and depression. And it's no wonder. In an effort to pull off a perfect holiday, you might find yourself facing a dizzying array of demands - parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining, to name a few. So much for peace and joy, right?

Actually, with some practical tips, you can minimize the stress and depression that often accompany the holidays. You may even end up enjoying the holidays more than you thought you would.

Recognize holiday triggers

Learn to recognize common holiday triggers, so you can disarm them before they lead to a meltdown:

  • Relationships. Relationships can cause turmoil, conflict or stress at any time, but tensions are often heightened during the holidays. Family misunderstandings and conflicts can intensify - especially if you're thrust together for several days. On the other hand, facing the holidays without a loved one can be tough and leave you feeling lonely and sad.
  • Finances. With the added expenses of gifts, travel, food and entertainment, the holidays can put a strain on your budget - and your peace of mind. Not to mention that overspending now can mean financial worries for months to come.
  • Physical demands. Even die-hard holiday enthusiasts may find that the extra shopping and socializing can leave them wiped out. Being exhausted increases your stress, creating a vicious cycle. Exercise and sleep - good antidotes for stress and fatigue - may take a back seat to chores and errands. To top it off, burning the wick at both ends makes you more susceptible to colds and other unwelcome guests.

Tips to prevent holiday stress and depression

When stress is at its peak, it's hard to stop and regroup. Try to prevent stress and depression in the first place, especially if the holidays have taken an emotional toll on you in the past.

  1. Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can't be with loved ones, realize that it's normal to feel sadness and grief. It's OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can't force yourself to be happy just because it's the holiday season.
  2. Reach out. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious or other social events. They can offer support and companionship. Volunteering your time to help others also is a good way to lift your spirits and broaden your friendships.
  3. Be realistic. The holidays don't have to be perfect or just like last year. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change as well. Choose a few to hold on to, and be open to creating new ones. For example, if your adult children can't come to your house, find new ways to celebrate together, such as sharing pictures, emails or videotapes.
  4. Set aside differences. Try to accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don't live up to all your expectations. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for discussion. And be understanding if others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they're feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression too.
  5. Stick to a budget. Before you go gift and food shopping, decide how much money you can afford to spend. Then stick to your budget. Don't try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts. Try these alternatives: Donate to a charity in someone's name, give homemade gifts or start a family gift exchange.
  6. Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping, baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make your shopping list. That'll help prevent last-minute scrambling to buy forgotten ingredients. And make sure to line up help for party prep and cleanup.
  7. Learn to say no. Saying yes when you should say no can leave you feeling resentful and overwhelmed. Friends and colleagues will understand if you can't participate in every project or activity. If it's not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.
  8. Don't abandon healthy habits. Don't let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so that you don't go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks. Continue to get plenty of sleep and physical activity.
  9. Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone, without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to do. Take a walk at night and stargaze. Listen to soothing music. Find something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and restoring inner calm.
  10. Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.

Take control of the holidays

Don't let the holidays become something you dread. Instead, take steps to prevent the stress and depression that can descend during the holidays. With a little planning and some positive thinking, you may find that you enjoy the holidays this year more than you thought you could.


H1N1 Vaccine Recall - Pisgah Family Health is not affected.

The North Carolina Division of Public Health is in the process of contacting 132 health care providers who received H1N1 pediatric vaccine from four lots that were voluntarily recalled today by the manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, Inc. North Carolina received 17,900 doses of the about 800,000 doses impacted by this recall. The only vaccinations affected were the 0.25ml prefilled syringes, intended for children ages 6 months to 35 months of age.

The vaccine is being voluntarily recalled because the manufacturer determined the antigen content, which is the component in the vaccine that causes immunity to a virus, is slightly below the specified range. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the vaccine in these lots still offers some protection against H1N1 influenza. The CDC does not recommend doctors re-administer flu shots to those who received vaccine from these lots.

Pisgah Family Health did not receive any .25mg prefilled syringes. Pisgah Family Health received and used the following lots of H1N1 vaccine:

  • 10127801
  • 102143P1
  • UP021AA

The following lots of H1N1 vaccine are included in the recall:

  • UT023DA
  • UT028DA
  • UT028CB
  • UT030CA


December is Safe Toys Month Safe Toys

The holiday season is the time when most of the toys and games are purchased. Here are some tips for buying safe toys for children.

  • When selecting toys, consider the child's age, interests and skill level. Look for quality design and construction, and follow age and safety recommendations on labels.
  • Consider purchasing a small parts tester to determine whether small toys may present a choking hazard to children under age 3. Small parts testers can be purchased at toy or baby specialty stores.
  • Toys are frequently recalled for safety reasons. You can check the website http://www.recalls.gov for updates and information on recent toy recalls.
  • Use mylar balloons instead of latex to eliminate the risk of choking or latex allergy reaction.
  • Avoid toys with sharp points or edges, toys that produce loud noises, and projectiles (such as darts)
  • Avoid toys with strings, straps or cords longer than 7 inches that may pose a risk for strangulation for young children.
  • Avoid electrical toys with heating elements for children under age 8.
  • Avoid cap guns. Caps can be ignited and can cause serious burns.

Don't Drink and Drive

Pisgah Family Health would like to remind everyone to be safe this holiday season, and to always remember not to drink and drive.

If you plan on drinking, or have already been drinking alcohol, take steps to avoid driving while intoxicated. Most importantly, plan ahead!

  • Know your limit. One drink per hour for women or two drinks per hour for men is enough to become intoxicated.
  • Designate a sober driver before drinking.
  • Give your keys to a friend or DD before drinking.
  • Call a cab.
  • If the destination is nearby, walk home.
  • Stay the night.

Don't be fooled - there are many things that won't work to help you drive sober:

  • Eating
  • Drinking coffee or caffiene.
  • Rolling down the window.

No matter how sober you feel, or how well you can "hold your liquor", no one should drive after drinking. If you do, you will put yourself and others at risk. If you don't drink and drive, you just might save a life.


Health Links

For more health information, check out these links:

About our Newsletter

Dr. Curran and the staff at Pisgah Family Health are proud to publish the Pisgah Family Health News to our patients.  Our goal is to provide regularly updated information about the office and current medical topics.  We plan to publish a new issue each quarter with breaking news.  The newsletters will also be archived on our website, http://www.pisgahfamilyhealth.com/

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