To Our Wellness First Patient Community:
How is everyone doing? Since closing the office, we have been reaching out to many of you to answer your questions and have made ourselves available by phone. In speaking with you, several questions have been asked repeatedly and we will try to address them here.
TESTING FOR COVID-19 ILLNESS
As of today, we are not testing our patients. According to the CDC, testing should be reserved for:
- Hospitalized patients who have signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 in order to inform decisions related to infection control.
- Other symptomatic individuals such as, older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions and/or an immunocompromised state that may put them at higher risk for poor outcomes (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, receiving immunosuppressive medications, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease).
- Any persons including healthcare personnel, who within 14 days of symptom onset had close contact with a suspect or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient, or who have a history of travel from affected geographic areas within 14 days of their symptom onset.
The problem in testing is that there is a shortage of test kits, limited personal protective equipment for the health care workers collecting samples, and turnaround times for results of 3-5 days. For that reason, AT THIS TIME, we do not recommend testing. Instead, we recommend you call us immediately if you develop cough, fever, and/or shortness of breath to get medical advice. If you are ill but do not need hospital respiratory support the best place to be is at home in self quarantine from other family members. We will help you decide if it is time to go to the hospital.
This pandemic is an ever-changing situation and if supplies improve and better testing methods become available, we may change our advice. Locally, there are places trying to develop drive through testing. But as of today, drive through testing is not widely available.
We are available by phone and will be conducting acute visits as people become ill. In the future, if the office remains closed for an extended period, we will develop a telehealth protocol. This week we are not reviewing by phone nonurgent labs or conducting the visits that had been scheduled. We feel our time is better spent, speaking to you about the COVID-19 infection and how you should be caring for yourself and loved ones.
HOW TO REACH US
We want to be available to you despite the physical office being closed. If you need to speak to us, call 561-491-4666 and listen to the prompts. To reach Dr. Hadley press OPTION 1, to reach Dr. DiPiero press OPTION 2. For business transactional matters or non-urgent issues press OPTION 3. We want to emphasize that you are not bothering us when you call. We are your doctors and want to do everything we can to answer questions, alleviate anxiety and keep you safe and healthy.
All of you are important to us. To that end we would like to emphasize several things you can do to boost your immune system and optimally handle COVID-19 illness should you be exposed or contract the infection.
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Sleep aids if needed may include magnesium, melatonin or a GABA product like GABA Soothe by Jarrow.
- Eat a whole food, nutrient dense diet. Now is not the time to use the excuse you are stressed and eat sugary, processed foods. Your immune system needs all the nutrients it can get to remain strong.
- If these supplements are available to you: take Vitamin D3 5,000-10,000 IU daily. Add Vitamin C 1-2 grams twice a day. Continue your multivitamin.
- Get daily light exercise. Go for a walk. Take a swim. Now is not the time to do a heavy work out that you are not used to doing.
- Consider meditation to remain centered and not in panic mode. There are great phone apps like TEN PERCENT HAPPIER, MINDBLISS or CALM that can teach you how to meditate. If you try one, look for the “courses” section of the app.
- If meditation is not for you try 4-4-8 breathing. Start by inhaling for four counts of time. Make sure you fill your lungs completely to the point where you feel your abdomen is filled full of air like a balloon. Hold your breath for four counts then slowly exhale for eight counts. Do this for 10 cycles multiple times per day. It helps push pause and reset on the “monkey brain” we all have when we are feeling anxious.
We hope this email is helpful and informative – we are genuinely here to put your wellness first. And It is worth repeating: WE ARE AVAILABLE BY PHONE to give you medical advice, refill medications and generally assist you with your health needs. We can be reached at 561-491-4666.
Holly W. Hadley, MD
Danielle DiPiero, DO