One news story that has not been outed yet in these trying financial times is the fact that Medicare recently assigned a new “payor” meaning company that acts as a clearinghouse for submitted claims and payments, here in California and Nevada. The net result was a tumultuous and chaotic billing situation for doctors who work in these states and severly delayed payments for services renedered. To date, my husband who runs a private practice that has 300 medicare seniors among his patients, has not been paid in over 11 weeks. Even though he is providing services daily (and nightly, I might add), even though he has his new password and electronic billing software up-to-date, and even though he continues to support an office staff (which means payroll) - he has as yet to receive any renumeration of substance. So he is stressed…very, very stressed.
And last night he asked me to take a look at something bothering him on his back - and lo and behold - this health expert immediately diagnosed “shingles.” For those of you not familiar, shingles is a re-activation of the varicella or chicken pox virus (it can only occcur in people who have had the disease or been inoculated for the disease) and it features blister-like welts that occur linearly (in lines) along nerve endings in the skin (the virus is a herpes virus). It’s painful and can have a burning type symptom and it is very much instigated in people who are…stressed.
What to do? Clearly, reduce stress, which in this case is a bit out of our hands. Treatment includes getting Valtrex, an anti-viral medication on board, and also to possibly include an injectable or oral course of steroids. He is lucky in that his shingles seems to be localized and he jumped on treatment immediately. Shingles can occur on the face and in the eyes and those are very uncomfortable versions of this annoying and uncomfortable condition. I’ve told my husband that we are going to do some meditation daily, as well as keep up our good exercise and nutrition habits. But some of the healing lies in his own body chemistry and his own body defenses.
Remember that anxiety, stress and depression can have physical manifestations and lower your resistance to certain conditions.
Known as The HealthGal, expert contributor Amy Hendel is a popular medical and lifestyle reporter, nutrition and fitness expert, columnist, and brand ambassador, as well as a health coach. Trained as a physician assistant, she maintains a health coach private practice in New York and Los Angeles. Author of The Four Habits of Healthy Families, you can find her on Twitter @HealthGal1103 and on Facebook at TheHealthGal. Her personal mantra is “Fix it first with food, fitness, and lifestyle.”